September 10, 2008

How To Handle Stress

Say goodbye to that potentially flare-inducing demon with the "Quick Release" -- a calm, cool and very collected exercise developed by Dr. Robert Phillips. This easy technique is great for reducing overall tension in your body.

Step 1

Get yourself into a comfortable position, whether on a bed, in a chair or even standing up. Close your eyes.

Step 2

Take a deep breath and hold it. At the same time, tense your muscles -- starting with your arms and fists, followed by your legs, abdomen and other body parts. Tense as many muscles as you can, but don't strain yourself or engage muscles that may be sore or uncomfortable. Do this for about 6 seconds. No need to actually count.

Step 3

Let your breath out in a "whoosh" and let your body go limp, like a rag doll. Keep breathing rhythmically and comfortably for what feels like 20 seconds. Again, just estimate the time.

Step 4

Repeat this cycle 2 more times.

Step 5

At the end of the third repetition, keep your eyes closed and just relax for one minute. Focus on your breathing and allow yourself to relax even more.

This entire exercise takes less than 2 minutes. Use it anytime something (or someone) stresses you out. Even better, practice it 5 or more times throughout the day for overall tension reduction.

Taken from the Fall 2004 issue of Lupus Now magazine

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