Life gets busy. Work, friends, family, kids, extracurriculars, it’s hard to get a moment yet for some of us, when we get those moments of quiet, it is when we really feel stress. No matter if we are extroverted or introverted, busy or not, stress can still affect us and it is important to recognise it and equip ourselves with the techniques to help manage it.
Within the world of psychotherapy, there are different methods for stress relief and this blog will cover but a few that Alex Delogu practices.
Stress Reduction Techniques
- Qi Gong exercises. Qi Gong are slow repetitive exercises that help center the mind in the body and induce a state of mental and physical relaxation. It is a method that we teach, and also something that can be found on YouTube.
- Standing or sitting meditation and meditative activities like cooking, juggling, and walking are all great ways to relieve stress. You don’t need to be sitting rigidly still to meditate, that is something we have been taught thanks to many great movies. Yes, some people do practice this way but it is not the only way. The important thing to notice in yourself is if you are dropping into a relaxed state. If you’re walking around hurriedly, or trying to rush cooking this is hardly a meditative state. Being aware of when you are rushing or relaxed is key here.
- Tai Chi, one of the best stress reduction techniques we teach, helps to reduce stress by occupying the mind with relaxing movements.
As the mind focuses on these movements it is less inclined towards worry and therefore to stress. With practice it becomes easier to settle into this calm mental state. Nearly everything in our life is concerned with externals. Work, dinner, worry, regret, and so forth are all external to the present moment. Tai Chi helps bring the mind back to the present to simply feel and be without concern for the past or future.
Please keep in mind that meditation or breathing exercises can make some people more anxious. When trying any such practices, make sure to follow your own individual body responses. There are other ways to go about stress reduction that aren’t body focused.
Other Forms Of Stress Reduction
You may have noticed that the techniques for stress reduction listed above can be done alone or as part of a group. It is widely accepted that meditation is something that is performed by oneself; however, with everything we do day to day, our interactions, transactions, jobs, it is important to learn how to de-stress within these, sometimes, hectic situations. Not forgetting, being in large groups or public settings can be stressful in itself for many people, it can feel unsafe, and this is where polyvagal theory comes in.
The polyvagal theory reinforces much of what we know about relaxation and the underlying bodily mechanisms. What it adds is a significant emphasis on the social element of stress reduction. This points to the fact that it is primarily through safe, relaxed, social interaction that we come to feel internally safe and relaxed ourselves.
So, while it is great to have stress reduction techniques that can be done by oneself, it is equally, if not more, important to find a social group in which these can be practiced. The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) method we teach helps people of all ages, including children, better perceive cues of safety from others and the environment.
All of what has been discussed in this blog is practiced and taught at Alex Delogu but it is important that you find what is right for you, and that is not always easy to do alone. If you have any questions or wish to know more about how we work please get in touch or book a consultation online.