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Ten Terrific Tips to Tame Tension

By Linda Larsen - Saturday, July 24, 2010
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As a motivational speaker specializing in healthcare issues, I've discovered a few thing about managing stress that have helped me tremendously. So if the stress of your job (and/or "life") becomes so great that the muscles in your neck turn to stone, your teeth lock in to a permanent clench and everyone in your life starts getting on your nerves, it may be time to turn to one of the following ten action ideas guaranteed to calm you down and restore your sanity.

  1. Breathe. Deeply, fully. Count slowly to 6 as you breathe in and see if you can breathe out to a count of 8. Focus only on the sound of your breath, the feel of your chest expanding and the image of oxygen permeating and relaxing the muscles in your neck and back.
  2. Get away. Ok, so maybe you can’t get on a plane for Bermuda in this moment – but you certainly can go anywhere you choose in your imagination. Take 3 or 4 minutes and visualize yourself in your favorite vacation spot. See the details, feel the relaxation, hear the waves crash, smell the pina colada.
  3. Stretch. Yes, get up and move away from your desk if possible. Bend over; stretch your arms up over your head. Do gentle neck rolls. Stretch your fingers, your calves and your toes. Send oxygen rich blood to all those extremities that have been working overtime.
  4. Play that funky music. Keep a Walkman somewhere close by. Take a break, put on the headphones and let the music fill your heart, soul and body.
  5. Walk. Take a quick walk around the block, the building or the office. Brisk – like a person with a purpose. Carry a stack of papers. You’ll look like you are on a mission and people won’t bother you.
  6. Laugh. Nothing releases tension and calms frayed nerves better than a hardy laugh. Nothing to laugh at you say? Poppycock. Just laugh! Seriously, just start guffawing. You’ll be surprised at how the sound of your own big phony laugh will make you…well, laugh!
  7. Ask for help. This may seem obvious, but there are too many times when we get in a hyper work-like-a-crazy-person mode and we forget that we don’t have to do everything ourselves. Tell a co-worker or supervisor or your secretary that you are on overload and need some help.
  8. Slather on the lavender. Often called the “Rescue remedy,” lavender calms, releases and balances strong emotions such as frustration, irritability and nervous anxiety. Keep a little bottle of essential oil, a candle or dried lavender sachet close by – and inhale deeply.
  9. Drink it up! Hot chamomile tea, that is. Taken with a little touch of honey, chamomile tea is soothing and calming.
  10. Put things in perspective. When I am the most stressed out at my job, it frequently helps to remember that I am so very, very blessed to HAVE a job, when so many others don’t. I am lucky to have my good health, a loving family and a clear mind. Say a silent prayer of gratitude.

About the Author

Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE is a Hall of Fame Speaker, professional actress, best-selling author and serious lover of doggies. Linda speaks at conferences and meetings around the world, helping people bring the very best version of themselves to life every day! To talk to Linda about how she can contribute to the success of your next event, call 941-927-4700. Or go to Book Linda Now!

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