Do you find yourself stressing out regularly and not knowing how to combat it? Are you overwhelmed with the constant state of rushing around to get things done? Do you wish you could just escape for a few hours to avoid all the “stuff” you have to deal with?
Unfortunately, stress is a daily occurrence for most of us. Often it feels more like an hourly event. I have found that stress does not have to control us so here are a 3 easy ways to get calm in times of stress.
1. Breathe. A plain and simple way to get out of a stressful episode and calm ourselves is to focus on our breath. In meditation, focusing on breathing is a way to center on the present moment. It is also helpful to use a count on the inhale, hold, and exhale of breath. The combination of the focus and the count relaxes our brain and body. Try it! First pay attention to your breathing, the inhale and exhale. After a few regular breaths which are often fast paced when under stress, we need to slow our breathing down. Inhale for a count of 4, hold that breath for a count of 5, and then exhale for a count of 6. Repeat for about 4 breaths.
2. Water. Drink some water. Many physical issues we deal with can be part dehydration as most of us do not drink enough water. Not to mention that dehydration can agitate our mood and increase our stress level as well. Now, I am not suggesting that you chug a water bottle, but take a few sips of cool water. Not only will the water aid in hydration, but drinking the water also diverts our attention from the stress to the act of drinking and the cool sensation in our mouth and throat. It cools our body after the rise in temperature that occurs when we are in a stressful state.
3. Thoughts. The most problematic issue that we deal with concerning stress is our thought process. We are already stressed out and negative thoughts overwhelm our brains increasing our stress. The best way to counteract this is to keep a special word or phrase with us that will bring us to a more positive space. For instance, the word “peace” can be used to keep clam or a phrase like, “I am calm, cool, and collected”, or “I am not my stress.” Personalize this to something meaningful to you.
With our full lives, it is not possible to take a few hours off to decompress or lock ourselves away from the chaos for the afternoon. These are just a few simple ways to calm ourselves down in a matter of minutes.
Maria D'Alessandro is a Health & Wellness Coach who focuses on reducing stress and creating a balanced life. She loves to help people to live a peaceful, positive, happy, and healthy life.