Stress can often make you focus on your perceived weaknesses and flaws. When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it’s common to end up criticising and blaming yourself. A way of building up our resilience to stress is to learn to recognise your negative thought patterns and actively work to refocus your mind. In this exercise, we will use the technique of positive self-talk. I will help you to identify some of your key personal qualities and strengths. All you need for this exercise is a pen and paper.
2. Release Tension in the Body
One of the physical signs of stress is muscular tension throughout the body or in specific areas like the neck, shoulders, back and head. In this session Dr. Catherine will guide you through a Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique which will enable you to release tension in the body so that you can begin to feel more calm and relaxed.This exercise can be done sitting in a comfortable chair, at any point during the day, but it’s even better to do lying down, especially in bed at night.
3. Peaceful Mind Visualization
Visualization is an effective technique for managing both stress and anxiety. With practice, this technique can enable you to achieve a sense of relaxation in just a few minutes - perfect for when you’ve had a busy stressful day. In this session, Dr. Catherine will guide you through a visualization where you can imagine yourself in a peaceful and safe environment, somewhere that makes you feel calm, happy and relaxed. The more you practice this exercise, the more naturally you will be able to imagine yourself in your peaceful place, and the greater the relaxation effect will be.
4. Deep Breathing For Relaxation
To effectively combat stress, we need to elicit the relaxation response. This is a physical state of deep rest which involves a number of physical changes in the body - your blood pressure decreases, your breathing slows down, your metabolism decreases, your heart rate slows down and your muscles relax. In this session Dr. Catherine will guide you through a simple deep breathing technique.
5. Stress Relief Through Gratitude
Cultivating gratitude is one of the simpler routes to a greater sense of emotional well-being, higher overall life satisfaction, and a greater sense of happiness in life. In today’s exercise you will learn to shift your mind out of stress mode through a regular practice of gratitude. You can do this exercise at any point during the day, but the best time to do it may be before you go to bed. All you need for this exercise is a pen and a notebook or journal.
6. Learn to Let Go Of Stress
When we are feeling stressed, it is important that we have a way to let go of unhelpful thoughts. In this session, Dr. Catherine will lead you through a mindfulness exercise which will enable you to step back and observe your thoughts, rather than being so caught up in them.
7. Silence The Inner Critic
Our ‘inner critic’ is the voice in our head that tells us we are always doing something wrong. This constant self-judgement is a huge source of stress for many people. In this exercise you will learn how to challenge this ‘inner critic’ through harnessing your capacity for compassion, and start the move to a calmer state of self-love and acceptance. This exercise requires some self-reflection on past and present experiences, so try to do it when you have the space to take 10 minutes to think without feeling rushed.
8. Change A Negative Mindset
When you’re feeling stressed, low or anxious, it’s common to experience negative thoughts. Once you start dwelling on one of these negative thoughts, it often leads to another, and before you know it, you’re stuck in a cycle of negative thinking that ends up making you feel even more stressed out and worried. In this session, Dr. Catherine shares a mindfulness technique that can enable you to respond to negative thoughts in a different way. Practicing this technique can help you to feel calmer, less overwhelmed by negative thoughts, and more able to cope with stressful situations.
9. One Minute Mindfulness - Visualization
Feeling tense and overwhelmed? Take one minute out of your busy day and join Dr Catherine for a soothing 'peaceful place' visualization. This short session will allow you to let go of any thoughts and feelings that are causing you to worry or experience anxiety today.
10. One Minute Mindfulness - Deep Breathing
When you are feeling stressed deep breathing is the fastest way to calm you down and find focus. Join Dr Catherine for this short and simple deep breathing exercise that will instantly calm your nervous system and relax the entire body. In less than one minute you can completely transform for physical and mental state for a more productive, focused and happy day.