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The Weird Technique A Holistic Psychiatrist Swears By To Relieve Anxiety

Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
By Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
Image by Sofie Delauw / Stocksy
March 24, 2022

Everyone reacts to stress differently, both mentally and physically. However, experts do have a bunch of general tips and tricks that can help your body and mind feel at ease quicker. If one stress-relieving hack doesn't work for you, you can rest assured that there's another technique to try just around the corner. 

And if you find more than a few that work for you? Add them all to the roster! Just like you might have a laundry list of ways to take care of your body, it's also important to have a few techniques in your back pocket whenever you're faced with a stressful situation. One tip holistic psychiatrist Ellen Vora, M.D., mentions on a recent episode of the mbg podcast is shaking your body to reset the nervous system. "I learned it over a decade ago," she says, and she has relied on it ever since. 

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Vora's shaking technique. 

It may sound strange to flop around whenever you're feeling stressed, but according to Vora, shaking your body is actually quite instinctual. "It approximates what we used to do as animals to discharge excess adrenaline and reset the nervous system," she says. "And it also seems to excavate stuck emotions." It's almost like a factory reset for your body, or what Vora calls a "control, alt, delete." For example, Vora notes, you might see a goose flapping its wings after getting into an altercation or a rabbit shaking after a stressful event. 

And yet, many of us don't do anything to manually release our stress like animals do. Without this nervous system "reboot," all of those stressors can accumulate in our bodies and make us feel uneasy. So by completing the stress cycle and releasing that pent-up energy, your body and mind can better move on, Vora explains. Below, find her go-to technique.  

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How to release stress in the body: 

  1. Sit or lie down on a comfortable surface. 
  2. Pull up any song you enjoy. If you're curious, here's what a neurologist listens to to relieve anxiety.
  3. Close your eyes. 
  4. Let your body relax, releasing any tension. 
  5. Shake your body around for at least 90 seconds, in whatever way feels best to you.  

This technique should be tailored to you and you alone: the song choice, whether you shake your body quickly or slowly, etc. You can always try out this trick the next time you encounter a stressful situation and tweak the method until you feel the most comfortable. 

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The takeaway. 

Stress is a universal part of life, but it's an individual experience. Everyone reacts to stress differently, but the important part is to find a way to reset the nervous system in order to ground yourself and get back to a more calm, balanced state of mind. Vora's shaking technique draws from animal instinct and intuitive movement, and it might just work for you, too. And if it doesn't? Well, this is just one of many ways to manage stress in the body. 

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Hannah Frye
Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.