I teach clients how to utilize the 4 elements bracelet to reduce stress and negative affect. I have posted the rationale and instructions here for your benefit.
Rationale: external and internal stress triggers have an accumulative effect during the day.
We cope better with stress when we stay within our arousal “window of tolerance”.
An antidote to stress triggers: frequent random monitoring of stress level with simple stress reduction actions to keep stress levels within our “window of tolerance”.
Wear a 4 Elements bracelet (or sticker on watch or cell phone) on your wrist and every time you notice it take a quick reading to monitor your current stress level (0 (low) to 10 (high) and then perform the 4 brief self calming/self control exercises. Take a second stress reading (0 to 10)
The (modest) goal is to reduce your stress level by 1 or 2 each time and to do this at random times and at various initial stress levels. By preventing your stress responses from accumulating, you may be better able to stay within your “window of tolerance”.
EARTH: GROUNDING, SAFTEY in the PRESENT/ REALITY… take a minute or two to “land”… be here now… place both feet on the ground, feel the chair supporting you… Look around and notice 3 new things… What do you see… What do you hear?
Attention is directed outwards to the reality of safety in the present.
AIR: BREATHING for CENTERING
Breathing – you can do your favorite breathing exercise here. Option: breathing in through your nose (for abdominal breathing) as you count 4 seconds then hold for 2 and then breathe out for 4 seconds. Take about a dozen deeper slower breaths like this.
Attention is directed inwards toward your center.
WATER: CALM & CONTROLLED switch on the RELAXATION RESPONSE…. Do you have saliva in your mouth?…make more saliva…(explanation…when you are anxious or stressed your mouth often “dries” because part of the stress emergency response (sympathetic nervous system) is to shut off the digestive system. So when you start making saliva you turn in the digestive system again (parasympathetic nervous system) and the relaxation response – that is why people are offered water or tea or chewing gum after a difficult experience. A Spanish surgeon uses this production of saliva to train patients to ignore pain while he performs surgery without antistatic – when you make saliva your mind can optimally control your thoughts and your body.
Attention is directed to producing saliva and becoming calmer, focused and more in control.
FIRE: LIGHT up the path of your IMMAGINATION – Power of imagination > will power. Bring up the image of you SAFE PLACE ( or some other RESOURSE) – where do you feel it in your body? Install with brief BLS/ butterfly hugs.
Attention is directed to the feelings of safety, calm, etc. in your body.