Stress management tools

Join the Conversation

Tuesday, July 7th to Wednesday, September 30th

Please join us in an online, open forum on telehealth. NCB is providing an opportunity for clinicians to ask each other questions, share observations and adapted telehealth protocols for the SoT population via an online forum and technical exchange. This conversation will be a forum for peer-led informational exchange. NCB staff will assist in facilitating and monitoring the conversation.

Directions: Please watch Eugene Augusterfer’s presentation and interview Telemedicine in Mental Health first. Then feel free to join us in this open forum. All are welcome to join this forum, whether you have an account on or not. For more information on using the forum, please read the directions on the first post. Please keep your comments respectful, relevant, factual, and do not share identifying information about clients per client privacy and HIPAA regulations. This forum will be open from July 6, 2020 through September 30, 2020.


Breathing exercises

There are many breathing techniques (e.g., deep breathing, holding breath, noticing breath) that reduce anxiety and help survivors cope with flashbacks. Many examples can be found on the Web. The link below is an example of three deep breathing exercises to reduce anxiety.

Grounding exercises

There are many grounding activities that can help survivors cope with flashbacks. These exercises aim to bring the survivor into the present moment.

One common exercise is called 5-4-3-2-1: You teach the survivor to notice FIVE things s/he can see; FOUR things s/he can touch or feel on the skin; THREE things s/he can hear; TWO things she/he can smell; and ONE thing s/he can taste.

Other exercises include:

  1. Spritz your face (with eyes closed), neck, arms and hands with a fine water mister.
  2. Put your feet firmly on the ground.

Meditation & mindfulness techniques

Again, there are many meditation and breathing techniques that may be helpful to clients.

Toys for stress management

Stress toys can be helpful to give the client something physical to occupy their hands with and ground them during a stressful session. Recommended toys:

  • "floppy noodle balls" or "puffer balls" are tactile and flexible, and can be found in online stores like the Trainer's Warehouse or Curious Minds.
  • "magic loops" are metal rings with beads that can be folded into ball-like and flower-like shapes, and can be found at Office Playground.
  • the Hoberman’s Sphere is a foldable ball that can be used as a visual guide for a breathing exercise. It can be found at the Hoberman website.

Other good sources


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