When it comes to stretching I think most of us will agree that stretching the body comes to mind, or? But I find it’s equally important to stretch our mind. Therefore I’ll have a quick look at what stretching can do for both.
Let’s have a look at the body first. Sadly a “good stretch” is often overlooked or only done when we exercise. It’s rather sad, as it can do so much more throughout the day for our overall wellbeing!
To be honest, the day should start with a good stretch, even, or especially, when we’re still in bed! Lying in bed, stretching the arms above our head, extending the spine and pushing the legs straight. Ah so nice! This feeling of slowly waking the body up and a moment to transition before getting up. It’s such a simple but nice and useful moment to start the day, instead of just jumping, or rolling, out of bed. Is that something you do already? If not, I recommend to give it a try.
But as well during the day, a good stretch not only supports a good posture, no it can bring back energy and focus, too! It helps to release tiredness overall but as well as muscles fatigue. All this supporting us to feel less stressed and tense.
I won’t go into individual stretches as we all come with different backgrounds and flexibilities. And if you are unsure of how to stretch I suggest that you contact a sports trainer or physio to adjust it according to your needs and to avoid injuries! But before I leave you with the body-stretch part let me give you a little reminder to be cautious when it comes to any stretching!
- Don’t overstretch, stop when you feel a slight tension.
- Use your breathing when you stretch, breathe into the stretch, slow and relaxed.
- “Flow” into the stretch and hold it, never bounce.
- Relax – you want to stretch to relax, not to feel tenser!
- Last and very important – don’t stretch until you feel pain! Back off immediately. Pain indicates that you go too far – listen to your body!
But as mentioned, this is not only about stretching the body. Make sure to stretch your mind too! Stay curious, playful, experiement, learn and talk about new things. This goes as well hand in hand with the Intellectual and Spiritual Wellness I discussed in previous blogs.
A stretch can:
- help us to transition from one thing to the next.
- can give us a space to breathe, to halt, to pause.
- can give us a moment to relax.
Dare to step out of your comfort zone. Oh yes, that comfort zone… It’s so nice to stay there, but why not try and lean – stretch – out of it now and then and see what happens?
Not sure how to stretch your mind, here is a short article with “7 Tips to Stretch Your Mind at Any Age” that I found on Huffpost.
Ah, this moment to simply breathe, stretch and slow down, no matter for how long is priceless for body and mind!
How about you, do you stretch regularly? I would love to hear your favourite moments for a stretch and your preferred stretches. Please share in the comments!
Now take a deep breath, interlock your fingers and push our arms forward for a good stretch, before you go on to your next task at hand,