Strategies to relieve stress
What do you do to relieve stress, to dissipate the energies that build up when stress strikes?
• Many people take the “use it and lose it” approach. They use physical activity to get rid of all the energy that is stored in the body as the result of stress. A hard exercise session is great for dissipating unwanted stress, and at the same time it helps to get your body in shape.
• Other people say that music helps them unwind.
• For some a whirlpool is great, or a sauna.
• Some people use hobbies or other distractions. Sometimes, in an attempt to get rid of stress that has become so uncomfortable that it is really distress, people resort to things that create other problems: They eat, drink or get into trouble.
• One thing that everybody can do to relieve stress is meditate. Enter your level and spend 15 minutes relaxing your body and mind. This will drain away excess stress, and you will come out refreshed and ready to go.
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Instant stress reducers
Here are two strategies you can use to short-circuit stress and cut it off any time it strikes:
1. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, relax. This is something that coaches frequently tell athletes to do. It’s an easy way to relax.
2. Use the “solution workout and fitness technique” instead of what most people use the “worry workout and fitness technique.” Instead of worrying about what has already happened, stop, take a deep breath and relax as you exhale, then think about the solution.
Remember the Mental Housecleaning workout and fitness technique that we taught you in Exercise 2? Whenever you begin to think of a mistake or a problem, pause, take a deep breath and as you exhale, relax and think of your goal. Imagine yourself performing perfectly. Recall a time when you performed perfectly, when you were “in the groove.”
Stress for success
You can make up your mind to use stress constructively to help you win. The first step is to be able to tell when you are experiencing stress.
How do you know when you are under stress?
Do you feel a knot in your stomach?
Do your muscles tense up?
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