We’ve all been there – so much going on and not enough time to do anything except swim as fast as you can, hoping no new wave comes to push you under. Believe me, I GET that! I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that they don’t even have time to breathe, much less get ahead (of course, they are still breathing – good thing we have those automatic processes!)
Every time someone mentions “you need to reduce your stress”, you instantly feel MORE stressed – don’t they get it?!? If you had the time, you’d give them the endless list of why that doesn’t work…but, duh, no time for that!
Here’s the fix you’ve been waiting for. You can have a measurable change in your stress level in less than 2 minutes. Honest. It’s not going to fix everything (that would be a ridiculous claim, and my commitment is to making an actual difference – otherwise it’s not worth my time or yours!)
1. Take in one deep breath, pulling air up from your belly all the way up, so that your chest actually rises (do this to a count of 3 or 4).
2. Sit up as tall as you can before exhaling.
3. As you exhale (to a count of 3 or 4), consciously bring your shoulders down and back, to that you are squeezing your shoulder blades together (this will feel like you are sticking your chest out).
4. Repeat 2 more times.
Congratulations! You’ve given your brain more oxygen, so you can focus better. You’ve used your body to signal to your brain that you are a) more alert and b) ready to release tension in your shoulders (super popular place to hold stress). You’ve done a quick tense-release which has started the relaxation process in your neck and upper back.
Truthfully, it probably took you longer to read this than it did to do the exercise, right? So maybe this should be called the “1 minute or less” stress-reduction hack. It seems like such a small thing, and yet there is strong evidence (think Harvard-based research study) that even 2 minutes of meditation a day can significantly increase (and maintain) levels of happiness. I find that amazing, and really hopeful. Because committing an hour or more a day can seem so unattainable. And if you’re like me, you want results FAST, so you can figure out if it’s “worth the time”.
Of course, I would say that you are absolutely always worth your own time!
If you are fed up with feeling like you take one step forward and two steps back; if you are ready to stop the ongoing cycle of stress; if you are committed to having a life that is HAPPY, PRODUCTIVE and FUN, then set up a call with me to start living with a smile! Here’s a link to my website: http://www.drkristinahallett.org
And if you KNOW you want to get off the stress train, then fill out the application here: https://drhallett.wufoo.com/forms/z27s0v9073anw1/
Have an awesome day!
Kristina Hallett, PhD, ABPP