Stress occurs when a situation or event (i.e.: a stressor) is perceived as threatening and provokes a stress-response.
(Image from the University of Chicago)
There are lots of relaxation techniques that can help you manage stress and help you improve your concentration, productivity, and overall well-being.
To get started:
- find a quiet, relaxing place where you can be alone for 10-20 minutes
- try to practice 1-2 time per day
- stick with a technique that works best for you
- keep trying even if you don’t notice a major change right away – it make take a few weeks.
As you read through each strategy, try it and see if it fits with you. List each technique on a cue card (or something you can slip into your pocket or purse). Write down just enough to help you remember the exercise. Try out 2 or 3 strategies several times each day. Do this for a week or for long enough to get a feeling for which ones seem most helpful to you – long enough to choose your own particular strategies then use the ones you select.
- Free yourself from mass media – turn off your internet and computer
- Reduce your consumption – give unneeded belongings away
- Take a walk to feel connected to your surroundings
- Practice slow food – cook at home and eat with others you care about
- Attend services or other activities of your church or religious organization
- Learn a new skill or craft
- Volunteer for a special event or on a regular basis
- Practice meditation, yoga or tai chi
- Carry a special object with you that reminds you of what’s important to you
- Keep a diary or journal
- Take a personal retreat or change your routine and give yourself a break from your responsibilities
- Spend some time alone