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The Secret to Reducing Stress

Our bodies are the conduits for our minds and hearts. An inspiration strikes and we speak it from our mouths, write it with our hands, dance it with our bodies. I used to think that the 'mind-body' connection was cliche, just another benign marketing phrase like 'holistic' and 'integrative'. Isn't it interesting how the mind will dismiss anything it believes it already knows? Everything changed when I began working with horses as partners for personal growth. I spent time with them, observing their ways and discovering how they bring us back to our own higher nature. In the horse, we easily see emotions and thoughts as a cycle. They arise in the mind, pause for consideration, and then release through the body. The cycle of feelings and thoughts through the body is the key to reducing stress and recovering from burnout. No, I don't mean you have to squeeze in a run every morning to reduce stress, although if you've got the discipline to do that then God bless you! What I mean is a cycle of microreleases that occur in each moment of each day. This may sound overwhelming at first, but each and every thought or feeling that you generate requires the cycle to complete or it will be stored in the body for later. Yes, it's true. The tightness in your belly as you pay that bill, the frustration you feel at the demand for more cereal from your kid who can totally get it herself at the moment you finally sit for breakfast, the crushing news of more COVID cases or bombs in Ukraine, every single one of these requires a full cycle of release. The good news is that the release is not complex or forced. In fact, it's the most natural thing in the world, once you learn to allow it. It looks like a stretch, a yawn, rolling the neck, shaking out a body part, a big breath in and out. For larger emotions or thoughts, it may be a bigger movement of the body. Learning to complete the cycle of mind and heart to body takes curiosity, awareness, and willingness to find and follow your natural impulse. As awkward or strange as it may feel at first, these microrelases will change your life. Try it. Trust it. If you need help to get there, we're here for you.

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