Psst! Look at What Therapists Do to De-Stress
By Sandy Schroeder
We all live with stress and try to handle it as best we can. But have you ever wondered what psychologists and therapists do about their stress? Undoubtedly, they have deadlines, families and ongoing tension too.
Here’s What Happens
The website Prevention.com asked several experts how they handle stress.
Giggle with a Friend – Most of us know someone who always sees the funny side. When stress builds, take a break with that friend. Trade jokes, experiences, even talk about your stress to put everything in perspective. Laughter subdues stress hormones and increases brain chemicals that make us happy.
Head for the Kitchen - When the day has been too long, there's something reassuring about creating a savory stew or special soup. I am not a chef, but I never fail to feel better when I start chopping, stirring, and tasting my efforts.
Keep It Simple – Sometimes, just the sheer number of tasks waiting can spike blood pressure, and make it tougher to cope. But one psychologist says think small. Pick one simple task and make it happen. Just moving ahead, and accomplishing something, will begin to level stress.
Let Your Breath Carry the Load – A few deep breaths will put a fresh supply of oxygen in your blood, calming your pulse and easing the tension. When stress simply will not let go, find a quiet spot, close your eyes, and breathe. The next time tension hits, repeat the steps. Gradually, this may become your go-to spot to keep your body happy and your stress under control.
Get Out and Do Something – One psychotherapist bikes around his city shooting pictures of people. That’s double stress reduction. Exercise is a prime stress reducer, and photography is a cool distraction. Another choice could be doing some scenic walks in parks and gardens near you.
Pause to Reflect and Be Grateful – One clinical psychologist reflects over her morning coffee, considering the small joys in her life. Take a moment and think about everyday things you enjoy, as you pet your cat, listen to music, or sniff the roses in your garden.
Listen to Your Favorites - One clinician faces down her doubts about the effectiveness of her work as she listens to favorites. I have done this many times with Simon and Garfunkle’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The lyrics from a song, or the words of a poem, can help the mind refocus.
Scope Out a Trip – Just letting yourself think about that sunny spot on the beach can move you out of the stress zone. As you put the trip together, and anticipation builds, stress recedes. If you can’t swing a two-week trip, line up several weekend getaways.
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