Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our Parents Were Right!

We have so many simple, innate ways to combat stress and to function more happily and effectively - innate as in we already know how – we are designed - to do it. Unfortunately, when we don’t heed our own ‘knowing’ the opposite effect is often the result; i.e. more stress!
Take posture for example. We know that good posture makes us feel better and look better. But did you know that slouching makes you more sensitive to aches and discomfort?
Many of us growing up had parents who would tell us to stand up straight. For me this meant that, between my parents and regular ballet classes, I eventually realized that I actually felt better when I opened my chest and pulled up or stretched the spine. To this day, it seems to have the same effect as smiling does, releasing ‘feel-good’ hormones into the blood stream. I can almost always feel the difference, practically immediately!
Now, several scientific studies (from the universities of Toronto and Southern California) have shown that good posture not only feels good but also increases tolerance to pain! Conversely, slouching has the opposite effect, making us less pain tolerant. In other words, standing up straight actually toughens you up. Who knew?! I am forever amazed at the amount of natural resources we have, already contained within our own bodies!