Adults in the U.S. are a pretty stressed out bunch. Research shows that approximately 79 percent of Americans struggle with stress on a daily basis.
Are you part of this group? If so, it’s important for you to take steps to control your stress to help prevent serious health problems, including an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
One effective strategy you may want to try for relieving stress is Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial arts practice.
Read on to learn more about Tai Chi and some of the best Tai Chi positions for stress management.
What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is a form of Chinese martial arts that people have been practicing for thousands of years.
The purpose of Tai Chi is to help bring the mind and body into alignment so that our energy, or qi, is able to flow through us is a smooth and powerful way without any interruptions. The more you practice Tai Chi and work on bringing your mind and body together, the more harmony you will foster between your inner and outer self.
Benefits of Tai Chi for Stress
There are many physical and mental health benefits associated with practicing Tai Chi, from improved balance and strength to reductions in anxiety.
One of the greatest benefits of Tai Chi, though, is the practice’s ability to help minimize feelings of stress. The following are some of the most significant ways that Tai Chi relieves stress:
Lowers Blood Pressure
Many people who struggle with chronic stress are prone to high blood pressure. High blood pressure, in turn, increases one’s risk of developing serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease.
Participating in practices like Tai Chi on a regular basis can help to lower your blood pressure and bring it back down to a normal range.
Over time, as you practice maintaining a calm and equanimous mind, you’ll find that you’re able to avoid dramatic spikes in your heart rate and blood pressure even during high-stress times.
Improves Mental Focus
Tai Chi also does a great job of helping people to improve their mental focus and stay present.
When you’re able to remain in the present moment and keep your mind from drifting into fear of the future, it’s easier for you to remain calm and avoid feeling stressed out by everyday events.
Many people find that their mood improves when they begin practicing Tai Chi on a regular basis. Some research even shows that Tai Chi can help to prevent and treat mental health disorders like depression and severe anxiety.
There are a few possible reasons for this. First, practicing Tai Chi gets you up and moving. This helps your body to release endorphins, chemicals that help to boost your mood.
Tai Chi also helps you to stay calm and present, both of which can contribute to you feeling happier and less bogged down by fears of the future or regrets from the past.
Improves Sleep Quality
Tai Chi can also help you to sleep more soundly at night. When you’re well-rested, it’s easier for you to stay present and patient and avoid letting small stressors throughout the day overwhelm you.
Getting better sleep is also good for other markers of chronic stress, such as high blood pressure and a reduced ability to focus.
Best Tai Chi Positions for Stress Management
If you want to feel less stress in your day-to-day life, you ought to consider trying Tai Chi. Here are some of the most effective positions you may want to start with to begin experiencing the healing and stress-relieving benefits that Tai Chi has to offer:
Rocking is a great technique for beginners who want to start feeling the benefits of Tai Chi. It stimulates pressure points in the feet. When these pressure points get stimulated, the mind begins to calm down and the rest of your body will start to relax.
Stand up straight and separate your feet so they’re shoulder-distance. Slowly rock back and forth, moving your weight from your heels to your toes. Rock in a slow, soft, and controlled way, paying careful attention to the way your body feels as your weight shifts.
Supine breathing can be very effective for those who struggle to fall asleep at night. It promotes relaxation and minimizes stress so you can find your way into a deep slumber.
Start by lying in a supine position (flat on your back) with your arms at your side. Close your eyes and, as you breathe, relax each area of your body individually. Start with your head and work your way down to your feet. It’s okay if you fall asleep before you get to your feet.
Many people find that their eyes feel stressed or strained throughout the day. This is especially common for those who work on computers or stare at smartphone screens for hours at a time. They may even experience chronic headaches as a result.
If you’re in this position, this simple Tai Chi position may help.
Start by placing your ring fingers close to the bridge of your nose, right below your eyebrows. Place a gentle amount of pressure on this area and hold it for about 10 seconds. Release your fingers, then repeat the exercise 2-3 more times, holding the pressure for about 10 seconds each time.
Try Tai Chi Today
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to give Tai Chi a try, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of stress or anxiety in your life.
Are you ready to master these and many other, more in-depth Tai Chi positions? Do you want to reduce your stress and start feeling more at ease in your day-to-day life?
If so, we’re here to help at Las Vegas Kung Fu Academy. Contact us to learn more about our Tai Chi classes or to get signed up for a trial lesson.
We also offer vouchers to make your first six weeks of classes more affordable. Claim yours today!