A Short Stress Relief Programme
This short stress relief programme is aimed at building skills to manage the augmented and possibly prolonged stress during a particularly stressful period. It involves simple asana practice suitable to all-levels, some breathing practice and some explanation about stress and possible ways of stress management.
The underlying assumptions for this programme are as follows:
- People are negatively affected by the increased social, personal, occupational load.
- The consequences of increased load for many take the shape of sitting in front of a computer at lengthy hours, less social interaction-more seclusion, major changes in their exercise routines due to time constraints, less sleep -possibly due to last-minute deadlines in addition to the anxiety and possible depressive episodes, to mention a few.
- Anxious and depressive feelings, in this case, originate from a combination of the increased number of stress factors. These factors may wary from individual to individual but feelings of loneliness/seclusion, fear of failure and embarrassment, unmanageable anxiety and panic attacks in some cases, depression and lack of motivation, feelings and thoughts of helplessness, muscular stiffness and weakness due lack of physical activity and sleep, changed eating habits etc. are few of more frequently observed reactions.
The assumptions above describe a very general state of increased sympathetic nervous system activity and build-up of stress hormones, which make subsiding the alertness created by sympathetic nervous system and triggering the parasympathetic nervous system very difficult, hence the unwanted effects of unmanaged stress. As noted, the effects of such prolonged stress will be two-fold: physical and psychological. Ergo, the objective of this programme is to help the person and their autonomic nervous system to recover the homeostasis by asana practice that is aimed at parts of the body, muscles, muscle groups that are most affected by sitting, little exercise etc., and by interactive exercises, breathing practice, and a short, guided mindfulness section aimed at alleviating and soothing the psychological reactions to stress.
In addition, the aim of this programme is not to mellow one out of one’s head and get them as chilled and laid back as one can get. In general terms, managing stress means to attempt and keep the stress reactions to a manageable level and thereby being able to do the work that needs to be done with a clearer mind and with a healthy level of motivation. The first rule of stress management is that stress is an unchangeable fact of life but it can be managed.
OBS! Important points to keep in mind:
- Please note that any list in this document is by no means exclusive or exhaustive. They are only general guidelines.
- This programme is about increasing awareness of person’s own reactions and thoughts, feelings and all in all self. This is done through giving neutral information about stress and practicing mental exercises that are used in similar psychological settings, as well as the asana practice. This is not a programme where spiritual bypassing is enabled or encouraged.
- If you feel under too much stress and feel that it would be too challenging for you handle it on your own, the best and safest way out is through the guidance of counselling services, mental health professionals.
Remember you do not have to suffer stress and its results. There are things that you can do about it.