According to Denny Kercher‘s book, I’m Juggling as Fast as I Can: 80% of what we think about is either in the past or the future, and 80% ofThinking about this when you are “stressing out” is helpful to remember that it takes you out of living in the moment. Here are some other de-stressing techniques:
1. Take deep belly-to-chest-to-throat breaths. Think about your belly then chest then throat going in and out. Inhale to the count of six and exhale to the count of six; see if you can extend the exhale to the count of eight for deeper relaxation.
2. Let go of the outcome. There are many books and philosophies about this topic. It is very simple really. It is a lesson in control. Giving up control will actually help you to stop worrying and decrease your stress. But even as simple of a concept it is, it takes a lifelong and dedicated conscious effort to achieve.
3. Do you have an important presentation and get nervous before-hand? Enough that your heart beats very fast and your palms sweat? Try this trick to keep your heart from beating really fast: Close your eyes. Put very gentle pressure on your eyeballs with your fingers. Hold for one minute. This will work on your sympathetic nervous system to calm you down. Another way is to gently pinch the web of your hand, the fleshy spot between you thumb and first finger, and hold for one minute. Try this it works!
4. Take a walk. You already know the benefits of walking for your health, but even just walking around the block will help you clear your head and decrease your stress.
5. Stretch. I can't recommend this enough. It is very relaxing and there are stretches that can be done anywhere: In the car, on the airplane, at work, at home, standing in line, etc. When you are stressed, take notice if your shoulders are tight and do ten reverse shoulder rolls very slowly. Or bend your upper body slowly to the floor and hang. I know many stretches and would be more than happy to show you a few of them. Restorative or Yin yoga are great tools for understanding how to stretch correctly. Look for a class in your area or find a DVD that you like to do at home.
6. Write. Write. Write. If you are going over an event or conversation in your head over and over, you can really stress yourself out. Even if you don't resolve anything today, write it all down. This is personal for you, so get it all out. We prescribe daily journals when someone is cleansing with our Detox Restart ™ program. Journaling your thoughts can get you through the tougher times.
7. Eat good foods. Filling yourself up with nutritious, whole foods delivers the good stuff to all your cells. Filling yourself up with sugars, processed foods, bad fats, alcohol, caffeine, and just plain junk food causes your body to have inflammatory affect and unbalance to your system.
8. Hobbies? Don't have one? Get one. A great way to distract yourself is to actually distract yourself, especially if your hobby is creative. Stress and anxiety are part of the left cortex of the brain. Creativity takes place in the right half.
9. Make a list. If you are really overwhelmed, just write down all the things you have to do. Prioritize the important and urgent tasks. And don't forget to schedule yourself fun stuff too.
10. Live intentionally. In other words: Be conscious of who you are now, at this moment. Don't think about previous moments, even two minutes ago; don't think about tomorrow or the next day. You are here now. Reading this now. Any there is no better time than right now. This step is a lifelong process and not very simple, so don't stress out if it doesn't come naturally. There are teachers, mentors, and books about living meditation. I encourage you to investigate what's out there.