Stress Management Techniques

Ellen Chernoff Simon, M.S., .Ed., LPC

Four favorite Stress Management Techniques


1. An easy strategy to learn any time you feel cravings, tension, or distress is a simple tapping proce- dure combined with diaphragmatic or belly breathing. It’s called “accubreathe” It is a combination of meridian point therapy and yogic breathing. Here’s how it’s done... Take the first two fingers of each hand, and begin tapping at your own pace, on the acupressure points just under your eyes on your cheekbones. You can find these points because they are just below your eye. You can feel the cheekbone just below the delicate part of your face that holds your eyes.

While you are tapping, breathe deeply, using yogic breathing which is simply exhaling twice as long as you inhale. Initially, it may help to count your breaths. Go ahead and practice it now, inhale two counts, exhale four counts. Remember to keep tapping at the same time you are breathing. In- hale three counts exhale six counts. That’s the idea. Doesn’t that feel good! Notice how cravings and distress simply disappear.


2. Self hypnosis is a powerful and effective technique to not only elicit the relaxation response but also to deepen your commitment to total health and well being. Let’s begin.

  • Inhale

  • Look up

  • Place the thumb and forefinger together

  • Hold the breath

  • Relax the eyes down and

  • Exhale, and as you do

    Think “FREE and at PEACE” and allow a feeling of warmth and relaxation to flow down your body like a soothing ocean wave. Now imagine a split screen just above your forehead, with your current situation or your challenge on the left side of the screen, and your ideal image/solution on the right. Move your eyes from the left to right side quickly and notice that the ideal image on the right screen is becoming more vibrant colorful and alive! Good. The more you practice, the better. Like classical conditioning, soon all you will need to do is to place the thumb and forefinger to- gether and the peaceful association will have been made. page1image24992


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3. The QR, or quieting response, was developed by Charles Stroebel, M.D., Ph.D., a leader in the field of self-regulation and biofeedback. He was a “type A” personality and found it difficult to sit for 20 minutes to meditate. This technique is perfect for more active, high strung individuals who are not attracted to meditation, yet want to reduce stress in their life. It is a 6 second technique, that when practiced can be- come a quieting reflex. Each step counters the natural progression of the stress response.

Follow along with me as I go through the 5 steps.

  • As you experience and are aware of a stressor (usually by a change in your breathing), then SMILE INWARDLY WITH YOUR EYES AND MOUTH

  • Think this thought which becomes a self-suggestion: ALERT AMUSED MIND, CALM BODY

  • Inhale 4 counts through imaginary pores in the bottom of your feet, up to your head, and as you ex- hale:

  • Relax the tongue, the jaws and the shoulders.

  • Feel a warmth and heaviness flowing throughout your body.


    4. Imagery is the language of the mind/body connection. What is happening in our mind is also happening in our body. The physiological consequences of the imagination are well documented. When you be- come aware of a symptom of stress, say headache, muscle tension, tightness of the chest, etc., Then, get quiet, begin slow breathing, and when you are relaxed, get in touch with the symptom. Follow these steps...

    • Invite an image to form for the stress symptom, this could be a feeling, thought, sensation or physical symptom

    • Describe the image, what does it look like? How big is it/ what is it made of? What are its qualities?

    • Ask the image if it will speak with you.

    • Ask what it likes to be called.

    • Ask the image of your symptom why it is there. What is its purpose

    • Ask it what it needs.

    • Ask what it is you can learn from it.

      Invite the image to return again to maintain open communication. By creating an image to represent your discomfort or stressor, you can learn to manage it and even learn from it and improve your life. I hope you will choose at least on of these technique to help you deal with daily stressors. And of course listen- ing to your guided imagery CDs is a great way to mange stress.

      Remember ... you can change your life when you change your mind.

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Ellen Chernoff Simon, M.S., M.Ed. Creator and President 888-559-3543