Whenever I work with people in my therapy room I always give them my Top 3 Tools to Help You Through Your Day. I firmly believe that anyone coming to see me, whatever their reason, can always benefit from having tools that can be incorporated into everyday life to reduce stress, anxiety and tension that can build up. I also want these tools be easy and discreet to add in. Otherwise who on earth would use them – not me! So certainly not you, or anyone else!!
Well, we live in a world where stresses and strains become commonplace in our daily lives. This builds up anxiety, stress and tension throughout our whole bodies. Having something as a way of releasing or counterbalancing these can be very effective and helpful.
My 3 top tools to reduce stress and anxiety in your daily life
When we are anxious or stressed, our breathing becomes shallow. We need to get it deeper down into our bodies, all the way down to our stomach. A breathing technique can help do that. Breathing deeply also creates a calming feeling by releasing endorphins and so reducing stress in the body.
We also tense up our bodies when we are stressed or anxious. We don’t always realise we are doing this, so having a way to actively and consciously relax the body is a great tool to have.
3. Feel Happy
I blogged a little while ago about the benefits of having a happy place. (I was delighted it got a mention in the Top Sante Magazine). However, it doesn’t have to be woo-hoo happy, it can be somewhere you feel peaceful or calm.
So, here’s a summary of how to do my Top 3 Tools to help you through your day.
Practice as often as possible every day, even when up, about and active if you can.
- Take a long breath in through your nose, then letting it all out through your mouth.
- Imagine breathing in a calming colour (any colour), breath out slowly.
- Imagine that calm inward breath going round your body.
- Think of a colour that represents any stress / tension / worry / anxiety.
- As you breathe out imagining the air is this colour.
- So, breathing in calmly, deeply, breathing out your tension.
Continue until you feel more calm or your breathing has slowed.
Set aside 10 minutes (or more) and find somewhere comfortable.
Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. Then think about relaxing, calming or resting each area of your body. Take your time working your way from head to toe (or toe to head if you prefer).
(If you really struggle, get someone to read this to you.)
- Think about top of your head. Imagine relaxing your head.
- Imagine relaxing or smoothing out your face.
- Move to your neck and shoulders (maybe shrug a little if necessary)
- Move down to your arms, one at a time or together
- Relaxing down to your hands and fingers
- Imagine relaxing your chest, back and stomach
- Move your attention to your legs, thighs, knees, ankles.
- Relax your feet and your toes.
Scan your body again and notice how different it feels.
Your Peaceful or Happy Place
Think of somewhere that makes you feel peaceful, happy, calm, safe (or some other positive feeling). This place can be real or imaginary! It doesn’t have to be in your house or nearby.
- Take 5 minutes or so to sit somewhere comfortable.
- Think of a place where you are completely relaxed, feeling happy or safe or calm
- Imagine it vividly – colours, sounds, textures, temperature, smells – everything.
- Notice how you feel in this place. Are you happy, calm or relaxed.
- Notice where, in your body, you feel these happy or calm feelings.
- Give this place a name or a title.
Regardless of where you are, whatever you are doing, practice thinking of or saying this name or title and notice those good feelings flowing around your mind and body.
If you’d like these tools in an e-book with a free audio too, pop your details in the box below.