The first step in successful stress relief is deciding to make a change in how you manage stress.
It doesn’t matter which relaxation technique you choose. What matters is that you select a technique that works for you and that you practice achieving relaxation regularly. Here are a few ideas that may work for you:
BREATHE.. BREATHE DEEPLY:
Sit in the most comfortable position that you can find. Uncross your legs so that you have good circulation. place your hands palm side up and close your eyes. Now breathe in through your nose.. as deeply as your can and hold the breath. Hold until it is slightly uncomfortable then breathe out through your mouth.. pushing the air out.. as completely as you can to empty your lungs. Repeat until you feel the stress subsiding.
Identify a smell that is relaxing to you… lavender, vanilla, ocean breeze, pine trees etc. A good place to go experiment is Bath and Body or a candle store. Even a trip down the air freshener aisle at the grocery store can help. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply and then analyze how that smell makes you feel. You are looking for something that makes you feel calm. Often combination smells are best.. like a lavender/mint or a lavender/vanilla. When you find your scent use it in your life… light a candle with that fragrance when you get home at night, light one 15 minutes before talking a bath in the bathroom, light one in your room prior to going to sleep to help you relax from the stress of the day and sleep. Use a hand lotion of your scent then put your hands up to your face, close your eyes and inhale deeply 5-6 times until you feel the stress slipping away. Get an air fresher for your car in your scent to help ease the stress of the rush hour.
Is there a relaxing place for you…. a mountain meadow, a stream, the beach, a winding path, a lake? Find a picture of your idea relaxing place. Google images are perfect for this search. Find it and print it out for your desk at work or small enough to put in your wallet. When you feel the stress take a “mini vacation” by imagining yourself there. Imagine the sounds, the smells, the feel of the sand between your toes or the wind on your face. Breathe deeply and imagine until you feel the stress subsiding.
Do you have a favorite sound.. the ocean tide, the sounds of water in a stream, the sounds of nature, rain hitting the roof. Find a relaxing sounds that soothes you. You may find one here…
When you find it.. down load it to your computer or your phone so that it is always with you. When the stress is building.. put in your ear buds and listen with your eyes closed and breathing deeply. Usually 10 minutes of this will de-escalate the stress.
Sometimes the best stress relief is to wrap yourself up in a comfortable blanket.. look for the softest blanket you can find. Put it you to your cheek to test it out. There is soothing and stress relief to cocoon yourself in the softness of a blanket. Lay down in a comfortable chair or couch, close your eyes and breathe deeply until the stress subsides. Some people are soothed by squeezing a stress ball to distract their mind, with their eyes closed while breathing deeply. Some are soothed by stroking a small stone in a circular pattern with their eyes closed and breathing deeply.
The goal is to identify several things that can soothe you when you are feeling the stress mounting. However if stress is your daily walk in life, set your phone alarm for every 2 hrs during the day and spend 5 minutes relaxing and bringng your stress level down. Many people need to be proactive about their stress in order to keep it in check instead of waiting for a stress signal to act.
What ever your stress relief technique.. make it portable and with you at all times so it is available to you when needed.