Stress is a very broad topic and yet we may have difficulty defining it concretely. Everyone talks about it and many people suffer from it. Stress is part of our daily lives.
SPOILER attention: We are all subject to stress. All! Nobody escapes it. If you know someone who tells you otherwise, three possibilities:
It hovers at 3000, probably after consuming less recommended products.
he is not listening to his body and his alarm signals.
Or simply, he’s lying to you. Because stress is very very frowned upon, it seems.
However, stress is a natural reaction that we all feel when we are subjected to a situation deemed “threatening”. Thus, moving, firing, exams, unforeseen, work, doubts, conflicts, (…) all this can cause us stress.
Faced with this kind of situation, the body prepares to face the danger either by attacking or by fleeing. This is usually manifested by an increased heart rate and accelerating breathing, tense muscles, the senses are awake … In short, we are in a state of extreme alertness, ready for action.
Concretely, without stress, our species would have died long ago. So this stress, it is vital to us and very often beneficial! It would be a shame (and impossible) to want to get rid of it completely or to feel the least of its effects.
On the other hand, if the stress becomes chronic, unmanageable and invasive, it is there that one must act! It is in this context that stress becomes harmful to our health.
Nausea, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, eczema, hair loss, low libido, pain, asthma, cough, allergy, addiction, eating disorder or depression are symptoms of persistent stress, which does dissipate not.
But the good news is that we can act on it! In particular by acting on our reactions.
Stress Management Exercises
At first, to act effectively on his stress, it is necessary to have a healthy lifestyle. Sleeping well, eating well, limiting the excitants and doing regular physical activity is important. So much for the base!
In a second step, you can act on your reactions through small exercises. I offer you some tips that one can use every day! Some of these exercises are also inspired by sophrology, reflexology or even NLP. I advise you first to make them quietly at home, quiet, before putting them into practice during stressful situations.
For this exercise, stand up, legs apart in line with the shoulders. Anchor well in the ground, knees can be flexible. The arms are stretched along the body, clenched fists.
- Take a deep breath … and hold it back!
- While breathing is blocked, move up and down your shoulders a bit like a “pump”.
- When you run out of air or want to breathe (this is not an apnea competition, it should not be unpleasant), blow the air out of your mouth by opening your hands. The arms can relax.
- Take a few seconds to feel the effects and start again.
- Variation: when pumping the shoulders, verbalize “shit, piss off, piss off” (or another phrase of your liking). Then, at the moment of expiry, verbalize louder “MAKE CHOIR” by stepping forward and opening the palms of the hands.
Repeat the exercise as many times as necessary!
Sitting or lying down, make yourself comfortable in a quiet place. The legs are uncrossed and the arms can be placed on the stomach. Try to relax your back and your jaw.
- Inhale normally through the nose and feel the fresh air that enters your nostrils.
- Feel your belly swelling slightly, filling with air. Observe or feel your hands rise to the rhythm of your breath.
- Exhale quietly through your mouth and feel the expelled air from your body. Gradually, put yourself to exhale slowly as if you were drinking in a straw.
- Once these first 3 points have been made several times, you can do the 4-2-6 exercise. It is to inspire by the belly in 4 times, to block the breathing on 2 times and to exhale on 6 beats. If this is too difficult at first, do it as 3-1-4.
Under stress, we tend to hyperventilate so that our body prepares to face the danger (flight or attack). Controlling your breathing can restore calm and calm down. Observe the breathing of the babies, they breathe all by the belly! So, imitate them.
This exercise can be done at least 3 times a day for 3 minutes!
For this exercise combining sophrology and foot reflexology, you will need a ball (tennis ball type).
- Sit or stand at your convenience. Take off your shoes.
- Begin by first feeling the contact of the ground under your feet. The knees are flexible.
- Place your ball under your right foot and circulate it under the heel, under the toes, under the arch, making small circles. Use your weight to massage your entire foot, emphasizing the hardest areas with delicacy.
- After a few minutes, let your right foot lie flat and feel the effects of the massage …
- Then do the whole exercise again with the left foot and feel the effects.
Variation: You can also perform this exercise by breathing through your stomach. We inhale through the nose, we breathe out gently through our mouths.
This self-massage lasts about 5 minutes and is ideal to relax when you need it!
This time I propose an exercise more focused on the technique of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). This method is used to trigger a desired emotional state (example: calm) through stimulation. It’s just packaging!
Steps 1 to 7 should be done before applying this technique under stress. Step 8 is to be done under stress!
- At first, settle down in a calm and reassuring place. Then close your eyes.
- Identify the emotional state you want to use in the future (calm, serenity, appeasement). Identify the emotion you wish to “program” on-demand to calm your stress.
- Once done, choose your anchor. It involves associating this state with a triggering behaviour (touching the thigh, pinching the lobe of the ear, pronouncing a word, visualizing an image or hearing a sound). Choose a simple anchor and do not change it later.
- Once the emotional state has been identified and the type of anchorage chosen, look through your memories for a moment in your life where you have experienced this emotional state (of relaxation, calmness) and relive it fully. Take your time, it is important to physically feel the effects of relaxation in your body. Relive the sounds, the images, the smells, the feelings … Immerse yourself in this memory and amplify your feelings and your feelings.
- As soon as you get to the maximum of this state of relaxation, install your anchor by making the gesture / saying the word / made the sound you have previously chosen.
- Repeat step 4 and 5 about three times to secure the anchor. Conditioning is done by repetition, it is important to do well this step. It involves associating with a specific trigger a particular emotional state.
- Then you can test your anchor! For that, change your mind for a few minutes and reproduce your trigger. Do you feel at this moment the emotional state that you have conditioned to this behaviour? If this is not the case, you must repeat step 6 by amplifying your feelings even more to strengthen it.
- Once the anchor is installed, you can request it whenever you need it. Thus, to find a state of serenity in case of stress, you just need to make the gesture associated!
This method can be done anywhere and at any time. It allows mobilizing your internal resources to find appeasement by a small discreet trigger.