Brighter Pathways ©  2017

Welcome!. Dr. M.. Our Office. Main Services. Follow-up Services. Interventions. Third Pig Book. Self-Help . The Project. School Confusion. Testing/Diagnoses. Gifted & Talented. Learning Disabilities. ADD/ADHD. Behavior/Emotional. Our Therapy Dogs. Dr. M's Messages. Location/Contact Us.

1237 E. Livingston Street, Suite B

Orlando, FL 32803-5401

Ph: 407-895-0540 ~ Fax: (407) 228-9771

Licenses:  SS00305 ~ MH02676 ~ PCE-9

Home

Teaching your children “Mini Stress-Busters” can help them allay fear and reduce pain whether they’re siting in the dentist’s chair or preparing for a big test at school. These strategies are equally helpful in thwarting stress before an upcoming event or during situations that are upsetting. Notice that these strategies–-research-based and found to be effective–-consistently emphasize paying attention to and relaxing the physical body while slowing or distracting the mind.


To be most effective, you must MODEL the techniques in your own routine, so that your children see that you use them and find them helpful. Do not expect to just “teach” these techniques to your children and expect them to apply them when you’re not around. Actually, you’ll probably gain a great deal of benefit, and your children will learn these are “natural techniques” to apply as needed, just as they comb their hair when it’s needed.


When you’ve got 1 minute

Place your hand just beneath your navel so you can feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly as you breathe. Breathe in slowly. Pause for a count of three. Breathe out. Pause for a count of three. Continue to breathe deeply for one minute, pausing for a count of three after each inhalation and exhalation.


Or alternatively, while sitting comfortably, take a few slow deep breaths and quietly repeat to yourself “I am” as you breathe in and “at peace” as you breathe out. Repeat slowly two or three times. Then feel your entire body relax into the support of the chair.


When you’ve got 2 minutes

Count down slowly from 10 to zero. With each number, take one complete breath, inhaling and exhaling. For example, breathe in deeply saying “10” to yourself. Breathe out slowly. On your next breath, say “nine,” and so on. If you feel lightheaded, count down more slowly to space your breaths further apart. When you reach zero, you should feel more relaxed. If not, go through the exercise again.


When you’ve got 3 minutes

While sitting down, take a break from whatever you’re doing and check your body for tension. Relax your facial muscles and allow your jaw to fall open slightly. Let your shoulders drop. Let your arms fall to your sides. Allow your hands to loosen so that there are spaces between your fingers. Uncross your legs or ankles. Feel your thighs sink into your chair, letting your legs fall comfortably apart. Feel your shins and calves become heavier and your feet grow roots into the floor. Now breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly. Each time you breathe out, try to relax even more.


When you’ve got 5 minutes

Try self-massage. A combination of strokes works well to relieve muscle tension. Try gentle chops with the edge of your hands or tapping with fingers or cupped palms. Put fingertip pressure on muscle knots. Knead across muscles, and try long, light, gliding strokes. You can apply these strokes to any part of the body that falls easily within your reach. For a short session like this, try focusing on your neck and head.


   * Start by kneading the muscles at the back of your neck and shoulders. Make a loose fist and drum swiftly up and down the sides and back of your neck. Next, use your thumbs to work tiny circles around the base of your skull. Slowly massage the rest of your scalp with your fingertips. Then tap your fingers against your scalp, moving from the front to the back and then over the sides.

   * Now massage your face. Make a series of tiny circles with your thumbs or fingertips. Pay particular attention to your temples, forehead, and jaw muscles. Use your middle fingers to massage the bridge of your nose and work outward over your eyebrows to your temples.

   * Finally, close your eyes. Cup your hands loosely over your face and inhale and exhale easily for a short while.



When you’ve got 10 minutes

Try imagery. Start by sitting comfortably in a quiet room. Breathe deeply for a few minutes. Now picture yourself in a place that conjures up good memories. What do you smell — the heavy scent of roses on a hot day, crisp fall air, the wholesome smell of baking bread? What do you hear? Drink in the colors and shapes that surround you. Focus on sensory pleasures: the swoosh of a gentle wind; soft, cool grass tickling your feet; the salty smell and rhythmic beat of the ocean. Passively observe intrusive thoughts, and then gently disengage from them to return to the world you’ve created.


Source:  Harvard Health Publications Special Health Report, “Stress Control: Techniques for Preventing and Easing Stress.”

Mini Stress-Busters

“BREATHE” Self-Help Symbol

From the Project


by Mariagrazia Orlandini,

Award-Winning Artist, Italy