Stress and Anxiety – Simple steps to reduce stress and anxiety in these troubled times

How can you help yourselves to feel better, to de-clutter your over-active mind? Are you working longer hours? Are you in charge of active young children all day? Is it taking its toll on your feet?

Let’s try to tackle the issues with some short and easy steps/exercises.

The Solar Plexus Point

Do you have that sinking feeling in your stomach? A niggle below your rib cage? Something not quite right, something stopping you from relaxing? The solar plexus is a cluster of nerves just below your rib cage, close to your stomach. With stress comes that tight knot and churning sensation in that area. This tight solar plexus in turn will impact on the tightness of the diaphragm, causing the shallow and often rapid breathing, or even breath-holding, which we associate with tension and stress.

The answer then is to relax the solar plexus. But how?

This photo shows how to locate the solar plexus simply by ‘folding’ the foot. It’s where the ‘folding’ line crosses the line where the colour changes between the arch and the ball of the foot. This is the spot where you need to apply thumb pressure, whilst simultaneously breathing out deeply two to three times. Concentrate on one foot at a time if you’re doing it yourself, or on both feet simultaneously if working on someone else’s feet.

It should look similar to this –

The Adrenal Reflex

In times of stress we overload our adrenal glands, located above both kidneys. They might be small, but they secrete hormones which have vital roles in our bodies. As well as the obvious role of kidney function, they also impact our general development. But also most importantly here, the epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones are key in our fight or flight responses. Being over-stressful will put undue pressure on these glands, causing the body to react by showing symptoms of being very fatigued. Have you ever felt like curling up and going to sleep? Switching everything off? Only to wake up and find everything switched on again. This is adrenal burnout. Our aim is to avoid getting into this stage.

The adrenal reflex is located near the big toe. If you can point your big toe upwards, the tendon line will be prominent below the ball of your big toe. The reflex is located to the medial side (towards the big toe side – therefore opposite on both feet) Then find the point midway between the ball of the big toe and the highest point of the arch of your foot.

Apply deep, but gentle pressure with your thumb to this point, for one to two minutes. As with the solar plexus, if self administrating, go from one foot to another, or, with a trusted partner / friend, do both feet simultaneously.

You should begin to feel more relaxed, having eased the tension, and deepened the breathing.

Let me know how you get on.