In my last article I shared some mistakes that you can avoid as you apply your tools for ways to cope with stress.
Here’s a good stress relief exercise to help bring some of this into focus for you:
Start by getting comfortable and set aside about 5 minutes for this relaxation technique:
Tips to Reduce Stress
First, calm you self down…
- Begin taking those slow belly breaths with a nice long exhale
- Shift the sound of your inner voice to that calming one and say your quieting phrase a few times ( the one we covered in a previous article)
- Relax all your muscles; especially let your jaw and shoulders drop.
Coping With Stress? See It. Hear It. Touch It
NOW, begin to visualize going into your home…
- Picture yourself walking into the kitchen…up to the refrigerator.
- Hear the sound as you open the door to the refrigerator and look in your mind’s eye and visualize or imagine that you see half of a lemon in the refrigerator.
- Now take that half of lemon from the refrigerator and move it to your mouth and bite into the lemon.
Most of us will notice the mouth watering or even the taste of lemon.
Well, there is NO LEMON….your mind did it and your subconscious mind bought it!!!!
Causes of Stress? Get Real With Your Subconscious
Wondering what visualization has to do with the causes of stress in your life?
And that child’s mind often sees, hears and feels danger more often that you would imagine!
I hate to say it, but that is who is in charge of handling stress in our lives unless we do something to change that.
How did you do on the visualization?
Think about how often you use your imagination of things that are stressful…well, what do you suppose your subconscious mind is telling your body to do?
Your subconscious and with that your body reacts AS IF what you are thinking is real even over what is really happening.
Why Visualization Works
This is the “mouth-watering” reason why visualization is such a big deal…high performance athletes do visualization; and as we know, visualization can be used to help with healing.
It taps into how we are made.
It connects with the causes of stress.
Think about it…
What happens when we are anxious about something like giving a talk in front of strangers or if you are fearful of flying and we think about it over and over because it scares us?
We see it over and over in our mind and we are letting our bodies feel stressed…actually teaching or coaching our bodies to react to that situation as if there is danger…we are CREATING a response pattern.
And the way we are CHOOSING (choosing because now we are aware of what we are doing and can do it differently) how we deal with that particular stress and this stress response becomes an unhealthy habit.
Biofeedback Training Conditions the Mind and Body
It comes down to this:
We are TEACHING ourselves how to deal with stress every day.
Our subconscious mind is connecting the thought to a fear response…the breath reflects this, the tone of our mind reflects this and our muscles reflect this tension…when we allow it, we are setting it into a patterned response of habit.
This is a form of conditioning for us to then experience either a positive or negative effect of stress in how we respond to a situation.
But there is good news!
When we are calm and we think about something, we are setting up the good response habit.
TEACH the 3-Year Old How to React
Here’s a BIG rule to remember in body-mind integration and stress management:
Pay attention to what you are imagining because there is a 3 year old that is listening to EVERY thought or picture and that 3 year old runs your body.
That 3 year old also runs your emotions by the way and your creativity and thinks what you are imagining is HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!
(And that 3 year old learns from repetition….get it?)
Knowing this, you now know that you can’t just think whatever you want and think you can get away with it. LISTEN IN.
A 3 year old is listening.
Want to know how to how to lower stress?
- Stay aware of your mind.
More and more to come…Keep on course and I’ll see you on the next blog!
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