Often, I don’t sleep well. I wake up early in the morning, worried and anxious about the things I have to get done. I have digestive and back problems and still, I deny that I’m stressed.
I’m sure there are a lot of other people that ignore the signs of stress just like me. Unfortunately, ignoring these signs is not helping my situation so I’m trying a new strategy.
First, I’m working on admitting that I am in fact stressed. My psychologist says that denying your emotions can cause a lot of damage to your body.
Next, I’m giving meditation a try. I’ve tried meditation on and off for a year now and it has been a challenge. Taking just ten minutes a day to breathe in and out slowly sounds simple enough, but I seem to have a very hard time doing it. I always want to be busy doing things (most likely, the root of my problems!)
If you feel a little stressed at times (or a lot like me and you don’t know it), here are five tricks that can help you beat stress and keep your calm:
Using a meditation website or app like Headspace or Petit Bambou if you speak french, can really help you stay calm. Both apps offer the first ten sessions for free. I listen to the same ten over and over again on the bus, or on my ride to work to help keep calm.
When you feel overwhelmed, just imagine a Stop sign in your mind.
Do one of the activities on this poster to take a break. (If you don’t speak French, the illustrations will help you understand.)
Try this breathing technique from my guru, Dr. Weil :
Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. Exhale through your mouth and around your tongue. Try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
- Do something you really like to do. Whatever it is, it will keep you calm. Unfortunately, drinking wine does not count of course!