Ever have one of those days where it seems every thing is going wrong?
Take a few moments to step back from every challenging situation, catch your breath and calm yourself down. Remaining calm helps reduce stress from building into an unmanageable monster.
Here are 7 Tips to Calm Yourself Down and Reduce Stress …
Take 10 long deep breaths. You have probably heard this all of your life – the trick is to breather properly. You want to take a long slow deep breath in so that your stomach rises, not your chest. Next, breathe out just as slowly while your stomach descends. As you breathe in, gradually count from 1 to 10. As you breathe out, count down from 10 to 1 at the same pace. Concentrate on your breaths as you count, releasing any thoughts as they come. This is an excellent method to calm yourself down and reduce stress, regardless of where you are. It can be done sitting or standing and in front of anyone. People around you will probably not even realize what you are doing.
Reframing is the mental act of stepping back and looking at the situation from a different point of view. We all have had times where we see a person loose it at a restaurant, grocery store or other public place. I once witnessed a man having a full melt-down because the waitress served him peas instead of corn. Yet, we all have times where we become just as stressed over something trivial. Is it the end of the world if your husband is late for dinner, little Johnny puts treats in your grocery basket, if you make a mistake in your checkbook or if your boss disciplines you? Put yourself in the situation as an observer and see how it looks different. Ask yourself “On a scale of 1 to 10, how does this matter in the bigger picture of my life and my well-being?” Looking at things differently opens you up to see opportunities instead of challenges, compassion in place of anger and strengths instead of weaknesses. To quote Wayne Dyer “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
3. Self Talk
Be aware of what you are telling yourself and change what you are saying. Instead of telling yourself “I’m going to be fired” after your boss reprimands you, say “That was a good lesson for me to learn, and I will do better next time.” Instead of saying my husband is late because he doesn’t like being around me or he wants a divorce, remind yourself what a great guy he is and think of all the ways he shows you he loves you. Tell yourself that you are loving, worthy and capable and are ok just the way you are. Self talk can go a long way to help calm yourself down and reduce stress, because your self talk is what created the stress in the first place.
To be able to use this method to calm yourself down and reduce stress – you need to be prepared. When you feel calm and happy choose a physical action to “anchor” the peaceful emotion. This can be as something as simple as touching your ear, placing your hand over your heart or on your knee. Practice this anchoring technique as often as possible when things are going well. When you begin to feel yourself becoming stressed, use the anchoring action to help yourself calm down.
5. Get Away
If possible take a walk, go to they gym, ride your bicycle or take in a movie. It is especially important to take breaks and get away if you are becoming stressed at work. A quick walk around the building coupled with breathing in fresh air can do wonders for your mental state. Sunlight is a natural mood booster and can be a great way to lift your spirits. The same applies at home if you feel a heated argument with your spouse on the horizon or if your children are fighting and not listening to you.
If you are at work or a public place, listen to some soothing music. Put a couple soothing songs on your phone or mp3 player that have a calming affect on you. Other ways to indulge to calm yourself down and reduce stress includes reading a book, taking a bubble bath, getting a massage or having a glass of wine.
When you begin to feel overwhelmed take a few minutes to go to a quiet place and meditate – even 2 or 3 minutes can do wonders to reduce stress! When meditating focus on clearing your thoughts, by focusing on your breathing, an object or a certain word, like wellbeing or calm. You can also use guided tapes or music designed for meditation. To remain calm and prevent stress, meditate every day.