I have always been the anxious sort, which dates to the chaos of growing up in a household with two alcoholic parents.
I am 60 years old now, and still have a startle response which is too strong, and if I am not careful, I can drop into my old filters of "I must keep you at arms length, to keep safe" mindset.
So the key to stress management for me is too monitor my self-talk, and breathe deeply. That is how often stress management has to happen.
I also use my HeartMath imagery, and my AA tools, like the little phrase "Gratitude is the Attitude".
Over the years, I have learned that my brain and its perceptions and self-talk are automatic in some respects, and that I need to really make sure that my automatic thoughts and the physiology that follows is really what I want to feel now.
My automatic thoughts from childhood are usually about trying to stay alive in a chaotic environment, and since my parents are long gone, bless them, I no longer need to create fears about their behavior, but because of the way my amygdala works, those are the exact memories (and physiology) that get cued when I am worried or startled, so stress management counseling for me is about recognizing that pattern and switching the thought to switch the feeling.
That all happens in 1/18th second, and needs to be repeated frequently, or certainly as necessary.
When I am working with men, I often capture their attention with the book by Mantak Chia, titled "The Multi-Orgasmic Man."
When I hold that book up, I get all kinds of reactions, from amazement to disgust, which are confounded by the language I have to use to describe what Chia is talking about, like having orgasms without ejaculating. But I have their close attention.
So after I have their attention, I take them to Chapter Three and read the first three exercises from Chia's formula for multi-orgasmic men.
All three of those steps involve breathing techniques and attention to breathing.
No magic potions, no magic wands, just attention, deep breathing, and, believe it or not, belly laughing.
And then I may pull out my handy
emWave or heart rate variability training tool, and pass it around so that everyone gets a chance to see that they are constantly changing their internal physiology, and that they can train themselves to be in eustress rather than distress simply by breathing deeply and regularly.
And once the HeartMath training has taken effect, the HeartMath phsyiology can be cued by simply asking the heart, which has its own brain, and can learn and make decisions indenpendently of the cranial brain, to relax you, and your heart will do that no matter how many alligators you are in the midst of. You could do stress management literally heart beat by heart beat if you wanted, or certainly every five minutes for two heart beats which will not take your attention away from the task at hand.
Well, if you are typing, perhaps you need to double check the spelling of one word.
Deep breathing done regularly is another free and incredible stress counseling antidote.
Remember, none of these tools change the external world, only the internal, which is where the chemistry of stress exists.
In fact, I have a client who has trained himself to do deep regular breathing to dispell coughing from a thyroid condition. He cannot allow himself to remain in stress chemistry for long, and that means seconds, or he coughs painfully and strongly. Deep breathing is his antidote.
Watch the video demo.
Attention and Breath and Relaxation
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.