Stretching & Stress

Stretching & Stress

When you see a cat doing an outrageous stretch that makes you chuckle, you may not realize these stretches are important for its health. Likewise, regularly stretching your own muscles improves flexibility; prevents muscle stiffness, strain and soreness; and leaves you feeling refreshed.

Because stretching improves blood flow throughout your body, it’s important for muscular health, and it’s the cheapest way to relieve stress. Taking just 15 minutes out of your day to stretch can be incredibly therapeutic — both for your muscles and your mental well-being.

If you sit in front of a computer most of the day, you not only face the mental stresses of your day, you can build up extreme tension in your back, neck and shoulder muscles. It’s important to take a few minutes every couple of hours to stretch — you’ll feel more productive and alert, and you’ll feel less stress.

Here’s a simple stretch you can do in your office to relieve tension and stress. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your side. Slowly exhale, and bend your body at the waist allowing your head and arms to hang loosely toward the ground (your upper body should be completely relaxed, as though your arms, neck, shoulders and torso have “gone limp”). Stay in that position until you have completely exhaled the air from your lungs. As you inhale, slowly stack one vertebra on top of another to stand up straight. When you get to your shoulder area, gently roll your shoulders back and very slowly straighten your neck until your head is upright. Then slowly exhale through your mouth. Not only does this simple stretch refresh all parts of your body, it encourages proper posture and opens your chest cavity for optimal breathing.

It’s important to listen to your body as you stretch. If a particular motion is painful, make the necessary modifications so you don’t over-exert yourself. Keep at it, because the more you stretch, the easier it gets, and the more flexible you’ll become. (Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.)

Time is Fleeting

Time is quite possibly the most powerful thing in the universe. “Tick, Tock…” Time is running out and you need to find the best way to utilize what time you have left, because you never know when it’s going to be over for you. Sure, the watch on your wrist will keep ticking, but will your heart? When everything else seems motionless, time is always looming in the background.

Though it sounds scary, you shouldn’t fear. Be happy that there is still time for you – time to make things right – time to make peace with the world and yourself. Depression is known to slow down the thinking process, so if you are dwelling on something that is depressing, you’re only wasting your time. Studies show that racing through happy thoughts makes you more productive and ultimately happier. I know it is not easy to just throw what depresses you aside, but you can control some of your thoughts.

Instead of hanging onto a breakup or a gone loved-one, pan through your future plans and goals. Regardless of what has happened, you can still control what happens in your future. Time can’t stop you and you can’t stop time, they both end at the same time, and you don’t know when that’s going to be. Whether it is the Ragnarok, Tribulation, Armageddon, or whatever you believe it’s going to be, there is still time for you to achieve greatness. Don’t throw your ideas and goals aside just to later be sitting on the front-porch-swing looking back on your life and wishing you could change it.

Now is the time for you to make the pivotal choices that shape your future. Don’t procrastinate, and do not rely on anyone else to do it for you. If you can read this, then that means that you’re still alive, and there is still time for you.

As I said, you can’t control time as a whole, but you can control your future.


“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”

-Carl Sandburg


What are you waiting for?