Quick Destressors

PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION

The following are six easy ways for your friend to de-stress quickly at anytime and any  place!

  1. Remember that feeling tense is a physical sensation one can learn to control. Sure, your friend may have thoughts that are associated with feeling stressed and tense, but they can learn to change those thoughts and feel relaxed even when they do have them.
  2. Breathe from the abdomen, not the chest. Breathe slowly and evenly, and focus on one’s breath moving in and out. Yawn deeply to get and send oxygen throughout the body.
  3. Recommend them to close their eyes and picture a place they like where they feel happy, comfortable and relaxed. A warm beach…a cool forest…your favorite ski slope… What works for you?
  4. Drop the jaw. Then drop the shoulders. Gently roll the head from side to side several times. Keep picturing oneself in a place of comfort and relaxation.
  5. Stand up and stretch if possible. Sit up and stretch if not. If any stretching is just too publicly awkward, quietly tense-hold-release one’s muscles. Do that 3 times, holding for 10 seconds each time.
  6. Recommend that your friend follows this exercise: Return to the present and calmly move through your activity. As you do, think about your toes, fingers, and stomach. Make sure they are not flexed and tight, but rather loose and light. It's hard to hold muscle tension when your toes, fingers, and tummy are relaxed. Also try the palming method. Block out visual stimulation. Warm your palms by rubbing them against each other and gently place them over your eyes to block out any light. Breathe and enjoy the darkness.