Stress management quick relaxation tips

Stress-relaxSeveral years ago I attended the Clinical Training in Mind/Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School and learned the importance of taking small “mini” relaxation breaks throughout the day. Practice them while you are waiting in line, stuck in traffic, taking a test, experiencing pain, can’t sleep, etc.

Countdown:   Count very slowly to yourself from 10 down to 0, one number on each outbreath. Breathe in, and on your first outbreath, say “10” to yourself. With the next outbreath, say “9,” working your way down to “0.” When you get to “0,” notice how you feel.

Count to 4:   As you breathe in, count slowly up to “4.” As you breathe out, count slowly back down to “1.” As you breathe in you say quietly to yourself, “1..2..3..4,” and as you breathe out you say quietly to yourself, “4..3..2..1.” Repeat several times and notice how you feel.

Pendulum Breath:  Count the space between your inbreath and your outbreath. After each inbreath pause and count, “1…2…3.” Repeat several times and notice how you feel.

I am at Peace:   On the outbreath think, “I am” and on the inbreath think “at peace.” Repeat several times. This is an excellent Mini to use while walking.

Square Breathing:  Visualize a square. On the inbreath, visualize a vertical line and then a horizontal line. On the outbreath, visualize another vertical and horizontal, to complete the square. Repeat several times and notice how you feel.

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