03.06.2013

Anxiety Reducer #3

Welcome to part three of the four part series on anxiety (click here and here for parts 1 & 2). This post has a special place for me because it is an area that I continually try to incorporate in my life, and is often one of the more difficult ones. I am talking about RELAXATION SKILLS. In theory I LOVE them! In practice, they can often be difficult to remember to practice on a daily basis. Yet recently I made a commitment to myself to spend at least 5 minutes a day incorporating these skills into my daily routine (this could be while I am driving, working out, or cooking dinner). Low and behold, I have actually felt less anxious.

These skills can be easily woven into your daily lives. In full disclosure, I recently had a situation in which I new I  would be anxious. On the way there, I practiced my deep breathing and muscle relaxation skills and felt much more centered and prepared. Below I will highlight three relaxation skills: Deep Breathing, Guided Imagery, and Mindfulness Meditation. If you would like further information on relaxation skills click here.

deep breathing{I love deep breathing because it is so simple. You can practice it anywhere and it really does provide a quick stress relief in a stressful situation.}

imagery{I have so many peaceful places in my mind (this is actually a picture I took in Hawaii), that this one typically works for me when I am somewhere I really don’t want to be…. the dentist office, getting blood drawn, the DMV… just to name a few.}

mindfulness{The concept of mindfulness entails the ability to be aware of your moment-to-moment experiences. It asks that an individual suspend judgment of themselves and their past. You can utilize mindfulness while eating, exercising, and engaging in other mediation forms (i.e. yoga, muscle relaxation, etc). When you are present in the current moment, you are able to focus on what is going on around you, both internally and externally. It helps one to become more aware of their current experiences, and can often minimize knee jerk reactions to certain emotionally charged situations. I had finished writing this post when I went to work and was presented with some information on mindfulness. I came back to this post and edited it to incorporate some of this new information. Specifically, the way you can incorporate mindfulness into your daily practice. When you encounter a situation that often brings about strong emotions (i.e. anger, sadness, frustration) first STOP and become aware of the feeling you are having. Then practice the DEEP BREATHING skills mentioned earlier to allow for a calmer disposition. Next, reflect on the situation. Ask yourself what you can do to best manage the situation at hand. Is this an opportunity to choose a new, more functional pattern of behavior? Then CHOOSE your reaction and be aware of the reaction you are choosing (source- www.mindfulness center.org).}

I know this was long, but I hope it helps!! Essentially, relaxation skills, when incorporated into your daily routine, can help manage everyday stress and worries. It can help you feel more centered and able to manage the other challenges of the day… because they are always out there, we just have to CHOOSE how to BEST handle them.

Happy relaxation!!!

<3 Shannon

Comments

  1. Terri says:

    I love this idea. Thank you.

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  1. […] last in the four part series on combating anxiety (click here, here, & here for parts 1, 2, & 3) focuses on one of my favorites: Self-care. If you think about a time in […]