Guided Imagery- Guided imagery can be an excellent way to relieve or reduce emotional stress. It is conducted by sitting quietly and taking deep breaths. Then picture yourself on a beach or a beautiful place of your choosing. Concentrate on the smells of the beach and the sounds around you. It takes some time to get accustomed to practicing guided imagery. There are audio programs for this purpose as well.
Yoga- One of the best practices for restoring tranquility to your mind is that of yoga. It has spiritual, physical and psychological benefits. It is best to practice yoga in a class type setting but if that is not possible there are DVDs and books available to learn the basic techniques.
Joina Support Group- It is a great idea to meet others with similar situations. Everyone can help each other and when many people put their heads together more is accomplished. There are online support groups as well as groups available in the community.
Keeping a Journal- Keeping a journal is a great way to express emotions. When you keep a journal it allows your feelings to get out in a harmless way. Also, it can be good to read them back over time to see what your thoughts are at the time. Were they negative or positive? How has your perspective changed over time?
Do some things each day that you enjoy and that have nothing to do with autism. For purposes of stress reduction, find joy in the moment you are in and don't always think to the future. Also, practice deep breathing techniques. Meditation is also highly recommended as a technique of relaxation for parents of children with autism. Repetitive prayers such as in Dr. Wayne Dyer's program "Getting in the Gap." are very effective also.
At first it may seem hard to reember to practice the techniques of relaxation for parents of children with autism. It may seem like just another thing to do that parents don't have time for. This is also called Stress Management and it is very important. By making stress management part of the daily schedule, parents will achieve great physical and emotional benefits.
Barbieri, R. (2002) Stress Reduction Program from 6 Steps to Increased Fertility, Harvard Behavioral Medicine Program