With the Holidays upon us, stress is a major factor for a lot of us. Here are some techniques and tools to do that will help anyone cope with stress.
A Simple 10-minute distress plan
It’s hard to avoid stress in life, but you only need 10 minutes to shrug off the worst of the effects, whether you’re at home, or work. Most of our stress comes from not taking enough time for ourselves and or what we truly care about.
Stress is hard to avoid in this fast-moving pace we live in, but there are ways to deal with it. One of the most important rules is to make sure you don’t let small stresses build up into something much more serious. Always ensure that you take a 10-minute break between one stressful task to the next-at home, work, or even in your spare time. This will give your mind and body a chance to unwind before you launch into the next potential stress build-up.
Preparing to distress
Before you start your distress, find a suitable area and try to distract your mind from the stresses around you.
If you can, go outside and find a quiet spot in the fresh air. If you can’t, just opening a window will make a difference, even on a bus or train.
Flowers with strong scents such as geranium and lavender are good for easing anxiety; place a potted plant on your desk or windowsill and let the breeze from outside waft its scent around the room. A few drops of oil on a tissue helps you to breathe in the scent and relax.
Listen to soothing and melodic music-through headphones is fine, or just imagine it in your mind. The gentle sounds of the sea or harmonious instrumental music with few words is best.
- Gentle breathing (1 minute). Sit comfortably on a chair, with your back straight and both feet are on the ground. If you can’t sit down, stand straight as possible without slouching or leaning against anything. Close eyes and focus on your breathing. Try to let thoughts pass by, rather than pondering on them or daydreaming.
- Tense and relax (4 minutes). Make a fit with your right hand and tense all the muscles in your forearm. Hold the tension for 5 seconds and then relax your muscles for 10 seconds. Now do the same thing for each part of your part of your body. Tighten each group of muscles, hold the tension, and relax fully.
- Visualize (3 minutes). Next, try to recall a place or time where you felt content and relaxed. Use your imagination to reconstruct the place and how you felt when you were there. It might have been a beach vacation or mountains where you were hiking. Let yourself become totally immersed in the scene.
- Let go (1 minute). Once your mind and body are completely relaxed, let go of your stress. Visualize a stream of light or energy pouring through your body and washing away your stress, or imagine the stress leaving your body with each breath out. Picture yourself getting through the rest of your day without stress and trying to anticipate any potential difficult situations. Thinking about how you can get through them calmly will help you to put this into practice.
- Stretch (1 minute). Keep your eyes closed and breathe in and out deeply. Enjoy the feeling of relaxation and rest. Move your fingers and toes playfully. Then breathe in and stretch your arms up over your head. Stretch your legs out in front of you. Now open your eyes.
*****The more you practice this plan, the better. You should be surprised at how relaxed and confident you start to feel, and how the challenging parts of your life no longer feel nearly so daunting and stressful.