Feelings of stress, anger, fear and anxiety don’t just occur in public or while engaging other people, but often affect us when we are alone.
In my book “The Reflex – Activate Thoughts, Words and Actions to Achieve Your Goals” I explain how stress is a conditioned, reflexive response pattern that can be interrupted and overwritten. Below are two techniques to achieve this in private
- Compose Yourself. With 2-3 blank sheets of paper, begin writing as fast as you can whatever is in your head. DO NOT judge, worry about grammar, punctuation, legibility or try to make it about anything specific. This is a free flow, subconscious mind dump, from your head to paper. Curse; be profane, prolific, happy, angry, sad or silly. Let whatever is in you flow uninterrupted from pen to paper. Feel free to begin by writing how weird you think this exercise is. What you write does not need to make sense, and might look or feel like inane ramblings – it’s all good! When finished, shred or file your writing and move on with your day. You should feel an immediate sense of calm clarity.
This is an all ages exercise. My daughter began this writing exercise in 6th grade. Now a 9th grader, she continues to Compose Herself on her own whenever she feels stressed. She says she feels an immediate difference, which is why she keeps doing it.
Why It Works:
This is a daily subconscious house cleaning. It helps dissolve the daily deposits in your subconscious mind that give rise to your stress reflex, and the things you worry about, try to control or figure out. You see, the conscious mind references the sub-conscious mind for most of our conscious actions. If your subconscious is filled with more deposits that support a stress response, then this is all that is available for your conscious mind to withdraw.
- Primal Scream. This is typically performed out of earshot of other people, such as alone in your car or home. As the name suggests, the objective is to take a deep breath and yell as loud and long as possible. Once you have emptied the air in your lungs and some of you strained your voice a bit, you will be amazed at how wonderful you feel.
Why it Works
The vigorous effort expressed through a Primal Scream begins to metabolize the excess adrenalin produced from the “Fight or Flight” stress response. The Primal Scream also relaxes the nerve receptors in your muscle tissue, which helps break the physical stress/tension reflex. This is due to the rapid increase of oxygenated blood flow as capillaries quickly open, respiratory muscles are stretched through rapid expansion/contraction of the lungs, while relaxing your connective, muscle and other soft tissues through the sonic vibrations that resonate through your body while yelling.
Feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated or angry are not the problem – poor management is. “Stewing in your own juices” is how the physical, mental and emotional damage occurs. Having a method to address these human conditions is how we achieve a balanced, harmonious, healthy and happy life.
Chris Weiler is a published author, speaker, consultant, strength trainer and performance expert to athletes, Fortune 500’s and YOU!