Heather Stegmaier, M.AmSAT

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« Combat Coping with the Alexander Technique | Main | My Story | Beyond Pain Relief: Discovering a Unique and Special Practice »

Stop Stress Immediately: Incorporate These Three Steps

Stress and tension are a part of our daily lives. In fact, it has become the norm in our culture these days. When asked the simple question, “How are you?” a common response is often, “I’ve been so busy! Things have been stressful and crazy!” The stress in our lives creates tension in the body, which can lead to chronic pain.

No matter what type of stress you are under, the tension and pain are very real. Tension and pain are physical symptoms of our stressed out mental state.

I will take this one step further to say that stress is also a symptom. Stress is a mental symptom of our external environment.

So how do we stop this vicious cycle?

The solution lies in choice and conscious thought. When faced with a stress-full experience, situation, or environment follow these steps:

  1. Hit the pause button—before you “freak out” take one second to stop and bring awareness to yourself 
  2. Insert conscious thought—now that you’ve wedged a big old pause in-between your stress and freak out, insert some instructions for yourself by thinking (or saying out loud!), “I am not reacting to this situation.”
  3. Follow through—keep pausing, keep thinking, “I am not reacting…” Continue to bring awareness to yourself and your response to a stress-full situation.

By working on your reaction to stress-full things, you have the opportunity to override your physical reaction to stress. This results in less tension and gaining control over yourself and how you handle stress.

This powerful tool is called INHIBITION in the Alexander Technique. It is a very important step in gaining mastery over your mind and body.

This takes practice! Try it when you’re not stressed out by practicing conscious rest. Then, when you are faced with daily stress, you have a new tool to use.

I’d love to hear from you and how—by following these three steps— you were able to override your stress reaction. Share your experience below in the comments below.

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