In the last blog post we looked at how harmful our stress response can be to us (very harmful!). So let’s look at the Top 3 Anti-Stress Techniques.
Straight in at Number 3…
What are you stressing about?
Make a list. Everyone’s list is different. Something that stresses one person, might excite and motivate another. Like have to get up and talk in front of a group of people.
Once you have your list, here’s a question – can you get rid of this cause of your stress? Can you say no to the speaking engagement? It might not be easy, but we sometimes we can nip this thing in the bud, and just get rid of the cause. If you can’t get rid of it, try writing an action plan to deal with this source of stress. Even if you can’t eliminate the cause, it’s likely that there will be things you can do to help. For example, if you’re worried about money and paying the bills, face the beast, and write down what you can manage and a plan for dealing with the rest.
We often feel stressed when we can’t control things – so seeing that you can act in some way often reduces our feeling of stress around that thing.
Okay, Number 2.
So, whatever you’re doing with the source of stress, it’s now worth working on our response to that source of stress. And you’ll probably know about this technique, but it’s unlikely that you use it in as powerful way as it can be used. When we’re stressed, as well as the myriad things that happen in our body, and the myriad physiological changes we experience, our breathing changes, usually without us noticing it. In fact, we very rarely notice our breathing, or attempt to change our breathing. Unless your asthmatic or have climbed a mountain.
But our breathing is one of the automatic functions of our body that we can easily change. We can slow our breathing down, for example, in a way that we can’t so easily do with our heart-rate… or our production of adrenaline. So changing your breathing becomes a very powerful relaxation technique when we’re stressed. Most people would suggest that we slow and deepen our breathing to relax. And that’s true, as our breathing is likely to quicken and become more shallow when we’re stressed.
But try this for amplified results – play mainly with the outbreath. In fact, double the length of the outbreath – so breath in deeply… then breathe out in twice the time that you’ve breathed in. Have a go now. Breathe in. And breathe out, in twice the time. Nice.
Okay, we have a new entry at Number 1 –
So we’re going to give you a very big shortcut here… A very good way of accessing lots of relaxation techniques in one go.
Imitate a relaxed person.
Yes, imagine someone you know who’s naturally very relaxed. Or maybe you prefer to picture yourself at your most relaxed. You could even picture someone famous who’s relaxed and laid-back – George Clooney for example.
Now, in your mind’s eye, notice what they’re like, notice how they look, notice how they move, notice how they speak, notice how they breathe. And picture yourself acting like that.
You can take as long as you want to do this.
And it is VERY POWERFUL, so do spend some time doing it.
The truth is that, if we can successfully imitate a relaxed person, or ourselves when we’re relaxed, then we soon BECOME like that relaxed person.
In this case, it’s great to imitate.
Imitate a relaxed person. Or a frog if you prefer.
That’s it. Do try out these anti-stress techniques –
Do get used to using them.
Remember how important this is – after the last email – how harmful stress is for us.
And in the next email, we’re going to be sharing the very best way to sort stress in your life. Yes, it’s even higher that these Top 3 Anti-stress techniques.
Until next time, breathe… and relax.