What is Your Calmer Self-Image? How to Build One

We can pretty easily describe a metaphorical image of what we look like when we are highly stressed. For instance, we may refer to ourselves as a “wild-eyed, wild hair, raging beast” or a “racing tornado just like my mother.” Or we may see ourselves as…

Know Your Relaxation History

Switching from concern about stress let’s look at the other side of the coin, at relaxation. What is your history of relaxation?  What I mean is what has relaxed you?  Do you remember? Do you remember several sources of relaxation for you?  I know, it is…

Soft Eyes – Looking out of the corner of our eyes

As we become more focused on purposeful activities of any sort, we focus our eyes more and more sharply.  In the midst of high stress, we develop tunnel vision of a shocking degree (see law enforcement writings). But hard eyes don’t always give us the best results;…

Tornado in the Doorway

I alert people to what they will experience once they start applying  stress reduction techniques to their most stressful situations. Frequently, things feel worse! How could this be? I thought stress reduction techniques work by cooling things down such as  stress hormones or our emotional brain systems.…

Easing into Meditation

I hear this all the time: “I’ve tried meditation but I just don’t get anywhere because I can’t slow my mind down. I can’t relax.” Not unusual since most of us start this way.  I was never given much instruction, nor did I see others getting…

Truth: Powerful techniques can be learned and mastered quickly

The media has exposed us to all sorts of exotic, hard-to-learn, long-time to master methods of stress management. Zen masters, biofeedback pros, hypnosis experts, and yoga gurus have their place and make great copy but they don’t have the corner on all things related to stress.…

Squeeze Stress Away. Thank you, Dorothy Sarnoff

We have talked about the power of muscles before. At that time we focused on the profound and positive affects of relaxing muscles.  If we turn off muscle tension, we quiet a large collection of heavy working brain wiring. That tells the brain, “Hey, nothing much…

Inside or Outside? Where to Put Your Focus

We need an inside/outside strategy in our back pocket, ready to employ whenever our stress level is too high, or potentially headed that way. An inside strategy would involve turning inward to a large, small or moderate degree, and then doing something there.  It could be…