Do you have to deal with stress in your everyday life? Sure. We all do. There is the possibility for stress at work, at home, and within our own being.
Many people choose destructive habits to help them cope with their stress such as drinking, binge eating, withdrawing, or lashing out to those around them. Rather than eliminate stress, these actions compound the stress in their lives and give increased physical, psychological, or relational difficulties.
There are positive ways to deal with stress such as evaluating the balance between work and rest or putting down the phone to be in the moment. Some manage stress by talking to a counselor or trusted friend about their difficulties. Engaging in a physical activity and eating real food can also reduce stress.
Here at Emerald City Aikido, we have found that aikido has given us positive ways to manage stress beyond just the obvious physical exercise. Here are some ways you may not have thought of:
· We learn to respond rather than react when faced with a stressful situation.
Part of the core teaching of aikido is to control yourself so that you remain calm and relaxed. Practicing this skill in the dojo gives practice for remaining calm when stressful situations pop up in everyday life.
· We learn how to stay present in stressful situations.
Mindfulness has lately become popular in the United States. But long before mindfulness reached its current popularity, martial arts, including aikido, made use of mindfulness breathing. Being aware of yourself can give you clarity and understanding of the triggers that take you to a stressed state of being.
· We remain physically active which increases endorphins, a stress-blocking neurotransmitter.
Exercise of any kind, including aikido, allows your body to release endorphins into your bloodstream which gives a feeling of pleasure and accomplishment rather than depression and stress. Sometimes stress is caused by chronic pain. The fluid movements used in aikido can reduce pain from such ailments as joint pain, arthritic pain, back pain, or migraines.
· We are part of a community.
Being part of a community whose members uphold and support each other can lessen stress in your life. Here at the dojo we come from all backgrounds and ages and family situations. But we form one community to encourage and strengthen one another.
If you have a goal of reducing or managing the stress in your life, we at Emerald City Aikido would love to be part of your stress relieving plan. Give us a call to find out about our classes. Phone: (206) 323.2322