Hi friends –
Those of you who read Mondays with Motivo regularly know that I’m obsessed, like obsessed, with my Boston Terrier puppy, Lucy.
What’s that? You want to see a recent picture of her? Sure thing…
Here she is unapologetically stealing my heated blanket, as she does every. single. day.
Recently, I was googling about the body language of dogs. I’m trying to make sure Lucy has the best dog life possible, so I want to understand what she might be trying to tell me (like I said, obsessed). One of the things I learned is that when dogs shake their whole body, they are releasing stress.
Hold on to that bit of information cause I’ll come back to it in a second.
The other day, I was listening to this podcast interview between Brené Brown and authors, Emily and Amelia Nagoski. These twin sisters (one therapist, one choral conductor) recently released a book called Burnout: The Secret to Releasing the Stress Cycle.
Emily and Amelia did a deep dive into researching how women experience stress and burnout differently than men. The book takes a very science-based approach to teach readers how to “complete the biological stress cycle—and return the body to a state of relaxation.”
Their work stems from the understanding that stress lives in the body and needs an outlet in order to leave the body. I found it super interesting to understand stress on a deeper, more biological level.
I go on a run at the end of every day. I used to do it to “stay in shape” (whatever that means) but I currently eat far too much ham and pineapple pizza to call myself a health-nut. Now, I run solely to complete the stress cycle. It’s my body’s way of releasing the stress I’m holding and, thus, defending against burnout.
I run for the same reason Lucy shakes her cute little body after having a stressful encounter with a big dog. Both of us have a biological need to move the stress from within our bodies, to outside of it.
Emily and Amelia’s book offers many different recommendations for completing the stress cycle – including creative expression, breathing exercises, and, when it’s safe to do so again, social connection.
As therapists, it’s essential that we know how to move stress from within bodies to outside of it. How are you doing this? I’d love for you to reply here and share what’s working for you.
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