We welcome back guest blogger Brian Westman! See his contact information below.
Sometimes you probably wish that you could start your day over again. So, what if you learned that you had your own internal version of a reset button?
Every day, it seems as if we are bombarded with all sorts of stressful events. Going to work, cleaning the house, and paying the bills are just a few of the many constant happenings that fall within the range of our own personal “hectic scale”. The good news is that stress is a necessary and important function of life. It serves as a personal motivating factor so that we can get things done. Unfortunately, the bad news is that excessive stress can lead to all sorts of unhealthy chronic conditions.
This brings to mind a client that I saw a few years ago. Her constantly restless leg would not allow her to fall asleep without tossing and turning for at least a few hours every night. After finally falling asleep, she would always reawaken a few hours later with the same restless, twitching leg. She suffered with it for several months at a time, often triggered by stressful events at her job. She would trudge through her days in a mental fog getting progressively more and more tired. While working with her for a few sessions, her leg calmed, the twitching stopped and she was able to get a full night rest.
I tell this story because in my last blog, I mentioned that I would explain a simple technique that you can perform whenever you are in need of hitting your “internal reset button”, and the client had mentioned to me that this technique helped her immensely while dealing with stress at her job, eventually causing her condition to cease. It is important for me to say that you should never attempt to do this while operating a motor vehicle.
The technique is so simple, that it only takes about three to five minutes and anyone can do it! I call it the “5 to 1 count down”.
So here it is: Go to a comfortable, quiet place where you can be alone and turn your cell phone off and make sure that you won’t be distracted. Sit, or lie down and close your eyes. Begin by focusing on your breathing. Breathe into your abdomen rather than into your chest, so that your abdomen moves in and out as you inhale and exhale. Doing this usually has a natural calming effect and your mind will begin to hone in.
After approximately a minute, at the top of your next breath say the number “5” in your mind. As you exhale, feel stress leaving your body. Consciously release tension in every muscle and fiber. Make sure to take mental note as to how this feels. At the beginning of your next breath, say the number “4”. Exhale and consciously relax your body twice as much as you did on your previous breath so that you double the amount of relaxation that you had on your previous exhale. As you count down to 1, progressively relax yourself twice as much as you had on the previous breath so that by the time you reach 1, you are significantly and dramatically more relaxed and refocused.
This is an exercise that can be performed several times a day, depending on when it is needed. Remember not to try to too hard. Relax and let it happen. Stay tuned for more techniques in the coming weeks! Please feel free to contact with comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.