We hear it said that stress is the number one problem in our society. This is not quite correct – stress is necessary – for without stress nothing would be accomplished. We need a challenge, which takes us out of a state of equilibrium and these things that challenge us are called stress factors.
There are positive and negative stress factors
Positive stress factors such as a sporting event, concert, or humorous film are enjoyed and when the event is over there is no residual tension remaining in our body and mind.
Negative stress factors such as divorce, family death, sickness or financial or work related worries – when the challenge has passed these factors leave residual tension, which accumulates and soon causes breakdowns in body and mind systems.
Stress starves the body of oxygen
The first system that is affected is the thinking system. This is because when we are tense the blood does not flow as readily through our body. Thus resulting in decreased supplies of oxygen to the brain. We find it hard to concentrate. Recall is more difficult and we get things mixed up and out of proportion. Judgment is impaired.
The next system to be affected is the body and if we are subjected to prolonged and unrelenting stress this causes disease within the body often resulting in maladies such as cancer, heart attacks, high blood pressure and more.
TV and glass of wine doesn’t cut it
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to practice true relaxation regularly. When I say true relaxation I mean an exercise that will relax both the body and the mind. Most people think that sitting down to watch television or having a glass of wine is enough to relax but these things do not truly relax the mind. For while we are doing these things our minds can still be churning with thoughts and worries.
I have created my own Relaxation Exercise, which takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. It is most important to practice this exercise everyday as it assists in reducing the build up of residual tension and it gives you a tool to help reduce your levels of tension at will throughout the day.
It starts like this…
Now that you’re in a comfortable position of your choice I want you to close your eyes and I want you to take 3 deep breaths with me………….
Once you have practiced this exercise 10 or 12 times you’ll find that you are relaxing faster than the disc. The disc is a count down, count back exercise from five to nought. You’ll be well ahead of the disc and you’ll realise your inner mind – your subconscious mind has mastered the exercise.
- Lie down, close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths, and say silently in your mind:
“I am going to relax myself. I am going to count from 5 to nought and on or before the count of nought, I will be totally relaxed, completely relaxed, in body and mind. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0.
And you find that you get the same relaxed feeling as when using the disc. When this is done for one week, you’ll find yourself relaxing even quicker so shorten the method.
- Take three deep breaths, and say silently in your mind:
“I am going to relax myself. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0”.
Then after another week, take a deep breath, and think “Relax”.
Practice this at least 8 times per day.