Try "minis." Minis are shorter versions of the relaxation response technique that you can use quickly whenever you feel tension beginning to grip you. Taking the following actions will help to reduce stress if you don't have a lot of time:
Relax and breathe: the relaxation response
The relaxation response is a structured approach to using breathing and relaxation to counter the negative affects of stress. It is a deliberate and controlled technique that is opposite to the body's natural fight-or-flight stress response in the face of apparent danger or a perceived threatening situation. While the body's fight-or-flight mode causes an increase in the heart rate and breathing, the relaxation response reverses these bodily states.
When you find yourself feeling unnecessary stress, apply this simple technique to counteract the negative effects of stress on your body. To prepare, you will need:
To induce the relaxation response:
After using this technique, most people feel calm and relaxed, but perhaps the most important benefit is an immediate lowering of blood pressure. And the interruption of stressful and worried thoughts can enable you to focus more clearly on the real situation
The kites go up, the kites go down,
In and around, all over the town
The children run and jump and play,
Because they love a windy day.
The fascination and the festivities associated with the kite flying cuts across age groups. Although, As kite enthusiasts pitch themselves at the ground, waves of flying kites overwhelm an otherwise deep blue sky. On January 14, watch the sky change colors... like a rainbow in a glittering sun after the rain and bask in the glory of Uttarayan, when the skies of our Surat City give way to colorful kites.
“You can't fly a kite unless you go against the wind and have a weight to keep it from turning a somersault. The same with we all. No one will succeed unless he is ready to face and overcome difficulties and is prepared to assume responsibilities.”
A systematic approach
Each step in the Evaluate-Plan-Remediate approach functions as a stage that brings you closer to the mountain top.
You already have the means to change the pattern of escalating worry by using the power of your mind. The systematic Evaluate-Plan-Remediate approach allows you to examine the process of worry and break it down into smaller, more manageable problem-units that can be solved or resolved.
For example, suppose you receive a team e-mail from your supervisor about the agenda for an upcoming budget review meeting. In the past, you've always been asked to present the target revenues for your department, but you have yet to be asked this year. You feel a twist in your stomach, a sign that worry is creeping in. Your thoughts begin to speed up: "Why haven't I been asked? Did someone else get the assignment? Did I do a poor job last time? I must be an idiot! Am I being demoted or eased out?" Using the Evaluate-Plan-Remediate worry-intervention method, you can stop the worry as soon as you start to feel it taking over.
This simple sequence can replace that sense of panic with an immediate evaluation of the situation and a plan for necessary action. If you can make this process a habit every time you feel that twist in your stomach or twinge in your head, you'll turn your worry into action.
–Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.
The key to evaluating the cause of the worry is to confront it. Don't ignore those little signals your body is giving you. They won't go away until you face what causes them.
1. Name the problem. Just giving a name to a problem can help reduce stress because by identifying the specific problem, you've already eliminated all other possibilities. Naming makes things more manageable.
Discover the stress-creating pattern that describes your situation.
For example, do you:
2. Think constructively about the problem. This may seem like a difficult step, but all it takes is an honest examination of your own automatic worry process. It requires that you step back and watch yourself, in order to identify how your mind leaps from the bad news or perceived danger that triggers the worry to the "awfulizing" of the initial event. Take these steps, one by one:
Planning ahead can take time and seem to be a burden, but the value of planning is a more than adequate return on your time investment. Planning can intercept the toxic worry and replace it with effective action. Here are some steps you can take in advance:
Get the facts. Wise worry confronts real problems. Toxic worry exaggerates and misrepresents reality. Brooding about the "what-if" possibilities passively burns up your energy. So get active! Find out what the truth of the matter is. Go to the sources of information, and don't rely on hearsay, gossip, or your own vivid imagination.
Structure your life. Much worry results from unstructured living and thinking habits. A cluttered desk with files scattered about means wasted time finding the material you need and the risk of losing important information. In the same way, a mind cluttered with "what-if" possibilities can hide the "that-is" reality. Worried people typically spend more time and energy worrying than they do accomplishing productive tasks.
Structuring your life is being kind and considerate to yourself—organizing your desk helps you find things. And structuring your life reduces your risk of losing vital files, information, keys—as well as preventing you from losing perspective. Use structure as an anti-anxiety agent: lists, reminders, schedules, rules, and budgets are all methods of structuring your life for your own benefit.
Here are some ways to structure your space:
Here are some ways to structure your time:
The act of structuring can itself be difficult. If you find the idea of organizing a cause for new worry, then ask a friend or colleague—someone whose desk is neat and who is never late to a meeting—to give you a hand. Ask for help from more than one person—you may discover ideas and ways to structure your life that are actually easy and fun!
The next step is to find a remedy for toxic worry. Reason, planning, and action are powerful antidotes to the paralysis of stress and worry.
What does letting go mean? Letting go means giving up your sense of control, and this can be difficult to do. Often people feel that if they worry enough, they might affect the outcome. But in those cases and times when control doesn't help and worry only hurts, it's worth the effort to give up both worry and control.
How can you let worry go? Different people have different ways. Some find that meditation helps. Some listen to music or sing a song. Try putting your worry in the palm of your hand and blowing it away. Close your eyes and imagine the worry putting on its coat and hat and walking slowly out of the room. The important thing for you is to say good-bye to useless worry
Steps for quick stress reduction
After interfering with the automatic stress response, you should now be able to focus on the real problem without the distractions of exaggerated worries. Reflect on the causes of your worry and consider these questions:
The next step is to choose how to deal with the situation. Consider each available option, and then choose the one that best fulfills your goals. Ask yourself:
In a work overload situation, you might choose to do one of the following:
Once you've made your decision, then you can then act on it.
“Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do)”
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