As the holiday season approaches, many of us find the stress of commitments and activities can become overwhelming. This excellent article is condensed and adapted from an article first written by Dr. David Williams in 1990 and it is still as relevant today as it was then. David Williams is one of the great healers of our time. Thank you Dr. Williams, for a wonderful article!
Let me outline 4 simple steps to relieve stress, and an order in which you can follow them.
There are probably endless methods and sequences for doing this, and if you want, you can easily modify these to suit your needs.
Relive the events of the day as you lie in bed at night.
If there were instances where you expressed any anger, bitterness, ill will, hatred, or other negative feelings (verbally, or even if you just had these type thoughts), visualize the situation in your mind and picture yourself handling the situation in a positive manner.
After doing this for several weeks, you will gradually begin to automatically handle real-life situations in a positive manner.
This review serves a second important purpose: Mentally “transforming” the negative attitudes and feeling swill allow only positive and constructive thoughts to flourish in your subconscious mind.
Forgive both yourself and others.
Regardless of how guilty you might feel for a past action, you must come to grips with it. Forgive yourself for those actions and the losses that resulted. Move on, knowing that you are making changes and will become more positive as a result of those past experiences.
Forgiving others begins with truth. Recognize the fact that you’ve been hurt, experience the sadness. Being totally honest is the only way to allow for forgiveness and start the healing process.
Unresolved hurt grows like a cancer; it can destroy you both physically and mentally. True and total forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re letting someone off the hook. Instead you’re letting yourself off the hook, and you set yourself free.
If you don’t believe it, try it a couple of times and see for yourself.
Give thanks for all of the wonderful things in your life.
If you can’t find anything at first, keep looking. If nothing else, you should feel extremely positive that you’re going through this process to make things better from this moment forward.
Relax and get rid of the physical stresses that have accumulated during the day.
Start by lying flat on your back with a pillow to support your neck and head and with your hands at your sides.
Beginning with your toes, first tense the muscles then allow them to relax completely. From there, move to your feet, lower legs, thighs, etc., until you finish with the neck and head area. Don’t leave any area until it is totally relaxed.
Relaxing may be difficult at first, especially when you reach certain areas (like the neck or shoulders). With practice, it will become easier and you may be able to use a quicker technique. In the same position, imagine that you are lying in a warm stream of water that runs from your feet, up your legs, thighs, etc., and as it moves up the length of your body it relaxes every muscle. Don’t be surprised if you fall asleep the first few times!
Imagine your entire body encompassed by a bright white light.
Next, picture yourself as you would like to be.
For example, you might see yourself as extremely happy and healthy enjoying a walk on a beautiful morning.
Picture situations with loved ones or friends in the surroundings you would like to experience.
Visualization can be a very powerful and positive tool. The key is to use your imagination not only to “see” circumstances you would like to occur, but also to develop the ability to imagine how to touch, feel, smell and even taste these situations. The more detailed your visualization can become, the more powerful a tool it will be.
Visualization may seem strange to some people, but each of us use it every day in the form of imagination and daydreaming.
With a little effort and practice, you can now make the most of it.