How to Escape Toxic Stress (An Exercise to Perform when you only have 7 minutes to relax)
Tip #1: The music and raisin relaxation method
So, are you able to start this exercise? Please turn your cell phone off. Now let’s begin.
Step 1: Firstly, go wash you hands. Then go get either a raisin, a grape or some kind of nut (a cashew nut or a walnut or peanut will work). Put the raisin (or whatever food item that can fit in your hand) on a napkin and place the napkin on the table or desk where you are sitting at your computer.
Step 2: Copy this link into a URL to start to play this soft music created for relaxation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3fE6FQT82s If you right-click on the video and choose “Loop” you can have the music play again and again. For this exercise, you only need it to play twice at most. The title of the YouTube video is “The Worlds most Relaxing Film”.
Step 3: After the music starts to play, sit down, close your eyes and spend 2 minutes just taking slow deep breaths. Focus on each breath and every once in awhile, open your eyes and look at the nature scenes that the music is playing to on YouTube.
Step 4: While the music is playing, and after you have taken some deep breaths, pick up the raisen (or whatever food item you have) and follow the directions below, with the music still playing. Do things slowly and focus deliberately on the food item. Stress come from 3 things: a) Resisting some person, environment, or environmental circumstance, so stop resisting and let your shoulders go down in relaxation. b) Stress also comes from being too busy and trying to do to many things at once – so let your mind tell you that the most important thing for you to do right now is to rest, relax and let go. Let go of your deadlines. Let go of your need to rush and complete the next task. This is time for you and other things can wait; c) Stress also comes feeling like the future will not be pleasant unless you fulfill some urgen requirement. Tell yourself the future will work out. Tomorrow will be fine. Yesterday is gone forever. I only have today. I only have now. Let your body rest and make it a weight on the chair you are sitting in. Let the chair do the work of upholding you, while you fully relax. Now slowly, without losing the peace of the moment, follow the instructions below, with the music still playing.
- Put the raisin in the palm of your hand and look at its color, size and shape. Notice its curves and wrinkles.
- Touch the raisin’s texture. Is it soft or smooth? Warm or cool?
- Consider how you would describe the raisin’s scent. What does it remind you of?
- Put the raisin in your mouth, but don’t bite it yet. Feel it against your tongue. Now go ahead and bite the raisin lightly, tasting and feeling the texture. Let it sit in your mouth for a few moments.
- Slowly chew the raisin. Feel the flavor unfold with each bite. Be present for the entire process. Don’t swallow right away; let the taste linger. Notice how the texture of the raisin changes as you chew.
- Swallow the raisin.
Step 5: Keep the music playing while you go off to your next task. When you are ready, turn the music off but sometimes letting the music still play while you do your next task can help you linger in the relaxation feeling that you have just obtained.
You can put this same idea to work in your everyday life to focus on eating slowly and mindfully.
This is called “The music and raisen relaxation method”.
Other Music Options
3 min majestic music
3 min slow
1 min relax – music
1 min relax – forrest sounds
1 minute guidance