How to stay relaxed when times are tough

A very common remark is, “I am so stressed!” There are many reasons for being stressed. What causes stress? If we go back in time to the caveman who saw a hungry tiger in front him, he would experience the fight-or-flight response. The same happens today if you for example step off the curb and hear an oncoming car’s horn. You would react very quickly and jump back onto the curb.

There are tools available to prevent the fight-or-flight response when we don’t need it. You may feel stress because your job is in danger. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we deal with it in our self-talk.

Let go of stress as it impairs resistance to disease. The problem today is that we hardly ever get a break from stress. The first thing to do to get relief from stress is to decide that you are going to become calm. When you have done that, you can start using any of the three following keys to stay relaxed:

1. Breathing.
Empty your stomach of air, then relax and fill your stomach with air, hold it why you count to seven, then exhale slowly while you count to eight. Repeat several times.

2. Take a mental walk to a peaceful place.
3. Use the NO-YES technique.

Ask yourself questions to which you answer no, such as is it good for you to be stressed, is it good for your health, is it good for people around you? You then ask questions to which you answer yes, such as: Is it good to be calm and relaxed, is it good for your health, is it good for people around you? This way you end up with the relaxed state.

The other day a person gave me a tip about having a good relaxed sleep. If that is a problem for you, apply what she told me: Before going to sleep, write down five things that made you happy during the day. You could have a little my-life book where you keep these notes. Every evening you add another five experiences. You may find that you start seeing a lot that previously just passed by your nose without realizing that it was something special.

Yesterday afternoon I picked two buds on a camellia bush. I put them in a little vase and placed them in the kitchen window. When I entered the kitchen this morning, the buds had unfolded and stood there and smiled at me! – Later a former student called me to enrol for an upcoming course. He told me that in his office they sometimes fall into the trap of being very negative. He and his partner, who also attended a previous course with me, would then look at each other and say, “Let us use the Hanne Christensen method” which was to turn negative talk into positive talk. This event made me very happy. I have now two things to add to my book tonight.

Make your sleep healthy and relaxed, tonight and every night ever after!

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