You Can Manage Stress by Learning to Relax

According to our research at Call for Backup, only about one-third of first responders often or always take regular breaks during the day and regular days off to relax, and about another one-third say they never or rarely do.  The rest find themselves somewhere in the middle.  The old “all work and no play” adage really is true.  Everyone needs to learn and practice some techniques to initiate the body’s natural relaxation response.

The world is filled with negative influences, and it’s important for those who work in emergency services and often see the worst of what is going on in the world to embrace the influence of having some quiet time to practice remaining calm and composed.  What are some things that we can do during our planned quiet times that will give us the result we need?

  1. Deep breathing.  Listening only to the sounds of your breath can be extremely relaxing. Taking deep breaths in and out calms your mind and your soul. It can work wonders in equipping you to confront challenging days and difficult people.  You may be surprised to see how practicing deep breathing can help you develop a peaceful disposition that aptly tackles the toughest moments.
  2. Daily exercise.  Moderate exercise each day that allows you to practice focused movement without distraction is a great way to relax.  With nothing but your mind and your body to focus on, you can unplug from technology, and focus on your efforts.  As you exercise, your body is producing higher levels of endorphins, your “feel good” hormones, that promote the body’s own relaxation response.
  3. Defined purpose.  Three of life’s greatest questions are: Who am I?  Why am I here?  Where am I going?  Being one with your purpose is important in accepting what life throws your way.  When you have a sense of purpose, there are very few things that will be able to rattle your nerves.

Self-Reflection Questions

  1. How do I achieve quiet time when I am constantly on the go?
  2. How else do I develop a calm nature?
  3. What are some of the techniques I use to restore calmness after I am rattled?

If you’d like to speak to one of our peer support specialists about how to manage the stress of work or life in general, feel free to reach out to us at m.me/callforbackup.org/ and someone will be happy to chat with you.  If you are in crisis, please text the keyword BADGE to the National Crisis Text Line where you can be connected to a trained crisis counselor, 24/7/365.  Always free.  Always confidential.

Would you like to help make sure Call for Backup is there for those who reach out to us? Please check out our merchandise in the online store HERE.

Published by Chaplain David Edwards

David is a police chaplain, author, and educator, and is affectionately known as "Pa" to his grandkids. David is board certified in crisis response and pastoral counseling, and is an approved instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association.

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