So that is week one of the stress management course gone already, time flies!
To recap, this week we did a guided body scan each day. This practice helps us not only to relax our bodies physically, but also we start to notice where we are holding tension in our bodies. And by being aware of where we hold tension on an almost habitual nature, we start to notice it more often, not just during the guided relaxation, but also at other times during the day. And each time we notice it, we then consciously relax all that tension. Now that has got to be a great step in the right direction for any of us!?!
So for me week one was good, I felt relaxed, I enjoyed each body scan and I also started to form a new habit of taking time out, even if only for half an hour, to relax myself each day, to wind down.
I also had some great feedback from other participants, so it seems that the course is really starting to work, even on just the first week!
Here is an excerpt from one:
"Giving time to calm and quiet myself felt almost luxurious this week...... I was surprised just how much tension I hold in my face- around my eyes and forehead in particular..... I like being led through the process- by myself my mind wanders too much. I still felt myself thinking too much and it was good to bring myself back by focusing on Alex's voice. Learning to quiet my mind feels good."
So, I look forward to week 2, which is all about using the breath to relax our nervous system. If you are not signed up to the course and would like to experience it, there is a free breathing practice to try below:
As part of the guided practice on the course this week I also use a mindful practice where we bring awareness to certain causes of emotions on an inhale and then smile to those causes on an exhale. This may seem like a strange practice, but the aim is to be more aware of why we have certain emotional responses at a root level, not just the immediate cause, but the deep rooted reason we react in this way to certain triggers. We then smile to those root causes in order to bring a playful respect, to acknowledge without judgement our own inner dialogues and histories.
By doing this we can allow ourselves to get some perspective on the deep seated behaviours that we have developed over our lives that, perhaps, no longer serve us and create difficulties for us. Thereby we can begin to change our emotional reactions, in a gentle, compassionate way.
I hope everyone will continue to practice each day and that it will develop a greater sense of calm and self understanding, I look forward to the feedback 😉
And finally, I just want to say a massive thank you to the kind bloggers who are participating in the course for me and helping me to test and iron out any issues. Please check out and support their blogs below:
Cider with Rosie