Practices to Manage Stress
Meditation is the activity of quieting the mind. It may include sitting, lying, or walking and often uses a specific focus of attention. It can help promote a feeling of calmness and/or physical relaxation.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
Meditation: What You Need To Know
2. Sending Kindness
Think of a person you love and in your mind repeat the phrases:
May you be healthy
May you be safe
May you ride the waves of your life with ease
Stay with this practice for 1 minute then shift your attention to yourself and repeat in your mind:
May I be healthy
May I be safe
May I ride the waves of my life with ease
Pause and notice the effects of this practice in your body and mind. You may practice this exercise daily for one week.
3. Three Part Breath Technique
The three part breath technique is an exercise that utilizes your entire lung capacity creating a state of deep relaxation in your body. Take a deep inhale through your nose, notice how the stomach expands like a big balloon. On the exhale, expel all the air out from the belly through your nose. Draw the navel back towards your spine to make sure that the belly is empty of air.
On the next inhale, fill the belly up with air as described above. Then when the belly is full, draw in a little more breath and let that air expand into the rib cage, causing the ribs to widen apart. On the exhale, let the air go: first from the rib cage, letting the ribs slide closer together; and then from the belly, drawing the navel back towards the spine.
On the next inhale, place your hands on your chest with the fingertips underneath the clavicles (collar bones) and fill the belly and rib cage up with air as described above. Then draw in just a little more air and let it fill the upper chest. On the exhale, let the breath go first from the upper chest, letting the ribs slide closer together. Finally, let the air go from the belly, drawing the navel back towards the spine.
Continue at your own pace, letting the three parts of the breath happen smoothly without pausing. Continue for about 10 breaths. On the exhale, allow your body to return to its natural breath cycle. Pause and notice the effects of this practice, any sensations that may arise in your body, any thoughts and any feelings. Practice daily.
Regular yoga practices can help you achieve the sense of wellness you are seeking. Breathing techniques, stretches, and meditation help you release tension, build proper body alignment, increase awareness, focus the mind, and nourish and restore your balance.
Here is information on the health benefits of yoga:
American Osteopathic Association
Benefits of Yoga
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Yoga for Health
5. Practice Self-Compassion
Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself as you would towards someone else who is having a hard time. It is often easier to care for someone else in pain than it is to care for ourselves. We tend to be quick to judge and criticize ourselves for various inadequacies or shortcomings. Self-compassion would mean that you are kind to yourself when confronted with personal failings and painful events.
For more information or to discuss stress and resilience concerns please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.
In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.
This content was last modified on: 02/28/2018