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Ways to Manage Distress

Distress can be considered to be feelings of anxiety, anger or sadness. Sometime people feel like they can come on quickly and be quite overwhelming. TIPP skills can be used to help reduce these feelings and bring you back to a calm state. TIPP stands for Temperature (T), Intense Exercise (I), Paced Breathing (P), and Paired Muscle Relaxation (P). They can be used as follows:

Temperature – An onset of distress can make the body heat up and we can be very sensitive to this. In order to counter this you need to cool the body down quickly through methods like a cold shower, hold/massage an ice cube on your skin, sit in front of an air conditioner or even a head dunk in ice water. The method you choose will depend on your level of distress with a more sever option like the head dunk being for sever distress. Make sure you continue this treatment for 30 – 60 seconds.

Intense Exercise– Exercise can be a great way to release endorphins in the bod that help reduce pain and encourage positive feelings. This usually take about 20 -30 minutes and must be INTENSE. This means a sprint down the streets, a hard session with a punching bag, jumping jacks, skipping, etc. This will also increase oxygen flow with decreases stress levels.

Pace Breathing – Paced breathing is a form of mediation the relaxes the body and increases the release of dopamine, serotonin, melatonin and endorphins. This tip is the best for a lower level of distress. There is one form of paced breathing known as box breathing. Picture your breaths as a box. Breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, breathe out for 8 seconds and hold for 7 seconds. Continue to repeat this until you feel calmed down and relaxed. More types of breathing methods are available on google or through breathing apps.

Paired Muscle Relaxation – This is when you progressively tighten and relax muscles/muscle groups. It is best to start at the forehead and work you way down to your toes, purposefully tightening your muscles (example scrunching your face) for 10 – 15 seconds and then relaxing. Repeat if necessary. This will relax muscles you didn’t know where tense and create a relaxed state.

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