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Dealing with Stress

January 11, 2017
By Mrs. Nikki Curliss

I remember a yoga instructor telling me the only requirement in the yoga class was to breathe. Controlled breathing can promote a feeling of being calm and reduce stress. Belisa Vranich, a psychologist and author of the book Breathe says that “science is finding that breathing practices can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder”. 

Controlled, slow breaths tell the body that all is well. The easiest method is to count as you inhale and exhale. Count to six as you inhale, pause, and then count to six as you exhale. Repeat this pattern for up to 10 to 20 minutes a day.

In addition to breathing, we can calm our mind by creating a resilient mindset. Derek Roger and Nick Petrie have co-authored a book, Work Without Stress: Building a Resilient Mindset for Lasting Success. To feel better and live better, we can follow 4 mental habits;

  1. Wake up. Focus on what you are doing. Let go of the past and focus on the present
  2. Control your Attention. Practice focusing and controlling your attention
  3. Detach. Maintain perspective and distinguish between care and worry
  4. Let go. Let go of negative emotions

By focusing on our thoughts and our breathing, we can work on destressing our lives and creating a healthy habit we can live with.

Nikki Curliss, Guidance Counselor, has been at StMM for 5 years. She enjoys spending time helping students one-on-one and with whole classroom lessons. 
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