Stress Reduction - Relief Is Just a Pivot Away

December 29, 2005

You are tense, tired, edgy, perhaps even angry, hurt or feeling abused. But before dealing directly with the source of whatever provoked your feelings, get yourself into a more balanced and resourceful state of mind. Then you will be able to see your situation more objectively and work on a more permanent solution.  Here are four easy ways to pivot:

1.Take a Break. No matter how difficult the situation may appear to be, a change of pace can help you open up new ways of looking at the problem. Stop what you’re doing and find something else to do. Focus your mind on anything but the cause of your stress. For example, if you are working on a stressful task, find another task to work on.

2. Practice Deep Breathing. Breathing! It's one of the simplest yet most effective ways to manage stress's effects on your body. When you are stressed, you have a tendency to breathe more shallowly and rapidly; some people even hold their breath; depriving your body of vital oxygen. To promote a relaxation response, breathe slowly and deeply.

3.Work It Off Physically. Physical activities like stretching, walking or yoga can help relax both your mind and your body. Even a five- or ten-minute movement break can go a long way toward helping your body reduce the tension caused by stress.

4. Appreciate What is Working. The more you focus on problems, the more stressed out you will feel. Likewise, the more you dwell on what is working, the better you will feel. Review in your mind or make a list of everything that is "right" with your job. You may discover that you cannot be in a stressed out state and an appreciative state at the same time. For this reason, appreciation can be one of the most powerful tools for easing tension and feeling better immediately.

You may find that once you release the tension and take your focus off the problem, the solution will magically appear.

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