By Glen C. Strathy
Stress relief tools should be in every writer's arsenal. Writing can be a fairly stressful process at times, especially when you are working to a deadline. Stress is a common cause of writer's block whether the stress is coming from your current writing project or other areas of your life.
One quick way to decide if it's time for a little stress relief is to discover your current level of stress. Take a look at the following descriptions of the 5 Stress States for Writers and see which one sounds most like you right now...
You can prevent stress by using a variety of methods, some of which are common sense such as taking regular breaks, getting enough sleep and nutritious food, having social contacts, getting exercise, and not accepting deadlines that are unrealistic.
You should try to stay in the first state most of the time while writing. If you find you have slipped into one of the other states, it's a good idea to step back and apply some stress relief strategies. Different strategies work for different people, and you have to know what relaxes you.
For instance, you might take a day off. Go spend some time in nature (which automatically relieves stress). Have a barbecue in a park with friends. Hang out on a backyard deck or in a sidewalk cafe. Take a long bath, go dancing, or get a massage -- whatever works for you and is affordable.
Below is a stress relief tool I stumbled across recently which I find helps immensely when I am experiencing any kind of stress or anxiety. You can also use it to relieve stress over a current or upcoming project, or get some relief from things that happened to you in the past that have left emotional wounds. It takes only ten minutes, but it really works.
Make sure you have some privacy. Then play the video and follow the Yawn Guy's instructions. You'll be amazed how much more relaxed you will feel afterwards.
You can play this video as often as you like. And the best part is, it's FREE!
* My knowledge of the 5 Stress States from conversations with Dr. Eric Wolterstorff, an expert on organizational stress and culture. I have adapted the descriptions to apply more specifically to the task of writing.