As a life coach, one of the responsibilities that I take on is finding ways to reduce the stress that my clients feel. For many professional women, balancing a career with family life is a constant challenge, and having strategies in place to help with the obstacles that inevitably arise can save a good day from turning bad. But how can you determine the effective stress reduction techniques from the bunk? The internet is full of suggestions, some more effectual than others.
From my experience, the effectiveness of any given stress relief technique depends on the person using it. However, a few methods have stood out over the years. Regain your work-life balance by trying these stress reduction techniques.
Jin Shin Jyutsu Finger Holding Technique
You may have seen this technique recently making its rounds on the internet. This method for stress relief teaches that each finger of the hand is associated with different emotions and that by physically manipulating them, we can influence our emotions. The emotions are assigned to the fingers like so:
- Thumb – worry, anxiety, depression
- Index Finger – fear, confusion, perfectionism
- Middle Finger – Anger, irritability, volatility
- Ring Finger – sadness, grief, negativity
- Little Finger – insecurity, nervousness, resignation
To use this technique, choose the finger that is associated with the emotion that you want to combat, or work your way from thumb to little finger. All you have to do is hold each finger with the opposite hand until you begin to feel your pulse. This technique is great for fast stress relief and emotion control.
Mindful Eating Technique
Stress can lead to some bad habits. Among them, poor eating habits are perhaps the worst for your health. When we stress eat, we don’t think about the health benefits or nutritional value of what we consume. Often we reach for the thing that is most comforting, usually a carton of ice cream or a salty bag of chips. The flavors and sensations help to cover up the emotions that we are feeling, but the cost is our health.
To keep from adding to the weight of your stress, use these mindful eating techniques:
- Eat alone – eating in solitude lets you focus on your meal rather than keeping a conversation going.
- Eat slowly – slow eating allows your body to register your fullness to keep you from overeating.
- Focus on the senses – Eating is a pleasurable experience because it stimulates all five of our senses. Focus on the color and form of your food, the sound it makes when you chew and swallow, the aroma it gives off, the texture of it in your mouth, and of course, the taste of it.
Using these mindful eating techniques is a great way to manage your diet, but it can also act as a form of meditation and reenergize you for the rest of your day.
Sleep Optimization Technique
Just as important as our eating habits are our sleep habits. Without the proper amount of sleep, your body and mind cannot repair themselves, and without daily repairs, you won’t be able to focus. It would be nice if a magic number existed for the optimal amount of sleep. Unfortunately, no two people need the same amount of sleep, so you may need to experiment with the hour you set your alarm each morning.
Once you figure out how much sleep you need, try optimizing that sleep with these tips:
- Wind down about an hour before you want to fall asleep. Come up with a routine to signal to your brain that it’s almost bed time. This routine can include things like brushing your teeth, stretching, reading, and even showering.
- Remove all electronics from your sleep area. The stimulation from computers and laptops could be the reason you can’t fall asleep. If you use your mobile phone as an alarm clock, charge it across the room where you can’t see it. Doing so will help you get up in the morning, since you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
- Reduce the amount of light in the room to minimal levels. If part of your winding down routine is reading in bed, use a dim light. Using a dim lamp will allow you to see without stimulating your mind too much.
Soon enough, these tips will be second nature to you, so keep practicing them and get better sleep, which will give you the energy you need to balance your home life with your work life.
If you are struggling to center yourself because of all the responsibilities of home and work, use these techniques to reduce your stress levels. Want to learn more about ways to reduce your stress and other valuable lessons for professional women? Get in touch with me. I offer both group and individual coaching sessions.