Caregiver Stress Relief: 10 Minute Mood Boosting Exercise

Caregiving is an extremely stressful job, which is why it’s so important to have a variety of stress relief techniques. By having multiple stress release techniques, it won’t matter whether you’re at home, in line waiting to pick up medication, or taking a break at work because you’ll have practices for a variety of situations. Below you will find a 10-minute exercise that’s easy to do no matter where you are, that you can add to your list of stress release options.

This exercise was developed by Dr. Sandi Mann, a Senior Psychology Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.

Being drained, stressed, and beginning to fall down a negative emotional spiral, often causes us to overlook the things that are going right in our lives.

Dr. Mann’s stress relief exercise consists of 6 questions –

  1. What experiences, no matter how small or simple, gave you pleasure?
  2. What praise and feedback did you receive?
  3. What were the moments of pure good fortune?
  4. What were your achievements, however small?
  5. What made you feel grateful?
  6. How did you express kindness?

When you are feeling strained and are in need of a mood boost, get out a notebook or journal and jot down answers to the above questions. Once you’ve completed this exercise and, in the future, find yourself needing a mood boost, but don’t feel like writing, you can just review the answers that you’ve previously written.

By completing this exercise, it reminds you and shows you that there are still positive things in your life, despite the challenges.

This activity is based on scientific research which shows that taking a small amount of time to reflect in these ways can help you gradually shift your mindset into a more positive light and ultimately find more happiness in your life.

Additionally, due to the way our memories work, a negative mood caused by one bad event can cause us to think about other sources of stress and sadness. If you find yourself in this situation, you can read through your journal to help you break free of that negative mindset.

Dr. Mann also created a daily journal around this 10-minute exercise to help promote this becoming a regular exercise in your life. If interested, you can find the book here.

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