Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You: Stress Less... Stress-management technique 6


  • stress isn't all bad
    • it's what gives you the concentration and ability to finish a project or meeting a deadline
  • in periods of high stress, you need to have a plan that works for you
    • scrunch your face tightly for fifteen seconds, then release. Repeat several times. This repetitive contraction and relaxation helps release tension you're holding above the neck.
    • breathe in, lick your lips, then blow out slowly. The cool air helps you refocus and slow down.
    • cork it. Hold a wire cork vertically between your teeth. Putting a gentle bite on the cork forces your jaws - a major tension holder - to relax. (Don't fight stress by emptying the bottle of wine into your body first.)
  • anger has been shown to lead to a higher incidence of heart disease and other health problems
  • while you think that lashing out or hitting a pillow or punching bag helps you release tension, the opposite is true. It teaches you to develop a behavior pattern: Get mad, punch. Get mad, get even. Get mad, harbor stress until it eats away at you like ants on crumbs.
  • Use behavior and mental techniques that have been shown to reduce anger and anxiety, as well as chronic health problems associated with them
    • Do the opposite = "letting it rip" with anger actually escalates anger and aggression and does nothing to help you resolve the situation
      • the opposite of anger isn't to withdraw or lash out, but to develop empathy.
    • Find your pattern = keep thought records with no censorship of all the emotions you feel (and why) during the day
      • helps you identify and find a pattern in the core beliefs that are associated with your anger
    • Do push-ups = telling yourself to "stay calm" is one of the worst things you can do (second only to being told to "calm down"), because we're supposed to act out when we feel threatened and are angry
      • act out in a way that doesn't burn bridges, by doing push-ups or stretching or deep breathing. This dissipates the physiological burden of anger.
    • Choose smart words = be careful of words like never or always when talking about yourself or someone else
      • they serve to make you feel that your anger is justified and that there's no way to solve the problem
      • they alienate and humiliate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a solution
      • make sure you have realistic expectations
      • don't blame yourself for things that aren't under your control, with a string of woulds, coulds and shoulds

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