It is entirely human to feel worried and stressed in your daily life. Our lives are inundated with work and family obligations, finances that can be hard to cope with, and sometimes even health issues that we feel we have little control over. If this didn’t cause a little bit of stress in your life, then you would probably be a robot! While a bit of stress can be manageable, too much can be incredibly detrimental to your mental and physical health.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to ease this stress and help you reach a calmer state. Doing so will help you perform better in all aspects of your life and will help you maintain much healthier relationships with others. So let’s dive into how to feel more controlled and peaceful even when everything feels like it is going sideways.
1 Accepting You Are In A Stressed State
Before you can do anything to begin calming yourself down, you need to realize that you are in an anxious or stressed state. This is because when you begin to experience stress, your sympathetic nervous system kicks into overdrive and causes the fight or flight mechanism we have all experienced.
When you start experiencing physical symptoms of stress or anxiety, including increasing heart rate, racing thoughts, sweating, or muscle tension, you will know it is time to stop and assess your next steps before making any rash decisions. Deciding to react out of fight or flight can only worsen a stressed situation.
2 Take In Some Deep Breaths
If you’ve ever been scared, stressed, or in an uncomfortable situation, you may not even realize that you subconsciously hold your breath. This is a natural reaction but one you can train yourself to change. Our brain needs deep breaths because they supply it with oxygen to make rational and reasonable decisions. When we hold our breaths or take shallow breaths, we tend not to think as clearly.
This is an easy thing to practice. Take in a deep breath, filling your diaphragm and chest. Now slowly release it in a count of five seconds. Do this at least five times or until you feel your heart rate slow and your brain becomes clearer.
3 Think Before Reacting
Sometimes a stressor simply isn’t worth reacting to. A reaction can sometimes make things worse or cause you additional stress that you just don’t need. This is especially true if the stressful moment is in a disagreement or altercation with someone. Ask yourself a few questions before reacting:
- Does this warrant a reaction?
- Is this other person in a state to communicate productively?
- Will my response ultimately result in something positive?
Unfortunately, sometimes as much as we want to prove a point or explain that we are right, it isn’t going to be perceived that way by the other party. In that case, it is best just not to react and follow the next step below.
4 Just Walk Away
That’s right. Just walk away. It is a wholly acceptable and understandable response if you are in a situation where the other person cannot calmly and constructively have a conversation or disagreement. This does not mean you get to avoid conflict altogether. You will most likely have to come back later and finish the conversation after calming down. It is ok to tell the person that you need to step away, take some time and reassess before continuing the conversation. That is being mature and responsible with your emotions and respecting the other persons as well. Avoiding conflict is not healthy, but neither is fighting in an environment that has become hostile.
5 Engage In Stress-relieving Activities
There may be a multitude of things in your life that are bound to cause you stress or anxiety. Luckily, many things can help you de-stress and find a much calmer state of being. Some are things you can practice each day, while others you can engage in when an overly stressful day or event occurs. Here are a few quick things you can try:
- Get outside and take a walk in the fresh air with a friend, family member, or pet.
- Listen to music that calms you. Any genre that makes you feel relaxed will do: classical, jazz, or country. You name it!
- Practice meditation or yoga to benefit both your mind and your body.
- Try journaling as a way to get all your feelings out about the event or day that was stressful.
- Enjoy a cup of herbal tea that has calming properties. Chamomile, lavender, or tulsi holy basil are great choices.
- Work on a puzzle or other activity that occupies your mind and keeps your hands busy.
These are just a few examples of easy-to-try activities that either are free or don’t cost much but can be invaluable to your mental health. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is nothing at all. Just relax and let yourself slowly come down to a calming place. If you have children that suffer from stress anxiety or do not cope well with conflict, you can tailor these to best suit their needs. As a parent, it can be hard to watch your child go through stressful times, but you do have the ability to help as a parent.
As we said at the beginning of this article, we all have stress. It is part of being a human. The above five tips can be extremely helpful in working to alleviate this and get you to a calmer state. You can check out www.thebrilliantculture.com for more tips on ways to relief stress and focus on a happier life. If you or a loved one, including a child, are going through a trauma or these at-home tips do not help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health care provider or organization. They are there to help get you or your loved one back on track to feeling calm and in control.