Stretching for Stress Relief

 Daily stretching can have great physical benefits when paired with exercise or on its own. Stretching can also influence a positive mental outlook, particularly in times of high stress. Taking a moment to breath and do some of the following stretches at home or in the workplace can help to relieve physical tension and improve mental clarity.

Side Stretch – Sitting in a chair or standing, raise hands over head and clasp hands together. Keeping your arms over head, gently lean over to the left until you feel a comfortable stretch on your right side. Slowly return arms back to center and continue the stretch by leaning to the right. Repeat this motion several times to feel a great release in your back.

Shoulder Shrugs – Sitting or standing, move your shoulders up and down a few times taking a few deep breaths in this motion. Continue the stretch by rolling your shoulders back a few times to relieve tension in the neck, shoulders and upper back.

Arm Stretches – An easy stretch to achieve at your desk, begin by crossing one arm over your chest, holding your wrist with the opposite hand. Hold this pose for a few moments taking two to three deep breaths. Repeat this stretch on the opposite arm. Continue the stretch by reaching your arms out in front of you, and clasping your hands together. Slowly arch your upper back and neck forward and back to center.

Neck Stretch – Another great workplace stretch for your neck, start by sitting up straight and slowly bend your neck to the right nearly touching your right shoulder, holding for one to two breaths. Repeat this motion on the right side. Bend deck slowly forward and back several times to complete the stretch.

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