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Emotional Completion- A Stress Management Exercise

This stress management exercise is related to that frustrating feeling we get when we forget the name of somebody and have that “it’s on the tip of our tongue” feeling. There is a sense of relief and achievement when we remember the name and quite often it’s not even that important anymore!

There is a powerful link to this act of completion, of going from a beginning to an end, and to managing stress. When we experience a stressful situation, the fight or flight response is triggered to a greater or lesser degree. This is a biological process that needs to complete, and if it doesn’t happen the emotion can stay in our mental “pending tray” for stress to remain after the event.

Here is a simple stress management exercise that takes about fifteen minutes. It’s particularly good for when you are finding it hard to shake off a stressful day or situation that is still on your mind:

Preparation– Find a pad of paper and pen. Sit down and relax by really focusing on your breathing. Deep, powerful in-breaths from your stomach, in through your nose. Slow, long out-breaths through your mouth, ideally with the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Emotional sensitivity– Recall in your mind, the event, emotion or thought, that might have caused particular stress or anxiety that day, even if it is a reoccurring one. At this point grade the level of how anxious or stressed it makes you feel when you think about it, from 1-10, with ten the highest level of emotion.

Achieving completion– If you need to, go back to the breathing exercise, to feel relaxed before starting this stage. You are now looking to observe your thoughts and emotions in relation to the cause of the anxiety that you graded above. Think of this as a mental detox, solving the cause of the anxiety is not your main outcome here.

In a factual way, with no judgement or emotion, start by mentally observing how you felt and thought when you first experienced the cause of the anxiety. If easier write down your response. What can you see differently as an observer? Is there a solution you can see now that you didn’t earlier? If an emotion starts to develop ask yourself what is it’s purpose?

You might see a solution, or alternatively make an agreement with yourself for a temporary ceasefire. The terms ideally need to be desirable, realistic and achievable and to a specific time frame, even if the ceasefire is until the following day.

Finally go back and grade your emotional response on the scale of 1-10 and be surprised at the result!

If you liked this post you might like my previous one on Human Givens emotional needs or contact me for your free telephone consultation.


By Lawrence Michaels

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