“I want to get rid of my stress right away!”
Many people feel that way, but don’t know how to handle their struggles of daily stress. When negative emotions such as irritation and anxiety are left untreated, they can eventually lead to serious stress reactions in our bodies and minds. In some cases, it can lead to mental illnesses such as depression. As a preventative measure, it’s important to eliminate stress as soon as you feel it.
Let us introduce you to a stress care technique that’s scientifically proven to have positive effects on our mental health. It’s easy to implement. It’s called the “intervention bracelet” method.
How to Use an Intervention Bracelet
The “intervention bracelet” method was devised at the University of Texas. According to their research, students with high tendencies of anxiety found this method to reduce stress and improve self-esteem.
The intervention bracelet method is extremely easy in practice.
- Prepare a bracelet that’s easy to put on and remove. (Rings, wristwatches or elastic bands are also acceptable)
- Go about your day as usual with the bracelet on one of your wrists.
- Whenever you feel any negative emotions arise, remove the bracelet, and put it on the opposite hand.
Repeat step #3 every time you feel any kind of stress. The importance is in the predetermined action we take whenever negative emotions arise. This helps us acknowledge our stress in a rational manner. According to the study, subjects who practiced this method for three weeks developed awareness towards stress, and also successfully reduced their chronic discomfort.
The Importance of Noticing Stress
Whether it’s going on vacation, enjoying hobbies, or exercise, different people have different ways of getting rid of their stress. Of course, we should be practicing self-care methods suitable to our needs, but in order for that to work, we need to first ‘notice’ when we feel stress. When stress impacts, it’s only natural to get caught in the emotional reaction of irritation or exhaustion. Moreso than our reaction, we need to acknowledge and focus on the fact that we’re feeling ‘stress’.
Noticing stress is a crucial step in treating it. Of course, you could deal with the vague feelings of stress by, let’s say, dancing it out. But the later you precisely acknowledge your stress, the harder it becomes to accurately determine the level and cause. At this point, it would be difficult to feel completely refreshed no matter what we do, and unexplained stress will continue to accumulate.
In order to efficiently and appropriately relieve stress, we need to notice it the moment it happens. This process helps us figure the intensity and causes of our stress. The intervention bracelet is a technique that creates an opportunity for us to recognize this stress moment.
Throw Away the Negative, Turn to the Positive
The intervention bracelet effectively increases our awareness of stress. It’s also a great stress relief practice in itself. It’s recommended for people who feel unexplained, vague sources of stress.
Having a coping mechanism on hand, such as the intervention bracelet method, keeps our mental health in check. This is just one of the many easy stress-care techniques you can try. Figure out what works for you and get into the habit of practicing. One of the keys to living a healthy and happy life is to properly cope with stress.
Elke Smeets, Kristin Neff, Hugo Alberts, and Madelon Peters
MeetingSuffering WithKindness: Effectsofa BriefSelf-Compassion Intervention for FemaleCollegeStudents（JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, Vol. xx(x), 1–15 , 2014)