Learning to Combat Stress through Relaxation
By Alison Bennett, Atlantis Crystals
Stress is the result of an imbalance between the demands made on
us by our environment and the personal resources we have to deal
with these demands.
demands are not only caused by external events such as illness,
unemployment, work, relationships, change of routine etc but
also by the way we view these events - our attitudes and beliefs
We also have to consider our personal resources and the demands
being made on them which can be compared to a bank account. If
too many demands are made on the account, we go into the red and
become overdrawn. This is comparable to us being under stress.
normal circumstances, we cope with the everyday demands of life
such as the maintenance of our job and relationships, which can
be compared with the way our routine standing orders regularly
diminish our financial accounts.
It is only
when extra stresses or demands come along that we can tip over
into the red. Sometimes a crisis may be the result of a last
straw which tips the balance and we fall back into the red,
resulting in more stress.
Our internal resources and our typical demands upon them:
- the demands of everyday life, emotional, physical, social etc.
Our skills and experience -
how we adjust to new situations, work, unemployment, separation,
illness, marriage etc.
Our attitudes and beliefs -
our expectations about ourselves and others.
Our social support network Ė
The ability to talk to our friends, family, partner etc.
Our ability to relax Ė can
we switch off at night, making time for Ďmeí, meditation, yoga
How to Recognise Physical Symptoms of
Head: This juts forward,
chin tucked in, and if the positions are held for prolonged
periods, this can lead to head and neck pain.
Arms: Shoulders are hunched
upwards with the elbows bent and arms held into the body.
Hands: fingers and thumbs are
held tight in a fist or grasp an object, some people put
their hands in their pockets and constantly turn money over,
or play continually with a ring.
Face: Jaw clenched tightly,
teeth may grind especially at night, lips tightly closed,
the tongue held to the roof of the mouth, the brows are
corrugated and the eyes screw up.
Breathing: The breath is often
held in an inward gasp or the breathing rate can be
quickened, so that the upper chest moves rapidly up and
down, the emphasis is always on the inward breath.
How to Implement Relaxation Techniques
in Daily Situations:
These relaxation techniques have been given to help you relax in
a quiet safe place. It is more difficult to apply them in a
stressful situation; however, this is not impossible. Here are
some guidelines of how to cope in daily life:
know that you are going to be involved in a situation that
makes you tense and anxious, perform these relaxation
exercises before you go.
rush - take things slowly and calmly, donít walk too fast,
donít try and do too many things at once, give yourself
plenty of time to do things. If you canít get everything
done that you had hoped for, donít feel bad about it, just
reassure yourself that you did your best.
you start to feel tense, take some time out away from the
situation that is making you stressed. Sit or stand still
somewhere quiet and focus all your attention upon
contracting then relaxing each muscle in turn, starting with
your feet and working upwards. Do this until you feel calm
again, do not force yourself to go back until you are ready
to do so.
your breathing, any symptoms of dizziness, and any weakness
of the legs, sweating and nausea which can all be brought on
by rapid, shallow breathing. If you get any of these
sensations, then itís your breathing that you must control.
Just by being aware of it can help.
get palpitations then stop where you are and focus all your
attention on that sensation. Notice how your heart rate may
increase initially, but you will find that it will gradually
slow down. Also check your breathing.
you have been through a stressful time, donít forget to give
yourself time to unwind afterwards. Even if you feel that
you have coped with it very well, your body needs the
relaxation - so settle down for at least half an hour every
day and give yourself some quiet time just for you.
Symptoms of Being Under Immense Stress:
Anxiety is a state of fear. It is the over-reaction of the mind
in an effectual attempt to overcome a difficult environment.
Listed below are some of the symptoms you may experience when
under immense stress, either consciously or subconsciously.
Feelings of being unable to cope.
of interest in life.
constant and recurring fear of disease.
Difficulty in making decisions.
feeling of ugliness.
of the future.
inability to finish one task properly before starting
Feelings of having no-one with whom you can confide in.
How to Help Combat Stress:
Try to work no more than ten hours daily.
Have at least one and a half days away from work routine
Eat slowly and chew your food well.
Practice relaxation and/or meditation at least once a
week for no less than fifteen minutes each time.
Actively cultivate the habit of walking, talking and
moving at a slower place.
Plan one 'away from it all' holiday each year.
you are unhappy with work, take stock and look at the
choices (retraining, new areas of work).
Have a regular massage or join a class.
Concentrate on the present, avoid the tendency to dwell
on past events and future uncertainties.
Express your feelings openly and without antagonism or
Bennett is a naturally gifted Reiki Master, Teacher and
Spiritual Healer and regularly runs meditation workshops from
Atlantis Crystals business in
Milton Keynes UK.
The above information should not be treated as a substitute for the
medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care