When I have time, nothing rejuvenates me like a walk in the woods; the hiking trails at Stone Mountain Park are a favorite nearby getaway. (My dogs love it there, too.) If I'm on a tight deadline for finishing a project, I've been known to resort to chocolate -- not recommended for long-term stress relief!
One of the simplest yet most effective means of restoring calm in a stressful situation is grounding -- literally touching the ground. Dr. Warren Grossman, in his wonderful and eloquent book, To Be Healed by the Earth, explains how earth, soil, trees, running water -- in short, Nature -- all have boundless energy to share, if we just pay attention.
Try standing on the ground for just a couple of minutes a day. Barefoot is best, but wear socks or shoes if your feet are too cold. Feel the earth under the soles of your feet. Feel (or imagine) your toes digging into the soil. Feel the sun on the top of your feet; now feel the temperature underneath. Is the ground warming up? That just might be your own "stuck" energy melting away -- the earth can absorb it without complaint.
Yoga poses such as "downward-facing dog" feature both hands and feet touching the ground. And Qi Gong meditations like "holding the tree" imply a sense of "rootedness" stretching down from the feet to the center of the earth. These ancient systems understood the importance of regular connection with the earth for renewal and revival of energy.
So what is your favorite method of relieving stress? I'd love to hear from you. Send me an e-mail, and your response may be published in an upcoming post. You'll also receive a discount on your next (or first!) visit for reflexology or reiki. And you may inspire a lot of people who've been feeling stressed out!