Did you know that shaking your body may help to heal stress and trauma? Although it may seem as though shaking would have the opposite effect, according to Adair Finucane, LMSW “[Shaking] is a release for the body, a release for the nervous system. You are literally shaking off the dust of stress, trauma, and anything your body would prefer to not hold on to.”
In fact, shaking is such an primordial stress management tool that it is a mechanism we see demonstrated in the animal kingdom. It’s an easy way to get your body moving. Also, shaking can help with body awareness as it consciously brings awareness to your limbs as you move. (See our blog post “Body Awareness” for more info on body awareness.)
How do you shake to relieve stress, you may ask? Although there is not one clear right answer, you can start by:
- Choosing whether you would like to stand or sit down
- Start shaking your limbs, one at a time, keeping aware of how this feels and its effect on your body awareness
- As you continue to shake, focus on your breath, and make sure that it is relatively long and relaxed
Notice how this practice feels on your body, and its impact on your body awareness and stress level. If it feels good, consider making it a part of your self-care routine. You can read more about shaking here.