Other Ways to Relax and Get though Intense Distress, and Links: The Basics

GROUNDING EXERCISE!

Purpose

Grounding is a calming and centering method that helps you to become more

focused in your body and on the present moment. It reminds you of your strength

and ability to cope in the present.

Process

Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands placed palms down

on the large muscles of your thighs. Gently press your feet into the floor for a few

moments and release. Feel your strength.

• Alternatively, you can ground while walking or standing. Just become aware of your

feet firmly planted beneath you.

• To calm the mind and help to focus in the present, take some deep breaths while

repeating a calming statement. Choose one thought that you repeat each time you

do the grounding, so that saying it becomes a habit. For example,

.“I am Learning to Stay in the Present.”

“This is Me. I am Here. I am Alive. I will Cope.”

“I am Learning to Cope.”

• You could also ground by focusing on a detailed description of an object in your

environment (i.e., colour and shape) and breathing.

BODY SCAN!

Purpose

• Body scan is a relaxation technique that can be used to quickly check the level of

tension in your body and to release it.

Process

• Body scan involves scanning your body from feet to head and doing two steps for

each part:

1 Focus on body area and note tension.

2 Breathing deeply, imagine that your breath goes into that part of the body. As you

breathe out, the tension is released with your breath.

• You can take 5 minutes or 30 seconds to do a body scan, making use of it in a

variety of settings and situations.

QUICK STRESS EXERCISES TO USE IN A PINCH!

Purpose

• Shorter techniques are more flexible than the longer ones. They allow you to relax

and/or release tension quickly in a variety of different settings (e.g., at lunch break, at

a meeting, while waiting in line at a store, at a red light etc.)

• This flexibility means that you can use these techniques to calm yourself before,

during or after stressful situations, or to short-circuit a stress response.

• Different short versions will suit different situations so having a number of short

versions offers you the flexibility to choose one that fits the moment best.

Process

• Take a few deep breaths.

• Sigh.

• L augh.

• Yawn, unclench or move jaw.

• Shrug your shoulders several times.

• Periodically remind yourself to keep shoulders down and jaw unclenched.

• Massage your temples and the upper back of your neck.

• R aise your eyebrows and hold them up until the count of 3; release and repeat

several times.

• To relieve eyestrain, rub your palms briskly together, cup hands and place them over

open or closed eyes.

• With open or closed lids — rotate your eyes in circles slowly, top, right side, bottom,

left side; relax and reverse. Repeat 3 times.

• N eck roll: Always move your neck very gently and slowly. Let your chin drop down

to the center of your chest. Keeping your chin close to your body, slowly move your

head to look over your left shoulder. Slowly return to center and repeat on the

right side.

• Stretch.

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