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3-Minute Stress Buster: Shake It Off!

Feeling stressed? Stuck in your head? Need a reset but don't have a lot of time? In just a few minutes, this super simple exercise can help you–and your children–shift your energy, release tension from mind and muscles alike, and reset a bit.

Animals have a built-in automatic stress-release mechanism: after a stressful encounter, their bodies shake to dissipate the stress chemicals that have accumulated. You’ve probably seen your—or your neighbor’s—dog do this a million times!

Humans don’t do this automatically, unfortunately, so "issues" are more prone to accumulate in our "tissues," as the saying goes. But when we become aware of rising stress, we can choose to use this extremely effective and efficient stress-reduction tool to help move some of the tension through and out.

It works great for adults–and is a great fun, tangible tool for helping kiddos who might be stressed or stuck in big emotions, too.

How To Shake It Off ("Shaking Meditation")

  • If you'd like musical inspiration, put on your favorite shake-shake themed song (so many great options: Mariah, T. Swift, Pitbull, Florence + the Machine, and on and on!)...or any song that uplifts you.

  • With your attention fully focused on your body, your movements and how they feel, begin to shake your hands. Really feel yourself shaking the tension and stress out.

  • Move into your arms and shimmy and shake your shoulders.

  • Add a bounce in your knees and shake through your feet and legs.

  • If it feels OK, you might gently shake or sway your head, too (be gentle on your neck though!).

  • Feel your whoooooole body shake-shaking for 1 minute, or better yet 3-5.

  • When the song ends or you're ready to stop, pause and breathe and notice how you feel. What do you feel? How is your breath?

As a sufferer of chronic shoulder tension, overthinker and admitted lover of shaking it, this tool always makes me feel better and move through some of my mental and physical tension.

Try it and tell me how you feel afterwards!


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