When stress rears its ugly head, the best thing you can do is address it immediately. The sooner you become aware that you are being stressed – and take action on that awareness – the faster you can escape its clutches.
Many of us are so used to stress that we don’t notice when stressors are attacking us. We walk around oblivious to the many small things stressing us and let the stress build… and build… and build. Finally, we explode. Or, perhaps, we have a sickening feeling in the pit of our stomach. Or, maybe, it’s a pounding headache. Or, maybe, we are shaking all over from an adrenaline reaction.
None of that has to happen if we can learn to recognize the stress early on and deal with it right away.
Teaching you to recognize the stress when it first starts is a bigger task than we have room for in this guide. However, I can share with you some things you can do to deal with it as soon as you do recognize it.
Here are a few quick, short-term stress-reduction techniques.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and its newest variant Positive EFT is a wonderful tool for removing stress. It is designed to be self-administered and is easy to learn. One round of EFT only takes a couple of minutes and can be very effective. It has decades of history and proven success. Further information on Positive EFT can be found at http://www.johnjsimmons.com/PositiveEFT.html
5 Minute Vacation
Take a five minute vacation in your mind. Close your eyes (if circumstances allow it) and go in your imagination to your favorite vacation spot. Perhaps it is a mountain retreat, or a favorite beach, or pampering in a spa. Or maybe it is something totally different. It doesn’t matter, just as long as it is YOUR favorite. Create it/re-create it in your mind. Enjoy it. When you come back you will find yourself more refreshed and less stressed.
Focus on the Now (Mindfulness)
When you focus on the Now (placing your attention on the immediate sensations and activities that are occurring) you disengage your mind from worrying about the future as well as recriminations of the past. Your mind cannot be engaged in multiple things at once. (I know it sometimes seems like your mind is hopping from one thing to another — and that is what it is doing – bouncing around. That is not the same as thinking multiple things at once.) By focusing on the Now you force your mind out of the stressful thoughts.
Take 3 slow, deep breaths, slowly counting from 1 to 3 as you breathe in and from 3 to 1 as you breathe out. As you inhale, make sure you’re breathing down into the bottom of your lungs. The way you can tell that? If you’re breathing to the bottom of your lungs your abdomen will stick out as you inhale and collapse as you breathe out. (This is sometimes called “abdominal breathing”.) This is a sneaky tip because you are also Focusing on the Now (previous tip) by carefully counting and paying attention to your breathing. So, in a sense, you are doing two tips at once.
Can’t wait until the book comes out? Select people are getting a chance to get the information ahead of time (by working with me.) Simply contact me and we can set up a time to talk. We’ll discover if it makes sense for us to work together. And, who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next one to achieve Nirvana (or at least a little bit of Bliss.)
Have a favorite among these? Or maybe you have your own pet technique. Either way, share it with us (use the comments box). We’d love to hear about it.