Practice the six-second release exercise. Anywhere, anytime you feel tense, inhale deeply for two seconds, and then exhale for four seconds.
Say to yourself, “I’m relaxing.” Let your shoulders and jaw drop. A wave of relaxation will flow downward.
• Watch less TV
Do not aimlessly channel surf. Do not watch violent or depressing shows. Look through the television listings, and carefully select programs to watch. Emphasize uplifting, educational programs those on the Discovery Channel and PBS, for example.
• Don’t take work home
Don’t take work home or take home to work. “Decompress” as you make the transition from one part of your life to another so distress from one doesn’t spill into the other. Sing along with the radio take a walk, nap and soak in a tub.
• Look for humor in every situation
Take yourself lightly and your work seriously. Read fun things comics, cartoons, and jokes and share them with others.
• Cultivate a “can-do” attitude
As Norman Vincent Peale once said, “You are not what you think you are but, what you think, you are.”
• Stop assuming the worst
If someone cuts you off on the highway, don’t automatically assume that the person is out to get you. Maybe he/she is rushing to the hospital to see a loved one who is desperately ill.
• Take a 10-minute break
At least once every hour, get up from your chair, stretch and move around. Doing so will help prevent stiffness and tension.
• Listen to relaxing music
Spend your day listening to instrumental classical or New Age music
Good choices: George Winston, David Lanz, Enya, The Narada Collections.
• “Box” your worries
Categorize your worries into things you can/cannot control and things that are important/unimportant. If something is important and you can do something about it, take action. If it’s unimportant and/or you can’t do anything about it, let the worry go.
• Take a one-minute vacation
Pause to enjoy life’s small, fleeting pleasures the fragrance of a flower, the burbling of a brook, the tranquil beauty of freshly fallen snow and the cozy aroma of a wood fire. Notice and try to enjoy whatever is around you.
• Practice “dot therapy.”
Place adhesive dots wherever you need a cue to relax on your car’s rearview mirror on your telephone handset, on your computer monitor. Whenever you spy a dot, do the six-second release exercise.
• Get an aromatic high
Bring flowers to work. Spray perfume into the air. Light a scented candle. Floral fragrances reduce anxiety (even in the dentist’s office) cool, menthol-like scents boost energy and lavender is relaxing.
• Boost your ego
Carry a 3×5-inch card on which you’ve written all your good points. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, look at the card. Ask those who care about you to contribute to your list.
• Set realistic goals
Set realistic goals and envision yourself reaching them. If you’re a salesperson, visualize yourself closing a deal with the client you’re scheduled to see that day. You’ll be less anxious when you go into the meeting.
• Pet a dog or cat
Doing so tends to lower heart rate and blood pressure you’re own and those of the animal being petted.
• Try to be happy
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most folks are happy as they have choosen to be.”
Each day, make a conscious effort to emphasize the positive and disregard the negative. Choose happiness day after day, and it soon becomes a habit.