Stress and anxiety – they go hand in hand. I often use the Stress bucket image to help my clients become more aware of how stress is manifesting in their lives. Imagine your stress is inside a bucket. The bucket has a tap on the side. Your bucket fills up with stress, which can be released by turning the tap.
One very powerful way of ‘ turning that tap’ to reduce stress is a method which I often teach my clients. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a remarkably effective and fast technique to let stress and anxiety go. Every time you use this technique it’s like turning the tap on the side of your bucket and allowing your stress to pour away.
However it’s very easy to focus only on ways to release stress and forget all about what may be contributing it. Whilst it’s great to release your stress, you’re not being kind to yourself if you just continue filling up your bucket with more. So it’s really helpful to use this image to ask yourself
What am I putting into my stress bucket? Am I being kind to myself ? Or am I filling up my stress-bucket each day with overwork, poor diet, negative self-talk?
Choices such as poor diet, overwork, not taking enough exercise, constant self-criticism and all the other unhelpful decisions we make each day: these are habits of being unkind to ourselves that we can fall into because we’re not paying enough attention.
The Stress-Ease bucket is a handy image to help bring our attention to what’s contributing to our stress as well as finding helpful techniques to release it.
If you recognise that you’re filling up your bucket with less than kind thoughts and behaviours, here are some suggestions:
- Take a break: focus on a good balance of work and play.
- Be more aware of the food you’re consuming, and the way you’re eating it—slow down.
- Take some exercise. Between 15–30 minutes is good.
- Watch how you’re speaking to yourself, and be kinder.
- Connect with a friend or family member and enjoy some time out
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