Got Some Stress? How About Taking 30 Seconds to Zap It?


Happy holidays!  Happy New Year!  It is a time of year when we expect to be super heroes and stress ourselves in the trying.  I am re-issueing this post as it helped so many earlier in the year.  Here’s to a stress free holiday!  Cheers!

How about it?  Do you have thirty seconds, maybe right NOW, to try to lessen any stress you might be feeling?  Maybe thirty seconds won’t remove it completely, for the rest of your life, but it might  bring you some new awareness. It could help you develop methods you can effectively use to know when and where you feel the stress and how to combat it.  Just thirty seconds!  What do you think?

As a teacher of yoga and spiritual practices, stress is one of the most frequent topics raised in classes and individual sessions.  No one is completely immune to it.  Stress is a fact of life.  Forget about making it go away.  It won’t.  But what CAN go away is our repetitive and non beneficial response to stressful situations.  Over time, we can learn to incorporate new responses into our lives, thus lessening the stress we feel.

In the course I teach, called StressLess, there are many remedies offered.  Some take longer than others — like lying on the floor for progressive relaxation, or stretching out muscles held tight by tensing our bodies, or meditating, or chanting, or taking the time to learn how to breathe in a non-stressful way.  Other methods, however, can be engaged quickly and bring fast results.  Here are a few to try yourself, but take note, you MUST give full attention to them for at least thirty seconds:

Loosen the body.  Is your neck and jaw line tight?  Are your shoulders scrunched up?  Is your back tensing?  Consciously relax the face and jaw.  Let the shoulders drop away from the head. Allow the back to soften, by leaning forward slightly.  Maybe drop the head forward and back and to the sides, very slowly.  Or rolls the shoulders.

Notice your breathing.  Is it agitated, tight, jerky, high in the chest?  Force yourself to let the breath move lower, into the belly. Lengthen the breathing, in and out.  Make it smooth. Try counting with the breath as your lungs fill and double the count as you exhale.  Give focus ONLY to the breath, nothing else.

Choose to repeat an affirmation.  It can be anything that is positive and calming.  Keep repeating it.  Words like:  I am calm and peaceful now.  My body and mind are relaxing now.  I love myself completely right now.  Pick a phrase that works for you.  Try out a few.  But repeat them over and over.

Visualize yourself in your most perfect spot, where you are safe, calm, loved and nurtured.  Have that place ready in your mind by choosing one when you are NOT under stress.  It can be a place you have been in your past or one that is fictional.  It may be by the sea, in the woods, or safe at home.  But let all your senses feel that you are there in everything you see, hear, smell, touch, and even taste in the moment you are in the visualization.

Any or all of these suggestions can and do bring relief. Do SOMETHING!  Don’t just believe that the stress has got you in its clenches and you can’t get away.  It is up to you.  Try it!  You might like it! All you have to lose is the vise like grip stress can hold and the erosion it does to your body and mind. The more you learn to trust in your own inner wisdom, the less powerful the outer world becomes.  Your inner world is where all the power lies anyway — in the heart and soul of your own being.

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About deannemincer

Deanne Mincer has been a long time student of religious and spiritual studies. For many years, she was a practitioner of yoga and in the late 1980's she was drawn to share her enthusiasm by becoming a yoga teacher. Her certification, from the Himalayan Institute, was a comprehensive two year program including the study of anatomy, diet, nutrition, Ayurvedic medical practices, the methods of teaching hatha yoga, the science of breath and the study of raja (the royal path of yoga) philosophy. She has taught yoga, meditation, and spiritual classes for more than twenty years. In the mid 1990's she became a follower of Siddha Yoga where she experienced a spiritual awakening called shaktipat and her teachings took on a new and freshly informed understanding. As Deanne continued her studies, she learned level one in Reiki and also sutdied with Henry Grayson, Ph.D. where she refined her work with muscle testing and the complex of energy healing methods Dr. Grayson has developed for use with his patients. Dr. Grayson's work is illuminated in his books, Mindful Loving and Use Your Body to Heal Your Mind. Deanne teaches group and private classes in yoga as well as stress reduction programs and meditation in many forms (sitting, walking, whirling, meditation in action, and "sleeping" meditation called yoga nidra). She has developed methods of using yoga in treating those with life threatening diseases as in the programs she designed for Gilda's Club and Friends in Deed in New York City. She was a consulting producer on an alternative health program for CNBC's Alive and Wellness, and she has demonstrated yoga on network television. Deanne created the audio DC, Inner Light Yoga with Deanne Mincer and she has spoken widely and demonstrated meditation in many venues. Deanne is an enthusiastic and joyful teacher. She is known for the keen interest she takes in her students' physical and spiritual development. She stresses that each student should work at their own pace in a non-competitive and caring environment. You can read some of the comments her students have shared in the Tesimonials Section of this site. Her teaching is grounded in her own steadfast spiritual awareness - that each of us is a being of eternal light and love and that we can all come to knowing this truth for ourselves. She is eager to help guide you on this joyful path of body, mind, breath and spirit.

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