A Simple And Effective Way To Reduce Stress And Anxiety

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In these times of economic uncertainty people are becoming more and more stressed and anxious about their future. Whilst a certain level of stress and anxiety can actually help motivate us and keep us safe and on our toes, prolonged stress and anxiety can have the opposite effect. It can seriously impact your health, and reduce your resourcefulness, effectiveness, performance and decision making abilities. Therefore learning a simple way to quickly rebalance your mind and body on a regular basis can have profoundly positive effects.

The Process

Here is a simple but very effective process, which comes from a blend of ideas from meditation, HeartMath and NLP. When practised regularly, it can help you to feel much more emotionally balanced, more positive, feel less stressed and can improve your mental clarity.

Practice it regularly for at least 5 � 15 minutes at a time, or longer if you can. It is also a particularly useful thing to do before anxiety and stress provoking events like meetings, presentations or interviews, or any time you just want to feel more calm and positive. Practice at least once a day for several weeks and remember, you are learning a new skill so be patient with yourself, the more you practice the easier and more automatic it will become.

1. Attention

Focus your attention on the centre of your chest.

2. Breathing

Continue to focus on the area around your chest and imagine you are breathing in and out through that area.

Breathe as deeply as feels comfortable. It should never feel forced or overextended. Allow your breathing rate to gently slow and deepen, until you are comfortably breathing in and out to a count of 5 or 6. Continue this until the breathing feels smooth and natural. Once you�ve achieved a smooth and natural breathing rhythm you can go to the next step.

3. Positive Feelings

Recall a time when you felt a really positive feeling or attitude. For example, a sense of loving someone or feeling loved, a favourite place, or activity you enjoy, a happy memory, a sense of confidence, feelings of appreciation or compassion. Allow yourself to become fully immersed in this feeling or attitude. Make the mental images bigger, brighter, and closer. Turn up any sounds. Intensify any pleasant physical sensations and allow them to spread through you and around you. Imagine the feelings doubling and trebling in intensity. As you hold the positive feelings, continue the breathing and focus from the first steps.

4. Carry those good feelings into other areas of your life

Allow the positive feelings from the previous step to continue to intensify and spread through and around you. Imagine these feelings forming a bubble around you, with you at the centre of it, looking out through it as you perceive the world around you. Imagine looking out through your bubble of positive feelings as you experience the stresses and anxieties in your life. You may also want to imagine looking out of your positive bubble as you imagine going through the day ahead. As you hold the positive feelings, remember to continue the breathing and focus from the first steps.

About the Author:

Nigel Magowan is an Integrative Psychotherapist, Life Coach, NLP Master Practitioner and Advanced Hypnotherapist. He deals with many emotional and behavioural issues, and specialises in treating anxiety related disorders. He also has additional specialist training in working with addictions, treating IBS, controlling pain, stress management techniques, and ecotherapy. Nigel is also a fully trained and accredited supervisor and offers supervision to other therapists. He has clinics in both Chorlton in South Manchester, and Harley Street in Central London.

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