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  • Tobie J Oidtmann, MA, LPC, Cht

Emotional Triage

7 Ways to Manage Stress, Anxiety, Change

During times of change, stress, anxiety, and confusion we can feel overwhelmed. When you don’t have the time immediately to cope or resolve the cause here are a few quick methods to help you to feel grounded, clear the confusion, and leave yourself with an improved state of mind.

1. Diaphragmatic breathing

o Breathe in: Filling the lungs from the bottom (solar plexus area) to the top.

o Hold: Allows the oxygen to circulate through the blood stream.

o Exhale: Releasing the stress and negativity. Stress can cause carbon dioxide levels to become out of balance.

o The exhale is as important as the inhale and should take about the same amount of time.

2. Visualize or remember a peaceful, positive, joyful experience.

o The brain can recreate the same kind of positive feeling endorphins that were released during the original experience.

o If visualizing, expect a corresponding release and a general ease of stress, frustration, or sadness.

o The greater the detail, the greater the release and shift into the positive.

3. Physical movement

o Releases the stress response in the muscles.

o Take a walk, even if it is around your workplace, or your neighborhood.

o Exercise with the focus on releasing stress, rather than “pushing beyond”.

o Remember to breathe.

4. Listen to music

o Music is vibration and frequency. It can relax and harmonize the body/brain connection.

o Soothing or energizing music provides a positive distracting focus from the day-to-day concerns.

o Playing music or listening to it can be therapeutic. Both provide focus and release.

5. Nature

o Nature has a natural harmony, being out in it can be a shift into another way of being that goes beyond space and time.

o There is a wisdom there that comes in the observing that goes beyond the everyday world.

6. Meditation

o Even 3-5 minutes twice a day, later moving to 15 minutes or more can make a difference.

o That facilitates the returning to the body’s natural harmony and rhythm. It is a time to let the “world” fall away and just BE.

o You can always set a timer if that helps you move into that space fully, without worry.

o Meditation can be as simple as getting comfortable and taking a few slow, deep breaths in and out. Then breathe normally and consciously follow the feel of each breath going in and out. If a thought pops into your mind, acknowledge it and move it aside. Return to focusing on each breath.

7. Do something creative.

o Paint, sculpt, write, dance, cook, whatever gives you joy.


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