7. Good Stress or Bad Stress?
Death of spouse
Death of a close family member
Personal injury or illness
Death of close friend
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
Son or daughter leaving home
Trouble with boss
Dismissal from work
Change in health of family member
Change in financial state
Change to different line of work
Change in responsibilities at work
Outstanding personal achievement
Begin or end school
Change in living conditions
Change in work hours or conditions
Change in social activities
10. Stress Impairing Performance?
“Choking” on an assessment
Forgetting a class you signed up for
Missing an important deadline
Failing to remember an assignment
Forgetting to drop off or pick up your child
Any of these sound familiar???
15. What is Important?
Imagine having led a long and fulfilling life…
What would you remember?
What would you value?
Imagine being told you have 6 months left on this planet…
How would you spend your time?
What would you want to do or experience?
25. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing exercises can serve a
multitude of purposes, ranging from
controlling anger to relieving stress and
improving overall respiratory functions,
report doctors at the Mayo Clinic. Stress
reduction in any form reduces wear and tear
on the body and mind. Breathing properly
with intention is one of the simplest forms of
relaxation that can be done anywhere.
26. Simple Deep Breathing Exercise
This exercise can be performed either sitting
or standing. Start with your elbows bent at
your sides. As you take in a breath through
your mouth, extend your elbows behind your
back and stick out your chest. Hold for a
count of five and release the air by sucking
in your abdomen. This will force out the air
in a quick burst. Let your arms return to the
starting position and repeat 10 times.
27. Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a way to
systematically relax all of the muscles in your body.
This reduces unnecessary muscle tension and saves
your energy for the things that really matter. With
practice, just telling yourself to relax can quickly
Make your body be as loose as a rag doll. Muscle
relaxation exercises should be done in a
comfortable chair. Don't do them in bed as you want
to teach your body to relax (not to fall asleep). Doing
them right before bed is an excellent idea as a more
relaxed body will sleep better.
28. Simple Muscle Relaxation Exercise
For each muscle group, tense for 10 seconds and release, taking a few deep breaths as you notice
sensation that comes as those muscles relax, before moving on to the next muscle group. Skip areas
that cause pain when tensing.
Sit in a comfortable position, with eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths, expanding your belly as
you breathe air in and contracting it as you exhale.
Begin at the top of your body, and go down. Start with your head, tensing your facial muscles,
squeezing your eyes shut, puckering your mouth and clenching your jaw. Hold, then release and
Tense as you lift your shoulders to your ears, hold, then release and breathe.
Make a fist with your right hand, tighten the muscles in your lower and upper arm, hold, then
release. Breathe in and out. Repeat with left hand.
Concentrate on your back, squeezing shoulder blades together. Hold, then release. Breathe in
Suck in your stomach, hold, then release. Breathe in and out.
Clench your buttocks, hold, then release. Breathe in and out.
Tighten your right hamstring, hold, then release. Breathe in and out. Repeat with left hamstring.
Flex your right calf, hold, then release. Breathe in and out. Repeat with left calf.
Tighten toes on your right foot, hold, then release. Breathe in and out. Repeat with left foot.
Visualization exercises use the power of the
imagination to bring about a state of relaxation.
Visualization taps into our right brains, thus quieting our
oh-so-busy left brains and redirecting us away from all of
our worries, concerns and to do lists. Visualization
exercises are like a vacation for the mind, as you
imagine yourself in a place that represents beauty and
serenity for you. It can be a place you have actually been
to, or just a place in your imagination. Visualization
exercises are best done in a quiet setting.
30. Simple Visualization Exercise
Pick a place. Choose a setting that evokes a sense of peacefulness and serenity for you. It can be a real place, in
other words, somewhere you have actually been, or it could just be a place from your imagination. The following
possibilities are offered as a guide, but feel free to use whatever place works for you. The only requirements are
that the place feels peaceful, safe and serene to you. For example, the spa, beach, garden, mountain top, etc.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in your peaceful place. It’s as simple as that. Your beautiful, safe place
is waiting for you whenever you choose to go there.
Imagine the smells. To help you to get the most out of the experience, focus on the smells that are a part of your
safe place. What scents are in the air? Are there flowers? The sweet moldy smell of damp leaves? The tang of
Listen. What are the sounds in your place? Quiet? The wind rippling the leaves? The gentle roar of the surf? Birds
singing or chirping? The gurgling of the stream?
Feel. What sensations can you feel on your skin as you relax in your serene spot? The heat of the sun? A gentle
breeze? A light spray coming off the tops of the waves? The cool ground beneath you? The warm sand?
Look. As you gaze around your spot, what do you see? The beauty of nature? The gorgeous blues of the sky?
Wispy white clouds? The crystal-like colors of the water making its way downstream? The reds, yellows and
oranges of leaves or wildflowers? The deep sea green of waves before they topple into a froth of white?
Gently banish disruptive thoughts. Use your imagination to help to shoo away the intrusive thoughts that love to
pop up, particularly when we are trying to enjoy some peace and quiet. Attach the thought to a twig floating
downstream or to a cloud that drifts off the horizon.
Enjoy. This is your time to be quiet and relaxed so that you can recharge your batteries. Keep telling yourself that
this is your special place, where you are completely safe and where all of your worries and concerns are far away.