How do you relax when you’re going through a moment of severe stress? Your heart rate is up, your breathing is quickening, you’re trying to fight back a wave of emotions that’s threatening to break through and come crashing mercilessly on you.
You need some quick relaxation techniques. Try this:
First of all, take a minute or two to just focus on your breathing. It’s a great distraction from whatever has you panicking and the act of filling your lungs can be very calming. My favourite breathing technique is to inhale through my nose for 4 counts, hold my breath for 4 counts, exhale through my nose for 4 counts, and hold my breath for 4 counts. There are several different kinds of deep breathing you can try. I’ve heard of spending more time on the exhalation than the inhalation, inhaling through one nostril and exhaling out the other, and more.
Say a calming mantra to yourself.
During my most anxious period, I found this Pin on Pinterest that spoke to me. All it said in copper coloured letters was, “Inhale. Exhale.”
Duh, right? But I needed that mantra at the time. I was wandering around my life thinking over and over to myself in the calmest voice I could muster up, “Inhale… Exhale… Inhale… Exhale… Inhale… Exhale…” Having that thought was solid ground for me to stand on in a period of chaos.
Maybe that mantra will work for you. Or you could try something like, “I am okay.” Or “This too shall pass.” It doesn’t matter what mantra you choose, it just needs to be something that speaks to you.
The human body loves movement. I’m sure we’ve all come across at least one article that referred to how exercise boosts our energy and our mood and it has benefits beyond getting fit.
Sometimes we get caught up in our minds and need to bring ourselves back into the physical world where things are a little more grounded. Come back down to earth with a brisk walk from one end of your house to the other (don’t start maniacally pacing, though!), do 20 jumping jacks, or turn on your favourite song and dance.
For me, doing a quick bout of exercise like this acts as a quick reset. The computer’s acting funny. Reboot! Heather is feeling over-stressed. Reboot! Do a happy dance. Give it a try.
Looking for more self-care ideas? Check this out!
Remind yourself that you’re okay.
Right now, right here, in this moment, in these few seconds, the world isn’t ending, you are safe, you are okay. I wouldn’t recommend this tip as step one in your attempts to calm down in a stressful situation, but it can definitely help to put some perspective on things once you’ve started the process.
It’s important to remind yourself that you’re okay right now in order to give you the space to a) take a moment for stillness and b) formulate a plan for next steps. It’s important to remind yourself that there aren’t a ton of situations in our comfortable lives that require immediate action. So take that second for yourself.
“Just calm down.”
It’s incredibly annoying to have someone say that to us, but it’s actually what needs to happen.
If you’re spiraling into a state of panic or extreme stress, maybe take a moment to try out these tips for immediate relaxation. And then ask yourself how you can prevent yourself from getting to this place in the future.
Make sure you check out my self-care checklist here for more ideas on how to look after yourself! (It’s free!)
I hope you have a very relaxing day.