Are you feeling overwhelmed more than usual this month? After you head over the river and through the woods and into holiday gatherings this year, take time to slow down and reduce your stress. This holiday season does not have to be so stressful and draining. Give yourself a break after the holidays and remember to also focus on you. Think of something you’ve been longing to do and give that gift to you.
Spending time with a horse may be just what you need so you can feel SO much more at peace.
Under normal circumstances stress is a positive response that keeps us alert and ready to avoid danger, but it become negative when we face continuous have to dos without relief or relaxation. As a result, we feel overworked and the stress-related tension builds.
Does any of the following resonate with you?
- What should I buy as a gift for my relative or friend?
- Where should I shop, will they like the present I give them?
- I am running out of time and feeling more pressured.
- What should I bring to the holiday party?
- How much should I spend?
- I have to clean the house, make it decorative and festive, but where do I find the time?
- I need to pack suitcases and not forget anything.
- Who will take care of the animals?
- Will I have enough money to cover all of the expenses?
Research shows that in the United States many of us will spend approximately 24 hours shopping, wrapping and returning gifts, attending family and holiday functions, and traveling to different destinations and back.
With only 24 hours in a day and many people living with a very busy schedule, the added stress can sneak up and take many forms. From feeling exhausted, to lack of patience, to feeling angry and agitated, many people will be feeling the added stress of having to do it all!
Start out the new year by reducing the huge amount of stress. Be good to yourself by communing with a furry and friendly 4 legged friend – a horse…you will feel SO renewed ready to jump into the new year.
You may be asking why, what can a horse do for me? I will share…
- Horses naturally activate the body’s natural relaxation response. Standing near, brushing, or walking beside a horse, your focus is no longer on external circumstances and a have to do list. A horse provides respite from negative heavy emotions resulting in feeling refreshed and renewed, the mind has been given an opportunity to slow down and rest. As a result, you experience a very peaceful state of flow.
- When under stress, shortness of breath is experienced, thus resulting in nervousness and anxiety. You want to get as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. Scientific studies show that controlling your breath helps to manage stress and promote relaxation. When with a horse, you will notice the shallow breathing in your upper chest change to deep abdomen breathing in the belly. When you match your breathing with that of a horse, you will get more oxygen into your system thus feeling less tense and much more relaxed.
- Many of my clients report they feel a deep inner peace being in nature and connecting deeply with a horse. You will also be caressed by the elements of nature. Bird-songs, fresh crisp air, tall nurturing trees, and the sound of silence that exists among the chatter all help in the recovery back to a natural state of joy.
- Horses help bring your nervous system back into balance. By engaging the mind and body, you are given a chance to boost your energy and mood. When your body feels stress, your nervous system is flooded with chemicals that engage the “fight or flight’ responses. While these reactions are may be necessary in an emergency situation, on a daily basis it will wear your system down thus resulting in chronic fatigue as well as other health risks.
- Living in the present moment, taking back a sense of power and control. Horses help people become aware of how they feel right now, taking away the need to think about the past or worry about the future, that often leads to some type of stress. A horse helps you focus your attention on the here and now thus creating a calmness which brings your nervous system back into balance. This offers you the increased sense of control over what is happening in your life.
Following are some results of what my clients experienced after spending time with a horse…
“I learned how sometimes my body reacts to stress and certain situations, after I brushed the horse, I felt peaceful and content.”
“When I am with a horse I feel joy and complete satisfaction.”
“I felt calm and no anxiety, a positive tingling in my hands and felt strength, power and gentleness.”
As this year comes to a close, remember to take care of yourself during the holidays and upcoming New Year. Take the time to slow down with family and friends, as time with loves ones is a gift.
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What will you do to take care of yourself and reduce the holiday stress?
Please share others stories or insights you would like to share…