Stress is inevitable, but the effects it can have on your body and mind can be reduced by some simple stretches. Stress restricts blood flow causing your muscles to tense up, especially the muscles in your back, neck and shoulders. People who sit for long periods of time are especially prone to such muscle tension. “Movement metabolizes the stress hormone, cortisol,” explains Omni Kitts Ferrara, a yoga instructor and professional dancer with over 15 years experience, “so yoga and stretching literally reduces stress.” Stretching can also reduce pain, increase circulation, improve your posture, and make you more mindful of your body. While doing these stretches, make sure to breathe with intention, adds Steffi Freedman, a Pilates expert. Now, let’s get stretching!
Danielle Hark is a wellness writer, photographer, and freelance photo editor. She is also a mental health advocate and founder of BrokenLightCollective.com, the online photography gallery for people affected by mental illness. As someone who has struggled with mental health issues, her mission is to help as many other people who are struggling, using photography and creativity whenever possible. www.DanielleHark.com