For over two thousand years people in Asia, and more recently in the Western world, have found great stress relief benefits from the ancient practice of tai chi. This venerable Chinese exercise system was originally meant to give warriors a better sense of balance on the battlefield, as well as better focus and endurance during the activity and stress of combat. Today tai chi is practiced throughout the world, not by soldiers, but by people wanting a gentle physical workout combined with a mentally relaxing regimen that melts away anxiety like the sun on an icicle.
Stress is an inevitable part of the modern world. Anxiety haunts the workplace, the home, even the ballpark and the soccer field. Rather than trying to escape it, the wise person will try to find ways to reverse its effects. Tai chi is an especially good way to do it. It can be done anywhere, at any time, and takes no special clothing or more than a few basic instructions. It is also a great socializing exercise, where groups of people meet in a park or gym to move in synchronization for their own peace of mind. There’s never any competition involved, and for the most part it is done in complete silence, so the brain can relax as the body moves automatically.
Tai chi has also been shown to deepen sleep patterns in the elderly, and to make breathing easier for those with pulmonary challenges. There’s probably a tai chi class beginning at your gym or community college right now — so why not look into it?