If you have 10 different things on your mind right now and you can feel 10 more bubbling under the surface, you may just need to STOP.
Stopping is a fairly novel concept in our culture, but Dr. David Kundtz, practicing therapist and widely read author, tells us “How to be still when we have to keep going.”
He suggests way to pause briefly or stop and take more time. In the brief pauses Kundtz compares daily tasks to musical notes. “When you are dropping off a package, and driving to an appointment those are your ‘ notes,’ that are playing. But in between the notes, as you wait in line, or drive across town, those moments are the spaces between the notes. Stopping is the art of being aware of those little spaces and using them to breathe, think, and remember.”
Massage can be one of those ways to pause according to the Mayo Clinic.
Their staff suggests massage as a stress management technique. They say, “If you’ve never tried massage, learn about the possible health benefits of massage and what to expect during a massage therapy session.”
• “Deep-tissue massage. This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.”
• “Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.”
• “Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage but is geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.”
• “Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on trigger points, or sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.”
Here are some other ways to pause.
• When every day begins with an action list left over from yesterday, you may need to start each day with an early meditation – 15 or 20 minutes of stillness, silence, just for you.
• When there are too many things and too many people, 15 minutes for tea, coffee and conversation with a friend might help you smile more as you head back to the tasks at hand.
• Walking or biking in the morning, after a full day, or on weekends can be a way to shed tension and step away from the world.
• Laughter can be a magic release. Choose your potion, a favorite funny old movie, a great read, or time spent with friends who know how to see the funny side.
You may already have your own magic tricks for breaking through busy schedules and easing up a bit. If your stress releasing techniques don’t always work, keep looking, and as always, when stress becomes overwhelming talk with your doctor for solutions.