Stress Management Tips
Do you find that you are spending far more energy attending to other people’s needs than to your own?
Perhaps you need effective strategies that will allow you to access extra reserves of patience while navigating trying times. Personally, I woke up recently and realized I had been neglecting my own self-care for too long. Stress was taking a toll on my mind and body. Once I got over my embarrassment about not walking my talk, I decided to gather my favorite self-help tips for practicing excellent self-care. Far from being selfish, healthy patterns of self-care allow us to be stronger, more effective and response-able in all areas of our lives. If you’re ready to feel better, I know you’ll appreciate my top stress management tips designed to empower your life:
Harness Your Breath
Anytime I realize I am tense, I check my breathing. Chances are good I have reverted to quick, shallow breaths in response to stress. My first step is to deepen my breaths and slow them down. Breathing in to a count of 7 and out to a count of 11 is very calming. I repeat this until I am more relaxed and ready to move forward with the tasks at hand.
Exercise Stress Away in Just One Minute
We all know that consistent exercise is one of the healthiest choices we can make. Just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week brings proven stress reducing benefits. On hectic days when I can’t find the time to work out, I rely on this 1 minute stress relieving exercise. Instead of trying to relax, do the opposite. Tense all the muscles in your body as tightly as possible. Hold that tension for 30 seconds, then let go to trigger a relaxation response.
Anchor a Positive Emotion
I love this tool from Neuro-Linguistic Programming that helps me access positive emotions anytime.
Remember a time when you were completely happy. Close your eyes, see that moment in your mind and step right into the event. Hear the sounds, feel your feelings, and notice the details from that event with all your senses. Right when you feel “filled up” in a very positive way,“anchor” the good feelings by firmly squeezing one of your earlobes with your thumb and forefinger. Do this each day for at least 5 days.
Afterward, you will be able to reach up, squeeze your earlobe during a stressful moment and feel better fast. I repeat this anchoring process regularly to maintain the effectiveness of the technique.
Want more? Stay tuned for Part Two tomorrow!
Thank you for the tips. I myself have been slacking on taking care of myself. I am on a journey of doing some things that are bigger than myself. Even when I have meaningful things you are doing that are large, I still have to take me time. A lot is going on this week. Last Friday I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (the honors society at my college), I was elected the President of the Student Body Government, and a labyrinth project I have been working on at school have all been blessed. Even though they are all great news, they still cause stress of “Oh shit, this is really happening,” this comes along with questions of myself like, “can I really do this, am I enough?”
Emails with things like this helps me realize, in order to continue this journey of doing my part to change the world, I need to realize that it is not failing that scares me, it is the power I have and what I CAN do that scares me. The only way I make sure I do what I need to for myself is to sign up for races (runs, triathlons, obstacle runs).
I even am scared that this comment I am posting is wrong or not right. The fear to be perfect is gripping. Yet I am human. I will make mistakes and it is okay as long as I learn the lesson and use that lesson to rise and continue to make progress.
Anyways, thank you for the reminder to breathe and accept embrace what I have made it through to get where I am at today. Have a fantastic day!
Continue to rise strong,
My dear Jonathan, it warms my heart to read your words. Thank you for showing up and writing in this way. I offer you two quotes that have bolstered my courage over the years when I wrestled with worthiness.
The first is from Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The second is from my mentor, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run With The Wolves. Upon emerging from a lengthy class together, she gazed at us and said we must all give up the notion of being unworthy. She said with great power and finality: “You ARE worthy. You were BORN worthy.”
Please feel free to write anytime, as I know you have an inner alchemist working diligently inside.