Holiday De-stressor

By Laura Gordon

Christmas shopping, house decorating, cooking, family gatherings and making New Year’s resolutions have you a little stressed out? The simple technique I’m about to describe to you will help you take advantage of the mind-body connection by releasing stress and improving your overall health and attitude. It’s like a mini vacation without having to pack!

Here’s how it goes…

The first step is to sit with your back straight but not tense. With open hand resting in open hand and palms up, place them comfortably in your lap. If you can, loosen any clothing that feels tight around your waist. Bring your focus to your breath. The idea here, on your inhalation, is to let the diaphragm descend fully into the abdominal cavity on the count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale slowly on a count of four through your mouth feeling the diaphragm ascend. Hold for a count of four, and repeat; each time you repeat increase the number until you reach 10. It may feel strange at first, and it may take some practice, but just be patient and allow yourself to experience the benefits of this new/old way of breathing.

You can enjoy this de-stressor anytime of the year you feel you need to get away.

21 thoughts on “Holiday De-stressor”

  1. Meditation- a subject I know all to well this week. Taking a break n making time to just breathe. Sounds simple.
    We have busy schedules, and not enough time in the day. When I awake n a before I go to sleep I will. Breathe.

  2. This is relaxing. My favorite thing is to do this and pray at the same time it is very relaxing and helps me cope with what God has been allowing me to handle in the last few days.

  3. I think these are excellent techniques! Breathing has a profound effect on the mind and body. This exercise is like a detox for the mind and body! It allows stress and tension to just melt off of you! I think the old saying about counting to 10 when you are upset or angry may have been derived from this idea. I may try adding this into my daily life, just as a short break in the middle of doing homework, or while my daughter has a nap. It couldn’t hurt, and it may just have a calming affect on my mind throughout the day. Taking a step back and a deep breath makes any situation seem less stressful and more do-able.

  4. This has helped me a lot. It made me feel a lot better with being stressed. I must say that this is the best advice and exercise to relieve stress.

  5. I am a big fan of meditation and focused breathing, and they never fail to take me to a peaceful place. Thanks for the reminder to take time in the midst of holiday chaos to reclaim serenity…makes for a much more enjoyable celebration!

  6. This is how I normally breathe just without intermittently increasing my breath counts. Also Called Tibetan Monk breathing I believe.

  7. Breathing is at the center of a lot of our activities. Running, lifting, and Massage. I can see how getting grounded and centered is a great time-out for the stressful holidays.

  8. 4th attempt- I have used meditation and breathing techniques in the past they are very helpful to relive stress. Thank you for the reminder.

  9. I think meditation has very definitive therapeutic affects when practiced correctly. Who doesn’t need to re-align themselves every once in a while, right?

  10. I have tried this and it works. It is hard at first to think you can hold ur breath that long. Once you start doing this it will be like second nature to you.

  11. This sounds like a good stress reliever for anyone with kids! Send them to their room when you’re angry at them, do this exercise until you’re calm, then when you’re calm proceed with the punishment 🙂

  12. This technique is definitely a calming and relaxing practice. I do most of my slow deep breathing while soaked up in a bubble bath. It absolutely helps to just slow down your breathing, relax all of your senses and be in the moment. I find myself needing to use this technique more than just around the holidays.

  13. I used to practice this before I would go to bed back in high school. I had terrible trouble sleeping then, and this would definitely help! Awesome, I should start it back up again.

  14. Wow I definitely need to try this out. One because with the people that I live with I can easily get stressed out just by being near them. Great article by the way, can’t wait to try this technique.

  15. I am all for ideas that help people destress. We live in a very stressful and fast paced society that any solutions that help us to feel less stressed out is very beneficial for people in their everyday lives.