Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Middle-Aged Women Are the Most Stressed

If you are a middle-aged woman, you probably didn't need to see this news clip

(ABC News--Most Stressed Out Person in America)

to know the truth of this statement:  You are a member of the most stressed group of people in the US.  Job, family (sandwiched between your kids and your own, or your partners', parents, health and money concerns....a seemingly endless to-do list---all add up to feeling tired and overwhelmed.

This is a dangerous state for women, since stress contributes to heart disease (the #1 killer of women in this country) and myriad other serious illnesses.  

Now that I've made you feel worse, let me offer an antidote:  YOGA

A simple, twenty-minute practice of physical yoga---stretching and deep breathing---added to your day, releases tension, toxins, and tightness.  You don't have to be flexible or thin (but, by the way, yoga can help you become more so of both).  You don't have to be a vegetarian or a Hindu.  All you have to do is take a beginners' class or watch a short beginners' yoga video (AM-PM Yoga Video is a good place to start) to learn a few basic movements.  A little practice---possibly after your very first practice---and you'll start reaping the rewards of greater calm and peace in your mind, and greater ease of movement in your body.  

Does it start and stop there?  No, not necessarily; in fact, not for the majority who begin practicing yoga.  Most enjoy the feelings so much that they add more minutes to their practice.  Many find that a bit of meditation, maybe starting with just five minutes a day, brings even greater benefits of well-being.

But if you haven't ever practiced yoga, it is fine to start small----a few minutes, a few simple movements, some deep breathing---and see how you feel.  Add this into your already packed life. 

Do it for yourself most importantly.  And as you do, you will likely find that you are better able to "be there" for your family, more focused while at work, calmer in any of the storms of your life.

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