De-Stress throughout Your Day
Sometimes, stress occurs because the situation you’re in makes you a prisoner of the moment. You can’t escape. You have to be where you are, and, to make things worse, you don’t have much to do while you’re there. You may be waiting in line at the grocery store or (gasp!) at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Why not capitalize on these situations and turn them into opportunities to bring some stress management into your life? Sneak in a little relaxed breathing, meditation, rapid relaxation, imagery, coping self-talk, or any of the many other stress relievers you know. Many of these stress-management methods work quite well, even if you have only a minute or two.
Find moments for stress relief
When to use your stress-management skills isn’t always obvious. Take a look at the table for some potential times to use these skills, along with some suggestions of relaxation techniques you may want to use.
|Place||Relaxation Method to Try|
|Sitting in a boring meeting||Diaphragmatic breathing|
|Riding a bus, train, or taxicab||Guided imagery|
|Flying in an airplane||Meditation|
|Riding an elevator or escalator||Rapid relaxation|
|Getting your hair cut||Autogenic suggestion|
|Sitting in the dentist’s chair||Progressive muscle relaxation|
|Taking a bathroom break||Deep breathing|
|Lying in bed, as you fall asleep||Personal imagery|
While you’re waiting, exhale
Having to wait for somebody or something is one of the better opportunities you have to build some stress relief into your day. Rarely a day goes by in which, at some point, you don’t find yourself having to wait. Here is just a partial list of those all-too-common waiting opportunities. Try to take advantage of these opportunities in your own life.
Waiting at a stoplight
Waiting for an elevator
Waiting in traffic
Waiting for a train or bus
Waiting for the microwave to cook your food
Waiting on hold on the phone
Waiting in your doctor’s office
Waiting for a TV commercial to be over
Waiting for a file to download
Waiting in line at the supermarket
Waiting for your turn at the ATM
Waiting in line anywhere
Relaxed breathing, deep breathing, imagery, meditation, and rapid relaxation, and other “instant de-stressers,” are some of the short, fast, and effective ways of taking the edge off your stress whenever you find yourself waiting.