Releasing stress on a daily basis is imperative for your health.
Why? Because when we allow stress to build up long term over time leads the systems of the body start to run slower. Just like when you need to change the oil in your car, the gears don’t shift as smoothly, your ability to respond to stress accurately and effectively is compromised.
Although people can endure stress for a long time, it starts to weigh a person down. Symptoms can manifest as anxiety, depression, lack of energy, and low interest in the things you normally love. With time, people seek help through medication, drugs, or alcohol which numb these feelings but don’t resolve the root issue: relieving the causes of stress, or allowing stress to be released. Temporarily bringing relief, medications, drugs and alcohol can cause a greater build up of toxins in the body. Understand I am not negating the benefits or needs of medications; what I am suggesting is to also seek ways to release your stress daily and naturally.
How to Recognize Stress in the Body
Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t feel quite like myself?” If you are saying that, it’s an indication you have lost touch with your essential light, the essence of who you are and the life source that is like a flame within your being. This is a sign that thoughts, memories, and beliefs are covering over that light. That flame is a constant in your heart, and never goes out, although stress will cover it over, making it difficult to “feel yourself”.
Physical symptoms of stress can vary. Just to name a few: hair loss, tight muscles, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and food cravings. Although the physical symptoms are too many to name, if you have physical pain that doesn’t seem related to a physical injury that was sustained (even though we could call an accident or injury “stress” too), the cause could be the energetic stresses of life: physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.
Starting to track stress in the body, notice in your body where you feel tense, areas in your body that feel dense, or where you feel lack of movement when you breathe (your whole body should lightly expand and contract when you breathe). As you identify tension patterns in your body, you can also start to attend to those hot spots using the techniques described later in section 3 of this article. The more you know about your body, mind, heart and soul, the closer you are to God, also known as the Source of Love. Why is it important to know God? Because that essential light in your heart is the light of God, the light of Love.
A dear friend once explained to me the triple A’s of healing:
1) Awareness 2) Acceptance and 3) Action.
Although all three are important, I am gaining greater insight into the importance of number 2: acceptance. To some extent when I jump from awareness to action without taking time for acceptance there is a part of me that is saying “no.”
“No, it shouldn’t be like this”, “no, I am not good enough the way I am,” and “no, I don’t want this issue I am dealing with.” What does acceptance look like? It can be as simple as saying “God, I have this issue, can you please heal me in this place.” Often there is a lightening of the feeling around the issue, and I have experienced at least three responses to pausing for a moment of acceptance, and asking God for help in that place which is essentially admitting yes, this is happening, and no, I am not in control.
The three responses are:
1) The issue clears completely: perhaps I am looking at something or worrying about something that although is a big deal to me, God’s not really asking me to spend time thinking about it.
2) A treatment plan is revealed: I am a huge believer of natural remedies like food, teas, herbs and healthy oils (olive oil, coconut oil, black seed oil and DoTerra Essential oils are some of my favorite oils). Also I believe in referring out to a medical professional, getting a coach, or seeking higher education. Some of the stepping stones in healing may come in this form.
3) A next step is revealed: Possibly your next step is easy and totally in your hands. Divine guidance applies to every aspect of your life. No issue is too small to ask God for help with, and I find the next steps are often easy, doable and filled with simplicity, love and mercy.
Acceptance includes the concept of receiving. Receiving from God, the energy, the knowledge, and the wisdom with which to move forward, and when it’s time to take action, you are ready. Acceptance can be as simple as taking a few long slow deep breaths, asking God for help, and listening from your heart. When you feel you have perceived a clear answer, double check. Double checking prevents the ego from posing as God and giving you a bunk answer. Double checking sounds like this: “Dear God, I have received this answer…. Is this the Truth from You?” Once again breathe, listen, and double check until you feel the answer is polished and shiny.
How to Release Stress in the Body, Mind and Soul
I could write a book, or even a volume of books about how to release stress in the mind, body, and soul. For today, we’ll focus on four methods for releasing stress: 1) move daily, 2) write, 3) Craniosacral therapy, and 4) spiritual healing or healing through prayer.
1) Move Daily
I have a delicious daily warm up I do where I circle each joint of the body, the head, shoulders, ribs, hips, knees, ankles, wrists and elbows. I am always amazing at how relaxed and energized I feel after I do small gentle circles at each joint. Such a simple exercise creates great results, because it releases tension at each joint. I always think to myself, “who knew ankles and wrists could hold so much tension?!”
There is a saying in the exercise world, “Move it or lose it!” When we move daily we maintain mobility. Skin, fascia and muscle tissue glide on each other and the body is filled with fluids. As long as we keep the body in motion those tissues glide. When we are sedentary too long, the tissues stick together limiting range of motion. Each joint has an optimal range of motion, and when you explore those ranges daily you maintain them. Although increasing flexibility and range of motion can be challenging, the body is malleable and can be shaped like clay. Keep the body fluid and move daily.
Journaling, especially stream of consciousness, is always cathartic to me. Once I have written something down on paper, it no longer weighs on my mind or my heart. I like to hold on to what I write so I can reflect on gems of wisdom that are uncovered as I write, and others like to burn their writings creating a deeper release. When healing a specific ailment, write the name of the disease on a piece of paper and burn it. If you wish to expound, write how that disease makes you feel, affects you, and write how you would feel if you were free from that ailment. Know that is one step of many to healing disease. Next steps to improve your health often follow this process.
