Denver Biofeedback ClinicAre you tuned into how you are coping with stress?

Do you feel like the signs of stress are all around you?

Whether you are aware or not, your body-particularly your subconscious mind is alert and anticipating danger around every turn!

Fortunately biofeedback training shows you how to manage stress with 5 little known elements.

How to Deal With Stress? Cooling Off Spells Danger!

In past articles, I shared how to tell if your inner three-year old is getting ready for fight/flight or freeze when dealing with stress.

In fact, cooling of the finger tips, the tip of the toes and nose is the sign that your subconscious mind is feeling fearful.

By becoming aware of coolness in your extremities, like the tips of your fingers, you can choose to positively direct your body at the first signs of stress.

To counter the negative effects of stress, direct your conscious mind and deliver reassurance, confirm safety and guide the body into an increase of blood flow and warming into the fingers and toes and nose.

Coping with Stress? Practice Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

There is a second way you can help your body manage its nervous system tension.

This one involves a sense of calming that uses a mindfulness based stress management technique that has to do with feeling PRESENT.

This relaxation technique guides your nervous system and asks you to manage your attention…in other words, be aware of where are you directing your attention.

During daily life most of us keep our attention directed away from body awareness and into keeping track of our surroundings and the demands of our day.

We “ditch”our bodies when we do this.

Our body is keenly aware of the sensation of attention…you’ve probably experienced this…

You know how you can feel when someone stares at you and probably even feel who it is that is staring at you?

Well, our bodies are wired to feel this attention.

We feel much calmer when our body feels our own attention.

Stress Management Technique: Get Centered!

When I think of stress management, I have always thought of it as our sub-conscious mind considering outwardly directed attention as a confirmation that we are looking for predators.

And the body (that senses that it is NOT feeling your attention) jumps into battle readiness!

So the next way to deal with stress here is to bring attention and awareness BACK to your body when you do your Brief Recovery Exercise (BRE).

I bet that some of you have tried Yoga or martial arts before.

In both of these they help you learn to sense your belly or your “core.”

This sensing of your belly is a great technique to get into the groove of bringing attention back to your body.

(And it’s a simple thing that you can do over and over through your day.)

Coping Strategies for Stress? Connect Your Mind and Belly

Stress management techniques include strengthening your mind and body connections.

Think of the belly area as your “center”

(When you think about it, you have about as much body from your core-just below your belly button…to your feet as from here to the top of your head.-That’s why it’s thought of as the center.)

Think of this as an area…like Buddha’s belly for instance.

When you bring your attention here you are now doing a lot of great things:

  • You are being present
  • You are in the moment
  • You are being here now
  • You are grounded
  • You are mindful

So naturally this practice of being centered is something you want to include in your practice.

When you are choosing to be centered, the attention of the mind is connecting to your body so your mind and body are in the same place.

Your subconscious mind and body will sense this centered feeling and feel calmer.

And the big benefit of this stress reduction technique is that your mind and body will not feel the need to launch into the type of battle readiness that comes with not being centered.

This feeling of NOT being centered is what we call anticipatory anxiety or external vigilance.

You may experience this feeling as an increase in the sweat response from your palms.

Biofeedback Training Brings It Home

Finally, biofeedback training shows you how to practice these stress management elements in your day to day life.

You can be centered while you walk or eat or speak to someone or drive or do your daily life.

You can essentially train yourself to be self-aware as you live life.

(I call this keeping one foot on home base.)

I also think of choosing to be centered as holding hands with your three year old…3 year-olds feel very calm when they know that you are with them and frightened when they don’t feel your hand in theirs.

Your attention is the key here.

So it’s simpler than you ever imagined…

  • BREATHE
  • CENTER
  • COMFORT YOUR SELF WITH YOUR QUIETING PHRASE IN YOUR CALM VOICE
  • LET TENSION MELT OUT OF YOUR MUSCLES
  • And last but not least, WARM YOUR FINGERS

Oh, and have a nice day!

-Jinny

Want to learn more about stress reduction?

Take the first step!

Click here for my Special Report: Biofeedback Training- Discover the Power of Your Mind to Control Your Body

Author: Jinny Joy LaRock, RN, BCB Sr. Fellow

Denver Biofeedback Clinic, Inc.