In This Chapter
^ Finding fast fixes in a pinch ^ Building your personal plan of attack
The ideas in this chapter are designed to give you a lift when you're feeling a little down or uptight. Mind you, we're not talking about deep depression or intense anxiety — that's what the rest of the book is about. But if you're feeling not quite yourself, you're likely to find these tips useful.
Typically, when you're distraught, your breathing quickens and becomes shallow. These changes in breathing are bound to add to your stress and make you more uncomfortable than you already are. You can counter such distress with this quick breathing technique:
1. Place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest.
2. Breathe in slowly, concentrating on inflating your abdomen first and then your chest.
3. Exhale slowly, quietly saying the word "relax" as the air goes out.
4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 for at least ten breaths.
People are social creatures. When you connect with others, you're likely to feel better. If you're feeling down, call a friend and discuss what's bothering you. Or call someone just to chat. Whatever the reason you connect, it's likely to help.
Sitting in a warm bath or standing in a hot shower can comfort the body by loosening all those muscles that tighten up when you're stressed. (Hot tubs work pretty well, too, as do saunas, but not everyone has one of these handy.) As you feel the water rushing over or around you, think of yourself as wrapped up in a warm blanket. You'll feel safe, soothed, and serene.
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