There are several techniques that we can use at any time of the day to bring calmness to the mind and body. Learn what works best for you!
Practice Deep Breathing
Throughout the day we unintentionally hold our breath or take short, quick breathing patterns. This repetition of such short breathing can increase our stress levels as well as other health conditions. Focus on making exhales longer – inhale while counting to 4, exhale counting to 8. Then, inhale 8 seconds and exhale 8 seconds.
- This practice of deep breathing increases the capacity of the lungs, brings more oxygen supply to the blood and rids the body of toxins. With this, we are better able to handle our temper or reactions, improve concentration and reduce stress, anger and anxiety levels.
Be Present With Self
Stop or slow down for a minute. Bring attention towards actions and notice also how you are thinking. Violent, judgmental, negative thoughts are just as harmful as physical actions. Practice confidence, acceptance, and love towards self; with time this action will naturally be put outwards without effort.
When deep in thought our muscles tense up, most often in our forehead, jaw, and shoulders. Throughout the day, pay attention to when these muscles are tense. If you notice you are frowning during work or school, focus on relaxing these muscles. You can almost instantly feel the change in your body and mind.
Remember Things Aren’t Always Perfect
In the world today, everyone is constantly striving to be perfect. Remind yourself that things may not always go your way, and you may not exceed the expectations of others (or even your own). This may be difficult for some to fully grasp, and that is okay. This will take time and may require one to slightly change their way of thinking. This involves acceptance, contentment, and understanding that things may not always go to plan.
Shift Attention Toward Environment
If you have been busy at work or studying, simply take a 5 minute break to stop and look around at your surroundings. What do you see? Hear, feel and smell? Use visualization and explore the senses. This will bring attention to the world around you, giving your mind a break from strenuous thinking.
Spend Time In Nature – Go For A Long Walk/Drive
Walking is a great form of stress relief, or even taking a long amount of time for yourself such as sitting somewhere quiet or driving will help the mind and body recollect. Turn off technology and social media. Sometimes we need to be alone and focus on the needs of ourselves.
Create A Gratitude/Stress Relief Journal
It’s good to vent, but venting may not always be the right idea if you are venting to the wrong person. If you need to lash out, try writing in a journal. Ask yourself how you are feeling and why, considering the sources of your stress. Then, provide everything you are grateful for, why you are awesome, and also make a game plan about how you can change your current situation for the better. And last but not least, laugh!