With anxiety on the rise and the world becoming more stressful every day, it’s important to find ways to calm down and decompress. Sources of stress are everywhere, but how you deal with those feelings can sometimes mean the difference between a relaxing evening and court ordered anger management classes. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to curb tension and restore some peace even in the face of the most upsetting circumstances.
Take a Breath
One of the simplest ways to signal calm to your body is to take deep breaths. When people are stressed, they tend to start breathing shallowly, thus providing less oxygen for the blood, which makes the body believe it’s being threatened or nearing crisis. This presumption causes stress chemicals to spike and your heart rate to increase. Taking a deep breath restores oxygen to the body and allows these systems to relax, so you don’t feel quite as on edge. Closing your eyes to block out distractions can help you to focus on your breathing and feel your muscles relax.
Consider Your Thoughts
Sometimes it can be helpful simply to admit you’re anxious or stressed. Acknowledging negative emotions can take away their power and mystery and allow you to move on to the next step—dealing with them. If you can acknowledge how you feel, then you can also question your negative thoughts and get to the root of the problem. For example, if you’re anxious about an upcoming deadline, ask yourself why and then attempt to solve the problem. Maybe you’re nervous because you haven’t started the project. You can make an outline of when you will work it so it’s finished by the due date. Now you have a plan and let go of the stress.
Find a Calm Distraction
Other times it helps to get out of your head altogether. Instrumental or soft music can often help to lower people’s heart rates and put the body back on a natural rhythm. If you’re not a fan of soft music, maybe there’s a podcast you regularly listen to with a calm narrator who can help soothe your frayed nerves. Most music apps even have daily meditations available that can help guide you through a relaxing ten or twenty-minute session designed to reduce stress and anxiety.
There are a number of ways to calm yourself down when you feel the world crumbling around you, but these three are simple steps you can take any time, anywhere to get back to your baseline calm.