Years ago, as part of a design team developing a ten-week program for individuals living with chronic illness and pain, I produced and recorded my first relaxation audio recording for Kaiser Permanente.
I produced a second one some years later with an Emmy-nominated friend who composed the background music for it.
As you listen and follow the instructions in my Relaxation audio, you will focus on the process of breathing. You will tighten different muscle groups, breathe deeply, and then release the tension as you breathe out.
When practiced each day for at least 30 days, you will become aware of where you hold your tension and will learn how to quickly release that tension.
We will experience stress every day. That is normal and natural. For example:
You’ve been asked to work overtime – again. The bus was late, you arrive home to kids fighting and an irritated spouse, the kitchen is a mess and you just want to throw up your hands and scream.
That is a pretty normal reaction to a string of events that were frustrating and exasperating. Who wouldn’t want to throw up their hands and scream?
However, when we remain in that agitated state, the original stress is compounded. We need our jobs, we want to have good times with our families, and we know we can adapt, but how do we keep the accumulation of expectations and demands from overwhelming us?
While stress is universal and everyone experiences it, it is also very personal. What stresses one person may be an exhilarating experience to another. Consider sky diving or swimming. In the Study Guide and Personal Application that accompanies this book, the questions presented can help you understand the sources of your personal stress.
We can’t live without stress nor do we want to. It is an essential part of living. But we can make it work for us and not against us.
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