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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stress Training for the Office

 By: Scott Desgrosseilliers


Sometimes there are days when I wake up and already feel behind.It is an uncomfortable feeling. Rushed, anxious, slightly nervous for no apparent reason, it is as though the stress fairy visited me right before I woke up. I would think all of the stress training I receive in my meditation training would grant me immunity to this feeling. It doesn't.

Over time I’ve collected some practical techniques that can reduce stress in about a minute. Some of these stress relief techniques are meditation inspired. Other stress management ideas have become from reading about and applying things that work for other people.

I have learned after all this stress training that there are some particular techniques that lower stress levels for me in about 60 seconds.Letting out a loud sound and then a few deep breaths will lower anxiety consistently.

It is interesting to me that this method works as well as it does.I am often reluctant and generally uncomfortable whenever there is public singing, chanting, or any other public vocal activity.No one would call me shy which made it puzzling.

A breakthrough on realizing the power of a few loud chants or ohms came after a week at the Monroe Institute.Part of the Monroe process involves a resonant tuning exercise. Resonant tuning means that you are using sound vibration energy to raise your overall energy. This raised energy level increases the effectiveness of anything you are attempting to do.

For the Monroe Institute’s purposes, it was about exploring human consciousness.My experiences with resonant tuning, which is using sound and breathing to tune your energy, can be used for stress relief also.

The process is straight-forward and simple. There are two prerequisites. You will want to be in a place where The process is straight-forward and simple. There are two prerequisites.You will either need to be in a solitary place or not mind if other people hear you. The second is that you are willing to really apply some intensity to the few exhales where you are emitting some noise.

When you have found your spot for stress training, get yourself comfortable. Close your eyes so that you are not distracted by the outside world. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself.

Now take a deep, full exhale. A full exhale is when you let your body complete the exhale rather than over-riding your breathing consciously and cutting it short. Then allow a long deep inhale. Not like you are trying to hold your breath. Take a breath that expands your belly and raises your chest.

It is time to let out some noise. The first time you perform this stress relief exercise, experiment with which sound works for you. The most important element of your noise is that you give it attention, intention, and effort. When I let some noise out, it causes my dog to look at me nervously.

These are a few of the noises you can let loose with:
1. Ohmmmmmm
2. Ahhhhh-ooooooo-mmmmmmmmm
3. Eeeeeeee-iiiiiiiiiiiiiii-oooooooooooo-mmmmmmmmmmmm
4. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
5. Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

As you can see, this is not difficult at all. You can also try having your mouth closed so it creates a vibratory effect in the back of your throat and into your jawbone.

My personal favorite is to start with my mouth open with a loud, intense, and very weird sounding "ahhh". Then I turn it into an "oooohhhh". It ends with "mmmm", and my mouth close near the end.

So the whole thing looks like "ahhhhhhhooooooooohhhhhmmmmmmmmmm".

Do your sound-making of choice for 3-10 inhale/exhale cycles. Then just breath in and out without making the noise.Feel more at ease? I always do.

Stress training does not have to be rocket science.Many things in life get over-complicated for no good reason. This breath and sound exercise will help you reduce stress immediately.

Scott Desgrosseilliers is the founder of and, which provides guided meditation cds, mp3s, and downloads for people of all levels of meditation experience.

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