If we let stress build up it can lead to slips or relapses. Relaxing at night and on the weekends, and taking time off for vacations, is valuable. We also need small breaks during the day, especially if we are feeling stress build up. A simple way to “take a break” is to “take a breath.” Empty out the air in your lungs slowly and deliberately. Then take in fresh air just as slowly and deliberately. Hold it a moment. Then let is escape out slowly through your nose, or push it out quickly through your mouth.
If you take one or a few of these breaths, you will start to relax. Be careful not to take too many, because you will be hyperventilating! It’s good to know that in just a few seconds you can start to lower your stress level, and no one around you needs to know that you are using a “stress reduction technique.”