May’s Theme: Meditation for Stress Relief

7 Steps To Instant destressifying

by Davidji

“destressfying” is a book by Davidji. Drawing on decades of experience working with individuals in extreme, high-pressure situations – including business leaders, world-class athletes, members of the military, Special Forces, and those in crisis – davidji will show you how to handle any type of stress that life throws at you. With his trademark easy-to-understand and entertaining writing style, he will transform your understanding of stress using time-tested techniques; cutting-edge science; real-world, practical applications; and in-the-moment stress busters.

 

destressifying is a mind-set, a lifestyle. It’s not simply about conquering stress in the moment, but proactively shifting the way you receive, interpret and respond to life by cultivating a deeper awareness of stress and yourself. de.stressifying is about learning to be your best and expressing yourself at your highest level in every situation. Whether stress is good or bad matters less than what you do with the moment when stress appears, and what you do with your life from this moment forward. So are you ready to de.stressify? Are you ready to allow the best version of you to shine forth? Here are 7 powerful steps to get you started:

 

Practice 16 seconds.  here’s how

When you’re faced with an immediate stressor, you can calm yourself and gain clarity in just a few seconds. Breath in slowly to the count of 4. Hold that breath for the count of 4. Slowly exhale through your nostrils to the count of 4. When the last wisp of air is out of you, hold that breath out to the count of 4. The key is to observe your breath as it moves through you. In 16 seconds, you will be transported out of the past… out of the future… and into the present moment. Your next thoughts will be clearer. Calmer, more intuitive, and more creative.

 

Clearly define your stressor.  here’s how

Both our body and our mind are impacted by stress. Yet, when the experience itself is clearly defined, and is relatively short term with a beginning and an end, it impacts us to a smaller degree & takes a smaller toll on us. You will recover more quickly once you know what you’re stressing about. After practicing the 16second exercise, ask yourself, “What are all the moving pieces that are stressing me?” and “Which ones are within my control?” The swirl will slow as you realize the actual reasons for the stress. Write them down and then begin to address them one at a time. Uni-tasking has powerful consequences!

 

Curb your addiction to stress.  here’s how

Sometimes we view stress as a motivational force to meet a deadline or step through a challenge. But the consistent overflow of stress hormones that impacts our physiology, and the non-stop swirl of thoughts clouding our mind, create a state of consciousness where we simply become stuck, frozen, as if in a voodoo trance. We need an interruption in the non-stop go-go to truly be our best. Give yourself permission to step away from your work for a few minutes; take lunch away from your desk; step outside and breathe in your natural surrounding; listen to some music that will drift you away from your work; work out or even just go for a walk to give yourself a healthy pattern interrupt throughout the day.

 

Squeeze and release.  here’s how

Think of the most stressful thing that’s going on in your life right now. How does it make you feel? Say it out loud. Now locate the feeling of discomfort it creates someplace in your body. Take a deep breath in and make a really tight fist with your right hand. Keep holding your breath. Now, holding that fist tight, tense your right arm from your wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep…right up to your shoulder. Hold this tension and your breath for 10 seconds and release both. Repeat with your left side then shake it out. The tension in your body will naturally release. Rinse & repeat! This simple practice known as squeeze & release can help you before a presentation, a meeting, a difficult conversation, or in the middle of a stressed-out moment.

 

Identify your neurotic traits.  here’s how

Neurotics are mentally unstable, right? Not really. Neuroticism is our tendency to experience negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, or depression. We all have emotional triggers or hot buttons that drive us crazy. What we do with that information determines where we fall along the scale of neuroticism. Examples of neuroticism are: reactivity, inability to relax, ease of getting stressed out, the frequency of mood changes and swings, ability to be easily disturbed or upset, the capacity of worry, anxiety, and sadness. Some of us are more susceptible. If you are, then be gentle with yourself and make a point of seeing silver linings – make a gratitude list right now of five blessings in your life and keep looking at the big picture. Add to the list each day. As you reflect on the miracles, and aspects of your life for which you are grateful, your neuroticism will wane & you will start to enjoy life a bit more in each moment.

 

Increase the odds that your needs will be met. here’s how

Stress occurs when our needs are not met in some way. By gaining clarity on your expectations, better understanding the situation, taking clear steps to meet your needs, and communicating them to others more consciously, you can become more destressified. Remember: everybody’s guessing. But in the process, we often ESP all over ourselves. Make a list of your top five needs right now. And, throughout the day, share your needs more consciously with those around you. Don’t demand that they meet your needs. Request if they can help you meet that need. Teamwork is a beautiful thing.

 

Pay attention to others’ needs, too.  here’s how

When you place attention on your needs (like you just did in step 6), and see how you prioritize them, a new horizon suddenly appears that lets us understand others’ needs. Reflect on your core relationships; your spouse or partner of the moment, your closest friends, your parents, children, boss, co-workers, teachers or people that report to you. Pick just one person and for a few moments thinking about what their top three needs might be (even if you’re guessing). Next time someone pushes your button or irritates you, take a deep breath and ask them how you can help them meet their need. Better understanding their needs will help you not to take it so personally. Most likely they are just trying to fulfill one of their unmet needs.

If you consciously practice these 7 steps, you’ll feel the powerful shift in how you feel & how you show up in each moment. You are never stuck. You can always move your life from where you are to where you’d like to be! Visit davidji.com for more daily tips and tools to keep you destressifying.

 

P.S.

Our meditation instruction classes at the Madison studio and on our monthly subscription plan will feature “Meditation for Stress Relief” this month.

“Destressifying: Learn to Live a Life of Calm, Peace & Quiet Joy” is the theme of our October retreat to be held October 5-7, 2018 at Bethel Horizons Art Ventures Retreat Center in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. More information about the retreat will be available soon. It will be a time of turning to the spiritual, the creative, the natural, and mindfulness during the weekend. If you are not signed up for our newsletter, be sure to do so.

 

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