Here's Your One-Second Stress Breaker

An article in the Surgical Technology International journal says that looking down at a smart phone with your head bent forward is the equivalent of having a 60-pound weight on your neck.

What can you do for yourself in one second that will be relaxing and break up a tense situation? Psychologist Robert Cooper, PHD, describes an Instant Calming Sequence (ICS) in his book The Performance Edge. Here's how it works:

  • 1. Breathe deeply and evenly. Be sure not to hold your breath, just breath deeply in and out again.
  • 2. Smile. An innocent smile is appropriate in almost every situation. Scientists believe smiling increases blood flow to the brain and helps to reset the nervous system to a positive mode.
  • 3. Straighten up. Lift your head, square your shoulders, and straighten your back.
  • 4. Relax. Do a scan of your muscles from head to toe for tension. Send a wave of relaxation through your body.
  • 5. Get positive. Wipe away all guilt, self-pity, and anger. Now, focus on solv­ ing the problem at hand.

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