Do you feel stressed? You might feel as if you are “juggling many balls in the air” throughout each day: family, home, work, and relationships. You can feel you are running in circles even if you are sitting down. Wear and tear on your body, mind, and emotions can result in stress that continues to increase…
As we begin this New Year, many of us desire to approach life a little differently than before- but we don’t really know where to start. Sometimes it’s the simple, basic things that can help us the most. Here is a 6-step, 6-second relaxation tip from Robin S. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
1. Notice that you’re stressed – Some individuals may tense certain muscles, others may feel their heart beating faster, or others can become consumed with thinking about their stressful situation. Recognizing early on your personal reaction to stress is your red flag to continue with the next step.
2. Find a little humor in your circumstance – Humor is a great way to reduce stress. Some examples: You can imagine a funny hat or face paint on a person you feel is being difficult. You may find something silly about your situation. If this doesn’t work, you can think about something else that was humorous; a movie clip, a funny situation you were in earlier, or a hilarious joke. Whether you’re smiling inside or out, this can start to lower your stress level.
3. Breathe in deeply – Put your hands on your abdomen. Slowly and deeply breathe in through your nose and fill your diaphragm with air. Your abdomen (lower belly) will get bigger as you slowly breath in (your hands should rise with your abdomen). Feel the air enter your chest and going down toward your belly button. Be patient; this may take a little practice!
4. Begin exhaling – After slowly breathing in, start to slowly breathe out through your mouth. While you’re slowly breathing out, take note that your abdomen is slowly lowering.
5. Speak out a peaceful word or phrase – As you’re breathing out, say a peaceful word or phrase, such as “calm” or “peace.” If you already meditate, and have a mantra, you could use that too. If this doesn’t work, try using the word “one.” You can use a word or visualize something, as long as it relaxes you.
6. Pay attention to your muscles to make sure they’re less tense – If they’re still tense, try “shaking out” the tightness from that muscle.
This simple exercise can help you feel a little calmer and lower your stress level. If you feel stressed at any time throughout the day, you can use these relaxation tips, and as many times as you would like. As you first learn these 6 techniques, it may take you a little longer than 6 seconds; but you’ll soon get the hang of it and see that it really works!
For questions, information, and therapy on recognizing the many forms of stress, contact Monica Forsman, M.Ed., LAPC at Resilient Solutions, Inc., in Bountiful, Utah.
Monica can be reached at (801) 604-5040 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org