Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Innovative Stress Busters

Try something totally different without inhibitions. After all it’s your life.

Here are some unique methods.

1. Yell! But---be sure you are alone. The best place is in the car with the windows up. Stuck in traffic? Try it.

2. Sing. This is close to the first one. Lots of people swear by the power of music to release tension and stress. Sing wherever you feel comfortable. It doesn’t matter what. Just have some fun with it. Try dancing, small movements’ maybe or wild ones, whatever works for you. Why not, it works.

3. Do something soothing. Start or try an activity like knitting, crochet, pottery making. Don’t worry about being good at it. It’s the process that’s beneficial. Sitting still while performing repetitive movements is calming and stabilizing for many people. It helps to collect your thoughts. It’s your “me” time.

4. Start a garden. Even apartment-dwellers can do this. Inside in pots, pots on the patio, pots, a small spot in your yard. There is a little work to setting it up. Tending plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers and watching them grow, bloom, or yield food is rewarding. Avid gardeners say working a garden is the best way to control stress and worry. An added benefit is the creation of a more beautiful, restful environment.

5. Play with a dog or cat. Experts say Pet owners live longer and have fewer stress symptoms than non-pet owners. Playing with your pet provides good vibrations. It’s a form of social interaction with no pressure to meet anyone’s expectations!

6. Gaze at the stars. Preferably in a still, dark, and quiet area, sit back and observe the heavens. The vastness of space is awesome. This way can make a lot of problems seem very small.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Meditation and mindfulness are great when you have enough control over your time to enjoy them. But what happens when a crisis requires immediate action?

Here is a six-step program of Instant Calming Sequence that minimizes the negative effects of stress the moment the body begins to feel stressed.

Step 1: Practice uninterrupted breathing. When stress strikes, immediately focus on your breath and continue breathing smoothly, deeply and evenly.

Step 2: Put on a positive face. Smile a grin that you can feel in the corners of your eyes. The conventional wisdom is that happiness triggers smiling but recent studies suggest that this process is a two-way street. Smiling can contribute to feelings of happiness, and in a stressful situation, it can help keep you calm. Try this simple test: Smile a broad grin right now and see if you feel better.

Step 3: Balance your posture. People under stress often look hunched-over.

Maintaining good posture works like smiling. Physical balance contributes to emotional balance. Keep your head up, chin in, chest high, pelvis and hips level, back comfortably straight and abdomen free of tension. Imagine a thread lifting your body from a point at the center of the top of your head.

Step 4: Bathe in a wave of relaxation. Consciously sweep a wave of relaxation through your body. Imagine you're standing under a waterfall that washes away all your tension.

Step 5: Acknowledge reality. Face your causes of stresses head-on. Don't try to deny it or wish that it hadn't happened. Think: "This is real. I can handle it. I'm finding the best possible way to cope right now."

Step 6: Reassert control. Instead of fretting about how the stressor has robbed you of control, focus on what you can control and take appropriate action. Also, think clear-headed, honest thoughts instead of distorted ones.

Quick Relaxation Techniques

The relaxation response technique consists of the silent repetition of a word, sound, or phrase while sitting quietly with eyes closed for 10 to 20 minutes. This should be done in a quiet place free of distractions. Sitting is preferred to lying down in order to avoid falling asleep. Relax your muscles starting with the feet and progressing up to your face. Breathe though your nose in a free and natural way.

You can choose any word or phrase you like. You can use a sound such as "om," a word such as "one" or "peace," or a word with special meaning to you. Intruding worries or thoughts should be ignored or dismissed to the best of your ability by focusing on the repetition. It's OK to open your eyes to look at a clock while you are practicing, but do not set an alarm. When you have finished, remain seated, first with your eyes closed and then with your eyes open, and gradually allow your thoughts to return to everyday reality.

The technique requires some practice and may be difficult at first, but over time almost anyone can learn to achieve the desired state of relaxation. I would recommend practicing the technique once or twice a day. Please do not practice the relaxation response within two hours after eating a meal because the digestive process may interfere with it.

Journey Within

The least explored area by humans is their own self. Self awareness is the first step in knowing what you are all about. Meditation is the first step towards self awareness. The journey ends with life and is as thrilling as any adventure you might have embarked upon. You will discover life as you have never imagined. This is a journey without any baggage from past or the future. It begins and happens right here , right now in this present moment. All eternity exists in this present moment of yours. May you find it now.