CARE is Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education

Thoughts on Stress. Number 1

We often can’t get rid of the causes of our stress but we can choose how we react to them. Some thoughts and practical exercises to help us release stress and not get hooked into it.

David Ward is a guide, mentor and coach as well as being the Executive Director of JAMES and the Managing Director of TiME. He has created a system called Dynamic Calm© that he is bringing to the Creative Industries in the UK.

In these confusing times, he is planning to make these courses available on-line. Contact TiME UK:

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Stress on the human system sabotages all our attempts to reach optimum performance and wellbeing. The good news is that we can learn how to manage and reverse the damage stress can cause, at an individual and organizational level.
Stress is a term used to describe the wear and tear the body experiences in reaction to everyday chal- lenges, tensions and pressures. Too much stress wears down the immune system, increasing the risk of everything from colds to cancer. Chronic stress can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression and sleep disorders.
At HeartMind we have integrated all the best and latest practices to bring the fastest and most sustain- ing methods of stress relief.

Stress on the nervous system inhibits creativity; however being creative can release stress.
People who feel good do Good

Stress is necessary if we need to get away from an animal attacking us.

Unnecessary stress stops us from getting away from stuff that is stopping us being creative.

We can talk ourselves into believing that we have to be stressed to be productive. Not true. We can be calm and still be productive.

At HeartMind Global we call this Dynamic Calm© We can develop this for ourselves.

Like any other art-form or sport, the more we practice it the easier and deeper it becomes. It has been described as inner quality management.

Below is a simple and practical exercise to help us release stress and not get hooked into it.

We can choose to be less stressed.

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How we make choices is important.

Getting away from the “Shoulds”

“Should” is probably one of the worst words in any language. When you find yourself using the word “Should”, try turning it into “Could”

Try this for example:

If perhaps you are thinking “I should get on with my work”.

Try changing it to “I could get on with my work”.

Does that feel different?

Next try: “I could get on with my work if I choose”.

Of course, I can choose not to. The important thing is that we are making a conscious choice.

You might choose to try this next exercise in creating Inner Calm and Resilience in a rapidly changing world.

I will be happy if you choose to have a look at it

Try this simple exercise in stress release from the HeartMath Institute in California.

Take a moment to sit quietly. You might want to acknowledge that you are choosing to do this. You might want to say “I am giving a bit of time for me”.

Bring your attention to the area of your chest where you heart is. More in the centre that completely over on the left side.

Keep your attention on this area. You might even want to place your hand over your heart.

To help you focus on this area, imagine that you are breathing in and out through your heart. You might want to close your eyes if that helps.

Now try deepening your breathing – in and out – try 4 or 5 seconds in and 4 or 5 seconds out. While doing this keep your focus on your heart. If you find your focus drifting – as it will – gently bring your focus back to your heart.

When you feel comfortable with the focus and the breathing, remember something that gives or has given you great joy or pleasure. Something or someone that you really appreciate.

It can be a person, it can be a profession like nurses or firemen. It can be a bit of scenery, an animal. It can be anything, it can be an ice cream. Some thing or someone you really appreciate.

Sincerely feel that appreciation in your heart. Breathing in and out, through your heart, sincerely feel that appreciation or love.

Try this first for a few minutes and then for longer if you choose. Remember if your attention wanders-as it usually will – gently bring your attention back to your heart and your appreciation.

The benefits of this exercise have been scientifically proven. The nice thing about it is that we can do it anywhere or any-when. When you are feeling stressed, just click on your own “pause button” for a moment and breath from your heart. You can do it while driving but don’t close your eyes.

Audio Version coming very soon.

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