How do you handle stress?

Scream? Punch pillows? Throw an object across the room? Get a shot of vodka? Smoke a cigarette?  Bite your nails? Use profanity? Use nasty or sharp words to an innocent person? Call a friend to complain to? 

Admit it, at times we have probably done one of these or all of these at the same time. I confess I have done most of the above…that is until I learned this technique…

But before I share this technique with you, how do your kids react to stress? I bet I know…the same way YOU DO.

My niece at 3 years old knew exactly the moment and the tone to say the word “sh#t”! I witnessed this moment and at first I thought it was funny, but I held my laughter inside and I looked at my sister, embarrassed she said to me “who did she learn as that from?” I held my tongue, ( I think you know the answer.)

Learning to de-stress is a learned skill. Its not an easy skill to learn or to remember to do when you’re in the heat of the ##!!! moment.

So it will take a lot of repetition to get this technique down so it pops in your head when you need it the most, and if your life is alot like my life, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice to perfection! But as your are learning teach your kids at the same time.

Here you go…

The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing) Breath is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice.

The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.

Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

Now don’t you feel better?