On a typical day…
Do you recognize when you feel tension and relaxation?
Do you sense how your stress response arises and dissipates?
One tool you can use to practice stress-awareness is by charting your stress level. For instance, during a certain activity or, if you’re up for it, throughout your day. See this example from the participants at our dance therapy group, shared with their courtesy.
We use the stress-bucket analogy. If our body system as a whole is the bucket, then we want to make sure our bucket does not get too full and overfilled.
One simple action you can take when your bucket is getting full is to stop & slow down.
Simple, but not easy.
Observe your breathing and body sensations, to give your mind a break. Feel the contact your body makes with something solid (e.g. your feet and the ground, your sit bones on your chair). Your body senses this solidity as support. Then, gently engage with your surroundings again.
If you observe that you’re mostly tensed throughout the day, take care, it’s a strong giveaway that you need to stop & slow down more often.
The good thing about stopping & slowing down is that it creates mental space to do a reality check. Honestly, sometimes we perceive pressure (e.g. that we have to do so much or live up to a certain expectation) while there is none.
Be aware of which certain activities, thoughts, environment (and persons!) increase your stress level. And of course, hold dear the ones that help you to de-stress.
Got a remark? Or a burning question? Drop me an email and I’ll address it in the next post.