Disassociation – a simple stress relief technique

Research has shown that 95% of all illnesses are caused by stress, I think it’s more like 100%. Stress is the root cause of every negative emotion, every twinge in your body and negative thought in your mind. If you want to achieve full health then you must learn to deal with and control your stress levels. But how do you do it?

Ever get stressed about being stressed?! Stressed about work, about plan, about not having enough play, about money, diets, etc, etc the list goes on and on.

It’s a vicious cycle and one which we sometimes don’t know how to break. We can feel a bit like a hampster on a wheel, going round and round, nothing changing but stress building until something happens. Either we go on holidays, we get sick or we decide enough is enough. The first two need not happen if we just build small stress relievers into our day.

It is vital to manage stress as there’s little we can do to avoid it.

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths. Etty Hillesum

Everyone’s stress relief is different. Some people love to walk, others love to read and others love meditation, yet some find meditation very stressful!

So it’s about finding out what works for you and building some time in every day to do something relaxing. This will keep you in better health mentally and emotionally and it will keep you looking younger too – stress gives us wrinkles!

Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older. Hans Selye

Some suggestions:

  1. Drink at least 1 litre of water a day. The recommendation is 2 litres but for most people that’s not sustainable. Start with 1 litre. Remember to sip your water rather than gulp it back. It’s incredible the amount of clients I see who are dehyrated. 60 % of the human body is made up of water while it’s 70% of the brain. Neither your brain nor your body can work properly if they don’t have enough water.
  2. Breathe. When stressed, we take short sharp breaths. Slow down your breathing for 10 breaths throughout the day, breathe right down into your belly and watch how your thoughts will also slow down.
  3. Get away from your desk during the day. Either that’s a walk around the block at lunch time, taking the stairs instead of the lift, or opening in a window. Get some fresh air.
  4. Tidy your desk. It will help you work more efficiently.
  5. Decide what time you’re going to leave work and stick to it. There’ll always be more work to do and you’ll be ineffective if you overwork.
  6. Plan relaxing things to do in the evenings. Such as yoga or an epsom salt bath or a gentle stroll.
  7. Decide that you’ll look after your mental health and if you’re feeling stressed – talk to someone about it. This is the best thing I can recommend that you do. I see far too many people who are literally carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.
  8. To get you started I’m sharing a great little technique for dealing with stress. It’s called disassociation and it’s and NLP technique. Anyone can do it and it only takes a few minutes to do.

Used widely for releasing negative thoughts, letting go of a situation and replacing with a positive one. Based on the principle that you get more of what you associate into and less of what you disassociate from.

  • Think of a positive situation, one in which you felt positive about yourself. Such as when you got your exams, driving test, etc
  • Sitting comfortably, close your eyes, feet flat on the floor, hands on your lap.
  • In your minds eye, picture a blank canvas out in front of you. Place the situation you want to disassociate from in to this canvas, including any negative emotions that may go with it. (You can picture a rainbow coming up from your bellybutton through your solar plexus and out into the picture if this helps to release the emotions)
  • Spend a few moments doing this
  • When it’s all out in the canvas, drain the colour from the picture
  • Now picture it becoming smaller and smaller moving away from your body into the distance, until its disappeared into the horizon.
  • Put another blank canvas in front of you, this time it’s a positive situation you want to associate into. It could be a place in nature where you’ve been that evoke feelings of calm, or a time when you felt really good about yourself. If it’s hard for you to picture this then imagine what it would feel like to feel calm, peaceful, etc.
  • Put all the colours, vibrations, even music into it that you love.
  • Make it the size of a football pitch.
  • Bring it in towards you
  • Now either step into it or have it associate into you
  • Engulf yourself in the amazing positive emotions, see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt.
  • Slowly open your eyes

This technique takes practise so don’t worry if you feel it’s not working straight away, keep practising it every day for a week and you’ll notice a difference.

For more information on courses or 1:1 sessions, please email me at: ellie@xhale.ie or call me on 086 682 4401