Friday, February 1, 2013


Before the weekend starts I want to share with you three stress reduction techniques.

Stress often begins in the mind, meaning our thoughts determine a great level of worldly strain.  So here are some stress reduction techniques that begin in the mind, and end with a less stressed life a.k.a. destressing yourself.

Stress reduction technique #1 is releasing worry... 

Before you begin your weekend, find a quiet place where you can be uninterrupted for about 5 to 10 minutes.  

Sit quietly in an upright position, inhale through your nose, filling your lungs with air like balloons, feel yourself relax, and then exhale out through your mouth, imagining all of the tension you have being released through your mouth with your exhale.  Do this three times, slowly.  Too much deep breathing can cause hyperventilation.  

Next, think of the thing that worries you the most.  Notice if you can feel that worry, then inhale, fill your lungs, relax, next just as you exhaled the tension out of your mouth, exhale the worry out of your mouth, and imagine it being carried away by the wind.  

This technique is great when you have stress at work, you just want to let it all go, and be able to enjoy your weekend.

Now that you have practiced this, whenever you think about your worry, fill your lungs with air, feel yourself relax, and exhale the worry out of your mouth imagining it being carried away by the wind.  

Stress reduction technique #2 is complimenting yourself and others...

Often when we notice things around us we tend to think something is good or bad, kind of like a judgement.  Judgments are a very regular part of our thought process because it is a survival mechanism.  We judge things to determine if they will help us or hurt us.  

As we are judging we tend to criticize or compliment.  This is a great indicator of the mood of our mind.  

When we compliment we are focusing on what is good, which in turn makes us feel better.  Part of destressing is feeling better.  When we criticize, we are focusing on what is wrong, which tends to feel not so good.  It is my humble opinion, which is based on education, experience, and evidence that focusing on the negative is a BIG part of depression.  

What I am proposing, in order to feel better and reduce stress, is to intentionally compliment yourself and others this weekend.  And, just notice when you are going to judge something as bad, or criticize, stop yourself, look for the good, and compliment.

A very good phrase to say and make catchy for this behavior is, "That is amazing!"  Or, "You are amazing!"  Which is true.  

Stress reduction technique #3 is encouraging yourself and others...

Part of what activates stress is doubt, fear, and worry, which often displays itself by thinking about the worst thing that can happen in situations.  

Thinking about the worst outcome is very discouraging.  For example, when someone says, "Be careful doing that or this (fill in the blank with something bad) will happen."  

People do it all the time.  In fact, I know many people who do it, and it is disheartening.  

This is part of the reason I am not on Face Book anymore because of all the fear mongers out there.  They plant fear and discouragement, which happens to be the opposite of what Jesus teaches.  

Have faith, hope, and charity does not mean have fear and discourage others.

What I am suggesting, in order to destress yourself, is to intentionally encourage yourself and others this weekend.  

Again, just notice when you are going to speak doom and gloom, look for the good, and give praise and encouragement.  It will make others around you, and you, feel better and that is what destressing yourself is all about.

As parents, if we display these three techniques of releasing worry, complimenting, and encouraging, we can and will help our kids live to their full potential.  This is brilliant because that is what we want for them isn't it?  For them to live to their full potential and not have doubt, fear, and worry?

When we have doubt, fear, and worry we give up on life and live idle lives.  The opposite of doubt, fear, and worry is confidence, certainty, and faith.  When we have confidence, certainty, and faith we can accomplish anything just because we believe we can.

Practice it, live it, and destress...

Remember, practice makes perfect, and if you practice these stress reducing techniques, you will get real good at relaxing, complimenting, and encouraging.  

Oh... what a wonderful weekend it will be if we intentionally do these things.  Oh... what a wonderful life it will be if we make these into habits, if you haven't already, because I know many of you have.

Enjoy your weekend my friend...


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