Stress Management and Relief

PROGRESSIVE RELAXATION

Tense and relax muscle gr
oups, hold for five seconds and release. As you release the contraction, let go of tension, using visual imagery of letting it soak into the surface beneath you, letting tension flow out of you through the muscle you have just tensed and relaxed. Breathe deeply.

Lie on your back, pillow under head and under knees if you prefer.

Calm your mind and focus on the exercise.

Toes: Curl toes, stretch and relax. Flex ankles, extend, relax.

Push heels into surface beneath you. Contact muscles of the calves, then relax. (Do not contract muscles of the calves if you are prone to muscle cramps in the legs.)

Tighten knee muscles, relax. Tighten thigh muscles and relax.

Let tension flow from lower limbs.

Breathe deeply. Contract and relax abdominal muscles and buttocks.

Use abdominal muscles to assist deep breathing.

Arch your back and press into the surface beneath you.

Focus on slowing breathing as you relax chest and ribs areas.

Shrug your shoulders one at a time, then together, press them into the surface beneath you. Relax.

Wiggle your fingers. Make a fist, relax. Raise each finger, lower it and relax it.

Curl your wrist, extend it, relax it.

Let tension flow down and out your arms.

Open your mouth wide, push the tongue against the roof of your mouth, clench jaw tightly and relax.

Smile.

Close eyes tightly, relax.

Wrinkle forehead. Relax.

Press head against surface or pillow. Relax.

Imagine you are floating on a warm surface. Breathe deeply and let tension soak away from you

What are some of the stressors in your life right now

    Work:

    Home:

    Spouse:

    Social:

    List six major commitments in your present life (such as your spouse, family, job, school, other responsibilities.)



What other commitments would you like to make?


What commitments could you surrender? (or delegate)

Identify the ways you respond to stress:

Denial Temper/Angry Outbursts

Withdrawal/Isolation

Gambling

Self-Destructive Behaviors

Overeating

Compulsive Coping

Over-spending

Substance use: Nicotine

Workalcoholism

Alcohol

Sexual Promiscuity

Drugs

Tics/Compulsive habits

Food

Dreams/Nightmares

Chocolate

Caffeine (tea, coffee, sodas)

List Physical Strengths:



List Emotional Strengths:



List Social Support Systems:



List Intellectual Resources (eg., creativity, humor, etc.)



List Spiritual Strengths:



List Lifestyle Resources (eg., rituals, traditions, hobbies, etc.)




How might you use your strengths and resources to meet the demands of the stressors in you life?

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