Reduce Stress By Chilling
By Byron Pulsifer, ©2007
We are not talking about chilling wine. We are really talking about you chilling to reduce your stress - or, as young people are heard to say, "chill out".
But, this expression really doesn't give you the reduced stress we are talking about. Instead, this expression is more about an expressed outward attitude towards an event. Not that there is anything wrong with this but it doesn't go far enough.
What we really want to do is schedule a time just for you when you can do anything you want. Enjoy that walk in the park, that hike in the woods, making a special project, or simply reading a good book.
The secret here is that you need to begin by blocking off a segment of time just for you. This means just you, not your spouse, your children, or your friends - just you.
If you are having trouble thinking about this block of time, sit down and make a list of different things, events, or lone projects that you would really enjoy. Don't let anything else interfere with this block of time. Initially, you may have some previously scheduled usual events or commitments in the way. If this is the case, block as little as two hours just for yourself. This block of time, initially, can be a once a week event - that's okay because in our busy lives even blocking two hours can be a challenge.
The object of this blocked time is to give you a chance to enjoy whatever it is you've decided to do. This is a time to let go of daily pressure, or what's nagging you. Part of the secret to maximizing this time is to concentrate on whatever it is you enjoy in order to eliminate intrusion of tasks you think you have to do, or other commitments you think you must attend to. Relax, enjoy, and savour the two hours you have.
Make mental pictures of yourself during this time that vividly depict a special moment, a moment in time that captures the meaning of enjoying yourself. All of these mental pictures will help you return to that moment of peace, or enjoyment when you find yourself facing a stressful event.
Move on to increase these moments by blocking either more two block periods, or one block of a half day a week. Remember, this is your time to relish in what you want, not what somebody else wants. If you find that your spouse, or partner starts to object, make arrangements so that they can enjoy what they want in their own scheduled block of time.
You can also explain the joy, relaxation, or peacefulness to your partner, or to a friend. Often through verbal expression, the moment takes on an even greater significance.
Don't stop. Keep going. Keep scheduling on your calendar these blocks of time and don't let other circumstances interfere - it's far too easy to let other events, situations, or commitments gain recognition.
If you want to keep enjoying these times, enjoying these stress free blocks, persevere.
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