Use the 4 Elements to Lower Stress

Functional Aging

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Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087
  1. Use the 4 Elements to Lower Stress


    Back to the Real Basics: Lower Stress with the 4 Elements

    Managing stress is key to wellbeing. Meditation and mindfulness help countless people around the world stay calm and maintain good mental health.

    One technique relies on the four elements: earth, air, water and fire. It’s free, easy, and can be done anywhere at any time.

    Sit down comfortably and go through this series of thoughts.

    1. Earth. Feel both feet firmly on the floor, maybe the chair supporting you. Look around and take note of three things you see, without judging. Take a moment or two to ground yourself wherever you are.
    2. Air. Take a deep breath, and release it slowly, paying attention to the air going in and out of your mouth, nose, throat, lungs… Deep breathing is calming, and the focus helps center us.
    3. Water. Do you have saliva in your mouth, and can you make more? Anxiety can leave the mouth dried out. Take a sip of water if you need to, and notice how it feels in your mouth and as you swallow it.
    4. Fire. Bring up a warm memory, look forward to something special, or go to your “safe place” mentally. What do you feel? Where do you feel it in your body? You’re “firing up” your imagination to show all the possibilities.

    Sit with these thoughts, repeating as necessary, and notice how you feel less stressed and more in control.

    Sources: EMDR Research Foundation, Elan Shapiro

  2. Feeling Discombobulated

    *5. 4. 3. 2. 1. … Take Action!

    5 deep breaths

    4 minutes of silence

    3 things I’m grateful for

    • Hurricane Harvey went into the coast 35 miles NE of my home in Corpus Christi
    • No one I know lost their life because of this storm
    • There ARE things I can do to help even if I don’t know exactly what they are right now

    2 things I plan to get done today

    • Write to you, not what I think you want to hear but from my own experience strength and hope
    • Meet with a client and write her recent success story for Friday’s newsletter

    1 reason why this is important to me

    • It keeps me out of my head where Harvey is still wreaking havoc!


    Ever had one of those days when you felt frustrated, blocked, irritated, a little emotional, and generally out of sorts? But not quite sure what was underneath it all? A day when you were pulled in multiple directions, without knowing which way to turn?


    I’m going on a couple of days of this now and a trusted friend suggested I was feeling discombobulated.

    I haven’t felt pressured enough to call it stress, and my irritation hasn’t been strong enough to be classed as anger. I just haven’t been on top of my game, and I’ve lost contact with my usual inspiration. Poor me … right?

    I’ve been a little impatient (mostly with myself), and had enough rest to not call it tiredness. I know not to isolate so I’ve been going to work, church and networking meetings as well as reaching out to friends who might be in need. With so much going on – and not achieving anything – Dr. Google indeed confirmed my friend’s suggestion that I am feeling discombobulated.

    Several dictionary definitions put together in my own words might describe discombobulation as a word that sums up the kind of generalized anxiety that you can’t put your finger on, but you know that something isn’t quite right.

    Feeling discombobulated can be a low-level but disconcerting fear of something not working out the way you’d like it to, and you may not have control of the outcome. Considering the mad dash we just made to Austin with our 3 cats and dog and then evacuating Buda, TX to avoid the flooding there just 48 hours later, no doubt about what I’m feeling.

    Well, you all know me to be a forward mover so here is a few thoughts I’m having on how to overcome this feeling of being discombobulated. Just in case it’s like this for you, I’ve come up with 8 easy tips to help us handle any post hurricane disorientation we may be having. They are in no particular order …

    1.Get Enough Rest: 

    Tired is part of the acronym HALT that I like to remember when I am feeling irritable and discontent. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. If we are feeling any one of these its better do some self-care or many of us are not fit to help anyone else at all!

    2.Healthy Habits:  

    Eating well and exercising regularly helps keep the hormones in my body (like serotonin) balanced — when we’re feeling physically healthy it’s easier to feel mentally healthy and on top of our game.

    Here are a few foods that are recognized as good mood-foods that you might want to give a try: nuts, soy, milk and yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables, dark orange vegetables, broth soups, legumes, citrus, wheat germ, tart cherries, and berries have all been shown to help improve our state of mind.

    3.Take Some Action: 

    With all the pain and devastation in the coastal bend right now I can’t help but feel powerless and not sure how to best help out. I’m in prayer about this and have faith that where and how I am needed will be shown to me in my Higher Power’s time and not my own.

    In the meantime, small actions like making a grocery shopping list, cleaning my desk area, or listing 2 important things I plan to accomplish today and then working on them gives me a sense of control again. Taking a small doable action empowers us to feel that we can move forward and that this funk we get in will soon pass.

    4.Ask myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” 

    This is one of my favorites, when I face fears I may be having head on, acknowledge them, and then let them go, I usually find that I actually feel much better. I can share these fears with another person and pray about them as well.

    Besides, If we pray why worry, if we worry why pray?

    5.Consider Meditation, Tai Chi or Yoga: 

    I personally like to meditate and even if you aren’t comfortable with meditation (a lot of people aren’t), learning breathing techniques or just ways to relax can give us the skills we need to self-soothe the next time we are having the feeling of discombobulation, stress or anxiety.

    6.Practice Detachment:

    Learning to watch my life from a distance for a minute or two—keeping the focus on myself, doing the next right thing and staying in the moment can help me to let go of the judgements I am feeling about myself or what someone else should or shouldn’t be doing.

    Getting some distance from our thoughts can help us get out of unhealthy mental cycles.

    7.Call a Professional if Need Be: 

    Your doctor, therapist, sponsor or a trusted other. If it’s crippling you, it’s much more than discombobulation and may require professional help. Several times in my own life I’ve had to reach out for more help than just someone who loves me could give.

    Sometimes it takes a village and this is nothing to be ashamed of!

    8.Take it Easy on Yourself:  

    Don’t beat up on yourself because you sometimes have a hard time dealing with the world. We all do. Treat yourself—and your discombobulation—with the same kindness and thoughtfulness that you would a friend.

    I’m so grateful to finally take some action this morning and get the real me out and into your mailboxes. It’s a risk that this helped me more than it will help you.

    I want you to know that I am thinking of each of you with gratitude. If you are not already one of my prized clients, are still without power and having cabin fever come over to the studio this week for a workout or two. Just reply to this newsletter and we’ll fit you right in.

Your Personal Best Location
Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087