Got stress? Recently I have been getting more hits on my site for the stress test post that my amazing daughter wrote back in September, when she was twelve. Do you think people are generally feeling more stressed lately? I have noticed people in our area talking about an increased stress level. I thought that I would find out what each of my family members do to relieve stress when they are feeling frazzled. Here’s what I got:
Husband: I do yard work or any activity that is physical. Me: nah, I’ll skip this advice.
Teen-aged Son: I pet Timmy and Polly, I play my guitar and I try to get more sleep. Me: This is good advice for me, except for the guitar playing part. Everyone else in the house would be stressed listening to my attempts.
Middle school Daughter: I listen to music, I chew gum, I draw, I read a book that I can really get into, I look at funny stuff on the internet, I kick my soccer ball around the yard. Me: I use some of these, not chewing gum-it makes me feel nauseous.
Middle school Son: I do deep breathing. That’s it. Nothing else. Me: That’s it?
Me: I pet Timmy, I drink tea, I crochet, I read a book, I take pictures, I read blogs, I cook, I tweet. I finish work that is hanging over me…like a dark cloud…threatening to take over my world….oops. Never mind. I never procrastinate.
When my daughter started middle school she was having some anxiety and my mother-in-law, who is a phobia counselor aide (or some title like that!), taught us about diaphragmatic breathing. Very basically, place a hand on your belly, inhale slowly and make your belly gently rise with the inhalation. Your chest will hardly move at all with diaphragmatic breathing. Exhale and deflate your belly. The coolest thing about this is that it actually fools your body into thinking that you are calm and you become calmer! Now, I must admit that I have not practiced this enough to perfect it. I’m lazy when I am stressed. It’s too much trouble to breath properly. heehee.
Do you have any tried and true stress relievers? If they are exercise related I probably won’t try them. Just being honest here!