Making Self Care a Lifestyle: Dial Exercise

This weekly blog series offers a collection of diverse and effective coping techniques that can reduce stress, improve mental and emotional well-being, and perhaps make you even more effective in achieving your individual goals. Check back every Monday morning for the newest skill of the week.

Kendra Doukas“I love using this dial exercise because it reminds us that we are in control even when we are flooded by negative emotion. We cannot control the way we feel but we can control our behaviors.”             ~ Kendra Doukas, LMFT

Dial Exercise

Close your eyes and picture a dial in your mind that goes up to 10. With 0 being no stress at all and 10 being the most stressed you could feel.

Notice how your dial reads- are you a 3 ½? Are you a 7? For example, if you are a 7 then notice that you are a 7 and where you are feeling it.

Take a few deep breaths and see if you can turn the dial down to one notch under 7. Don’t try and turn it down any further, just see if you can get it to go one notch lower.

Once you have accomplished that, try and turn the knob down two more notches. Successful? Try to turn it down to a 6 ½. Now see how low you can turn your dial. Once you feel centered and calm feel free to play around with your dial turning it up and down as you wish.



Kendra is passionate about her work helping individuals, couples, and families to heal and rebuild after major losses and traumatic events. Many clients often tell her that they appreciate how warm and approachable she is, and how knowledgeable she is about ways to treat the effects of disconnection, loss, and trauma. Many people seek Kendra out when they have tried therapy before and feel as though nothing has worked - her approach can benefit those who have not been helped by other forms of treatment. She works to identify the root cause instead of trying to treat the symptoms. Kendra excels at helping her clients to achieve healing that they didn't know was possible by blending well-researched approaches to treatment with her gentle and compassionate demeanor. Kendra believes in the connection between our minds and our bodies. She helps her clients to achieve peace and healing by utilizing mindfulness techniques and helping them to address the ways that they hold stress and tension in their bodies, especially after a traumatic event or a major physical transformation such as the birth of a child. Her clients learn how to listen to their bodies and their emotions so that they can sustain the positive changes brought on by therapy.