Channeling is an amazing exercise that can be done with writing, and I am confident everyone is capable of channeling. Connect with God and prepare a specific question. Write the question at the top of the page, and write to God, “Dear God, please help me. You know the answer to this question, please guide me. What do you want me to understand about …?” And then write, similar to stream of consciousness journaling. Breathe long slow deep breaths as you write, allowing information from your heart to channel down to your hands. Trust what you are receiving, and ask God for clarity as you go. The angels are the messengers of God, allow yourself to connect with your guardian angels, know they want to help you, and are making sure you receive God’s messages clearly.
Writing down your emotions is extremely healing, and relieves stress in a conscious way. When we name our emotions the energy of the emotions diffuse. When we write our emotions, we release the emotion, we can reflect on how a situation made us feel, and we are in self-responsibility with our emotions, (we are not pelleting our emotions at another person and expecting them to carry our stress or burden). The more emotionally intelligent and responsible our society is, the less violent our society will become. Contributing to world peace means finding peace within. When we are honest about our emotions, name them, and move through them we are expressing self-control.
Writing can be fun, not just cathartic. Perhaps instead of writing about your personal experience, you write a story or draw a picture, something you make up that has nothing to do with anything, for fun. When we allow our imagination to expand and soar we get a break from the daily grind. Being creative, child-like, or imaginative allows us to find freedom in the way we think.
3) Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy is a hands on treatment during which a practitioner lightly lays hands on the person receiving treatment with the intention of settling the nervous system. Listening for the cranial rhythm, literally a pulse in the body called the primary respiratory mechanism, the CS therapist acts like a tuning fork, slowing the rhythm, and finding deeper currents called the mid tide and long tide. At some time during your treatment you will experience a still point, which is a time of reorganization in the body, and is deeply healing.
Craniosacral Therapy is recommended when you are looking to heal from an accident, trauma, or long term stress. The nervous system has two functions, parasympathetic (rest and digest) and sympathetic (fight and flight). People who have experienced a disruption in their nervous system can get stuck in fight and flight or the sympathetic nervous system response. Symptoms can include reactivity, constantly feeling rushed, fear that doesn’t relate to the outer current circumstances, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing, sweating, digestive issues, anxiety, or inability to react or respond in good time. When receiving a craniosacral therapy session, a client then can release images and memories of trauma, as they remember their parasympathetic (rest and digest) response. A toned nervous system will activate parasympathetic and sympathetic as needed.
4) Spiritual Healing or Healing Through Prayer
When you ask God for help, know a response always follows. In fact the ailment that is causing you stress could be the doorway that brings you closer to God. If the “G” word is uncomfortable for you, replace “God” with “Source of Love”, knowing every breath you breathe and every cell of your existence was and is created by your Creator and Sustainer.
Why is spiritual healing important? Some say, our main purpose in life is to know God. Our purpose is to know that light in the center of our heart and live, learn, and move from that flame. When that light gets covered over we can feel lost, and look to fill that unknown longing with whatever we can from the material world. No matter how many shoes, cars, sunglasses, businesses, children, or food we have, nothing will ever fill that God shaped hole, only God. And when our heart is open to God, nothing can cover it over.
Spiritual Healing is like shining a flashlight on that eternal light that already exists in your heart amplifying the Light. As that light grows you have a greater sense of who you are, what your purpose is, and what makes you happy. As the light amplifies you also begin to attract other people who vibrate at the frequency of Love. When you vibrate at the frequency of Love, you live a life that is overflowing with love, and when challenges arise you are resilient. Resilience means you can overcome challenges, trauma, and life changes with ease. When you pray, ask God for ease.
When shopping for a healer, find someone that sets your heart at ease. Although taking inventory on your personal issues may feel scary, pick a healer who holds it with mercy. Avoid working with people who make you feel ashamed, or guilty as this impacts stress. Find a practitioner who helps you to unpack the difficult emotions, name the underlying needs, and rewrite the script of your life in a way that is in alignment with your values and priorities.
Although life can be hectic, rushed, and overwhelming, when we take time throughout the day and throughout the week to release stress consciously, life becomes lighter, more joyful, and more fulfilling.
About the Author
Hawa Robin Cahn was born in Hollywood, Florida. She has studied movement her whole life from gymnastics to dance, and now exercise. Teaching Pilates, Yoga, and Yamuna Body Rolling are her passion, as well as practicing CranioSacral Therapy and Spiritual Healing (healing through prayer). Hawa graduated from Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, and holds a BFA in ballet from the New School University/Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Her certifications include: Authentic Pilates, Yamuna Body Rolling, Yoga Works, Kane School of Core Integration, University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism, Craniosacral Therapy Modules 1, 2 and 3, Vagus Nerve Modules 1, 2 and 3, Help Increase the Peace Program, Healing Arts and Ethics, Lady Bug Yoga (Yoga for Children), Fit for Birth, and is currently pursuing AGNI Kundalini Yoga training. Hawa owns and teaches at Lake Pilates in Davie, Florida.