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A lesson on stress and wellness

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There is no question that our mind is limitless. We set our own boundaries and we decide, early on, if we are to succeed or fail at any endeavor. And nothing is easy. Ever. In life, in love, in happiness and sadness, there are always ups and downs, just like the markets. Though some are more volatile than others, it’s all how you take that energy and channel it into something more productive.

Stress is present throughout our lives. Making sure that you’ve made enough sales this month, that you have followed up with clients and potential prospects, and other aspects that come with the advising career are enough to make anyone feel stressed out. And while the rewards of working in our industry are far more than the negatives, there is always stress.

We should all be able to find healthy ways to manage any kind of stress. Writing. Painting. Reading. Dancing. Singing. Acting. Working out. Whatever your “de-stressor” is, I say indulge in it, even when you’re not stressed out, especially if it’s something that you enjoy doing. I have recently found another way to “de-stress:” yoga. And I’m determined to crack the “yoga code…”

Growing up, I was always an active kid, taking ballet, jazz, flamenco, and any other dance class I could, playing racket ball, tennis, biking, even doing aerobics and, my favorite, step aerobics. Now, when it comes to de-stressing, nothing does it better for me than dancing. It’s what comes naturally; I started taking classes when I was three-years-old. But yoga…that’s a whole other story.

I know that I’m not in shape and I’m not as young as I used to be, but there’s still hope. Yoga seems to take that hope away and crush it beneath its punishing poses. But, again, I’m determined to contort my body to its extreme positions, no matter how much I dislike it (more like hate it).

A week ago, I discovered something called restorative yoga. I went into the class thinking that it was going to kick my behind, again…and came out feeling energized and better than ever. This yoga class, I thought, was “easy” compared to the weird advanced one I take sometimes that involves the instructor saying weird names and moving constantly from one pose to the next…something I call “the yoga flowy class.” But the restorative class left me feeling weird, yet more relaxed. It was just what I needed.

I’ve also discovered the power of breathing. You might not think about it often, but when you concentrate on your breathing, something amazing happens. I can’t quite describe it. You have to trust me on this one and try it. It’s like your body is going through all of these weird motions (especially during the yoga flowy class) and screaming at you to stop and go back to watching TV, but you power through with your breathing…it’s amazing.

What have I learned so far? That stress is horrible and I’ve been stressed for the most part of my life, but that by breathing and slowing down my mind, I can definitely “see” better and power through anything, even yoga.

Whenever you’re feeling like the daily pressures of your work or life are starting to take hold of you, close your eyes, breathe deep, feel that breath fill every inch of your lungs and your body…you’re already one step towards releasing that stress.


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