Do you deal with stress in a healthy way?
Think about the last couple times you felt overwhelming stress. . . how did you cope?
Eat? Exercise? Throw something at the wall? Vent to the dog?
When I teach clients stress management skills, the first technique is always "Deep Breathing."
It is amazing how quickly stress can melt away from a client when they let go and breathe.
Here are some steps to help you learn this skill:
1. Sit comfortably in your chair.
2. Focus on your breathing - deep, slow breaths.
3. Bring "calm, refreshing" air in, and breath "tension and stress" out.
4. Take about 5 of those relaxing breaths in while pushing negative air out.
(Don't rush. This is a relaxation exercise.)
5. Imagine that calming air filling your body.
First your lungs, then your whole chest, your shoulders, your head, your arms and your legs. Notice any areas of tension in your body that the calming air struggles to fill. Imagine that the calming air overcomes tense spots, until your whole body is full of relaxation, and all the stress has been exhaled out of your body.
As you practice deep breathing, you should find yourself better able to cope with stress.
Most of my clients feel a sense of peace and comfort after this exercise, and they report a higher motivation to conquer whatever problems they were facing. I hope you find the same results!
Labels: Emotional Health