These times, they are tough. In the last several weeks, especially, I have seen clients in higher levels of distress, no matter what their concern for seeking therapy. They are concerned with their financial situation, no longer holding on to the thought that the state of our country is only affecting other people. When couples are in conflict, often mistrust will raise its ugly head. Many couples don't have an equal understanding of where their money is, how much money they have, or how the money is spent. This fear of their money or loss of control of it, most definitely affects other areas of their relationship. I have seen fear and anger replace an already strained relationship. Some couples are seeing their partners as the enemy. They are loosing perspective of a more global effect.
Our state of economy is becoming more and more destabilizing and affecting all areas of life even down to the most basic: food, shelter, clothing, and sex! At times like these, it's helpful to come back to "home", meaning coming back to what grounds us and helps keep us centered. Some basic stress reduction strategies are:
1. Limit the amount of TV, news articles, computer information, too much may be increasing your stress level
2. Use breathing techniques to quell anxiety
3. Stay away from the "doomers and gloomers"
4. Get physical!!!
5. Watch some comedy
6. Eat healthily
7. Get in touch with nature
8. Keep a gratitude list
10. Cuddle, touch, massage, be playful, kiss, hug, have fun sex
Be careful of the amount of TV, news articles, computer information you are getting. While you want to stay informed about the news (these days it changes from moment to moment), if you find that you are spending hours/day listening to the same information, it's probably too much and is increasing your stress level.
Use breathing techniques to quell anxiety. A breathing technique that we use in yoga and tantric practice is a deep, abdominal breath in and out. Simply, take in a deep, full breath (can be through your nose or mouth), extending your stomach as you continue to inhale, and then, exhale, allowing your stomach to fall back to resting state. This will help slow your breath down, allow a deeper breath in, and cause a calming affect in your body.
Stay away from the "doomers and gloomers". While it makes good sense, when we are in the middle of our "drama", we may gravitate toward those who are experiencing our same or similar feelings. However, some people dwell on the negative which can have the effect of bringing everyone around them down, increasing our sense of "bad" feelings.
Get physical. Physical activity will help raise our endorphins and divert our attention to more positive thoughts. Even mild physical activity is helpful. So, go out for a walk, bike, swim, do yoga, go dancing or what ever it is that you enjoy...just take the time to do it.
Watch some comedy! Research has shown that laughter is a great healer and it will help distract us from feeling the heaviness of the times. So, pick that comedy channel, choose a funny movie, pull out one of those light-hearted and funny novels, or take turns telling some funny jokes!
Eat healthily. Eat your fruits and vegetables and stay away from high fat and sugared foods! Eat in moderation and pay attention to eating when emotionally upset.
Get in touch with nature. Being in nature has a wonderful calming effect, go to the beach, walk in a garden, or even watch your pet play or sleep!
Keep a gratitude list. Though it may feel invalidating, at first, to start a gratitude list when we are feeling so down, it can begin to help shift our attitude. The gratitude list is writing down all the things in your life that are working...down to the very tiniest of details. It helps give most people perspective.
Meditate. Meditation is another way to help lower stress level. There are many ways to meditate. One way is to find a quiet place where you will be undisturbed, sit comfortably, and begin to focus on your breathing. Just simply breathe and let go of all your external thoughts and stay focused on your breath. If you are new to meditation, it may be easier to begin with a meditation group.
Cuddle, touch, massage, be playful, kiss, hug, have fun sex! Last, but, not least, paying attention to our partner! Turn toward each other and recognize the difficulty each is having. Remember how good it feels to cuddle, being in each others arms, smelling and feeling the warmth of their body. Give each other a massage, use sensuous oil or powder, or edible whip cream or chocolate sauce. Be playful, run, skip, jump, laugh, have a pillow fight, blow bubbles, be silly together!
These are the times to go back to the basics...kiss, feel each others lips, the heat, the fullness, the taste. Hug, melt into each other, feel the heartbeat of your partner, listen to the rhythm of their breath, feel the warmth of their body against yours.....you may even feel the heat of building passion, which leads us into lovemaking!!!!!!! How fun can sex be!!!!!
Wow, now that is how to turn a dark day DELIGHTFUL!!!!!!
Published On: November 17, 2008