Recently I was having a laugh with a friend who shared with me that a Pinata bursting experience is a part of their family culture in celebrating birthdays. The Pinata is not just for the kids she shared with me, it’s also for the adults, who just love the experience of ‘whacking’ the colourful holder filed with all sorts of goodies.
It was my friends 40th birthday, and her Pinata experience was sheer joy for her as she celebrated a milestone in her life.
Eustress, which is good stress we need daily, is usually associated with activities that support our body to function better physiologically. Exercise is a key ingredient here and walking, jogging and running are the common sources of providing us with eustress.
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For some of us, meditation, yoga, visualisation techniques and other more passive activities are our first choice to engage in as our major stress relief tools.
Others find a punching bag in the garage or in our home exercise space is of major support in purging pent up stress that has built up in our bodies over time. Going to the punching bag and giving it a ‘work over’ is a huge stress release for some and a refreshing tool.
My friend (who is pictured above) is lining up to whack her birthday Pinata, is a highly capable Executive Officer in a very busy organisation. She made me smile as she went on to tell me that she had just had a day off work to be on a mothers’ food prep team for her sons Grade 12 Ice Cream Celebration. Her role was crushing Oreo biscuits with a rolling pin to create one of the many topping choices the students had to choose from.
She shared with me that she felt so good after the physical rolling pin activity.
Her sharing took me back to my over twenty years of playing rugby and judo and how good I felt after the major physical exertion. Even to yesterday after my walk of eleven kilometres over the rough terrain of Brisbane’s Mount Coot-tha where the experience of eustress left me physically tied, however, I was mentally, emotionally and energetically relaxed and calm.
Twenty years ago, we met a man whom, in hindsight, it would have been far better if we had not met. Our relationship in major property development ended in disaster. I knew that pent up stress after the event was still inside me and was holding me back. A wonderful very practical psychologist I knew said to me the we needed to do some work together so I could release the stored stress in my body.
As I had a history of loving and participating in contact sport, the first release tool she gave me was a very solid plastic baseball bat. My job was to pound as hard as I possibly could on a large bean bag in her room, for as long as I could. I lined up, and ‘whamo!!!’ I hammered the bean bag so hard that the solid bat shattered into several pieces. The practitioner was amazed as no one had ever broken a bat during this activity that she had clients engage in over many years.
If physical activity is a joy in your life, make sure that no matter how busy your schedule is, engage in physical activity that pushes your body so the eustress enhances your health and well being.
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