Other Ways to Relax and Get though Intense Distress, and Links: The Basics
• 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.
• 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 is a relaxation technique that can be used to quickly check the level of
tension in your body and to release it.
• Body scan involves scanning your body from feet to head and doing two steps for
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!
• 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.
• Take a few deep breaths.
• 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
• 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
(CBIS Manual, June 2009, by Permission)
- Meditation: 6 simple tips for beginners (aplaceofgratitude.wordpress.com)
- Grounding Exercise (blairishwisdom.wordpress.com)
- Relaxation Techniques for Sleep Improvement (hypnosis-and-relaxation.knowledge-pool.com)
- Relaxing Techniques (bestsuccessway.wordpress.com)
- How The Busiest People In The World Still Find Time To Relax (huffingtonpost.com)
- Just breathe… (chriswilloughbycounselling.wordpress.com)