RELIEF FROM STRESS
Being able to manage and relieve stress in the moment is the key to staying balanced, focused, and in control, no matter what challenges you face. If you don’t know how to stay centered and in control of yourself, you will become overwhelmed in conflict situations and unable to respond in healthy ways.
There three common ways people respond when they’re overwhelmed by stress. Which one are you?
1. Foot on the gas. An angry or agitated stress response. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.
2. Foot on the brake. A withdrawn or depressed stress response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.
3. Foot on both gas and brake. A tense and frozen stress response. You “freeze” under pressure and can’t do anything. You look paralyzed, but under the surface you’re extremely agitated.
Stress interferes with the ability to resolve conflict by limiting your ability to:
· Accurately read another person's nonverbal communication.
· Hear what someone is really saying.
· Be aware of your own feelings.
· Be in touch with your deep-rooted needs.
· Communicate your needs clearly.
Is stress a problem or you?
You may be so used to being stressed that you're not even aware you are stressed. Stress may be a problem in your life if you identify with the following:
· You often feel tense or tight somewhere in your body.
· You're not aware of movement in your chest or stomach when you breathe.
· Conflict absorbs your time and attention.
Learn how to beat stress in the moment
The best way to rapidly and reliably relieve stress (if you don't have someone close at hand to talk to) is through the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. But each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing to you.
· Sight- If you’re a visual person, try to manage and relieve stress by surrounding yourself with soothing and uplifting images: a favorite photo, a peek out the window, a favorite color, close your eyes and imagine a favorite scene.
· Sound- Are you sensitive to sounds? A music lover? Try to manage stress and relieve stress by humming a favorite tune, listen to a soundtrack from nature like crashing waves, the wind rustling in the trees, the birds chirping, wind chimes.
· Smell - If you tend to zone out or freeze when stressed, surround yourself with smells that are energizing and invigorating. If you tend to become overly agitated under stress, look for scents that are comforting and calming. Light a scented candle, smell a beautiful flower.
· Touch - Experiment with your sense of touch, playing with different tactile sensations. Focus on things you can feel that are relaxing and renewing like: Wrap yourself in a warm blanket, pet a dog or cat, hold a comforting object, soak in a hot bath, give yourself a hand or neck massage.
· Taste - Slowly savoring a favorite treat can be very relaxing, but mindless stress eating will only add to your stress and your waistline. The key is to indulge your sense of taste mindfully and in moderation. Eat slowly, focusing on the feel of the food in your mouth and the taste on your tongue: You might chew a piece of sugarless gum, indulge in a small piece of dark chocolate, sip a cup of coffee, eat a perfectly ripe piece of fruit.