Be Honest With Everyone For The Whole Day
A lot of times, the mental stress and strain we feel is from having to present this happy front to social media and our friends and family.
We feel like we need to have it all together and be strong for the people around us, but you would be surprised at how many people are also struggling.
Im not saying to tell the cashier your whole life store, but when they ask, how are you?, you really can respond with feeling a bit stressed, actually!.
It may start productive and comforting conversations, or youll just feel better for being honest and not having to have the extra stress of pretending not to be stressed.
Try Some Aerobic Activity
During periods of anxiety, your body is filled with adrenaline. Putting that adrenaline toward aerobic activity can be a great way to improve your anxiety. Exercise has numerous advantages for controlling your anxiety symptoms:
- Exercise burns away stress hormones that create anxiety symptoms.
- Exercise tires your muscles, reducing excess energy and tension.
- Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which can improve overall mood.
- Exercise is linked to healthier breathing.
- Exercise is a healthy distraction.
Aerobic activity, like light jogging or even fast walking, can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your anxiety symptoms, as well as the anxiety itself.
Think About What Youre Thankful For
Taking a moment to focus on what youre grateful for can help you feel less anxious and depressed almost immediately. Research suggests that the best way to do this is to write a list of things youre thankful for and then read it back to yourself.
This helps you focus on the positive aspects of your life rather than the negative, effectively pushing away the bad stuff and helping you calm down.
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How To Calm Down From Anxiety
If youre feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your thoughts or a challenging situation, here are some quick tips to help you find some peace.
- Use logic. A lot of anxiety stems from fear-based storytelling and we let our minds dictate our emotions. When feeling anxious, apply logic to your situation. Is what youre feeling based on fact? Whats the probability of what youre worried about actually coming true? Is there another solution that can help your situation more effectively than worry? What is that?
- Chew gum. Sounds weird, but a small 2009 study suggests chewing gum can significantly better alertness and reduce anxiety, stress, and salivary cortisol.
- Write it out. Step out of your minds fear and write out what youre stressed about. Journaling is an excellent way to process and express emotions while reducing their intensity.
- Go for a walk. Exercise is a great way to deal with stress and release negative energy.
- Incorporate yoga into your daily routine. Taking 10 to 20 minutes to center yourself and focus on your breathing. This is an excellent way to put your mind at ease.
- Talk to yourself. Talking it out when you feel out of sorts is an effective way to work through your feelings. So dont be afraid to converse alone, and feel free to talk in third person if that helps.
How To Calm Anxiety Tip #4 Soothe It
Now that youve gotten the stress out, its time to do something soothing.
Try not to put pressure on yourself to feel calm while doing these activities – allow yourself to feel however you feel while doing them.
- Take a warm bath or shower
- Light a scented candle
- Do an at home yoga video
- Do some mindful coloring
- Listen to calming music or a guided meditation
- Make yourself a cup of hot tea or milk and drink it mindfully
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Take A Dog For A Walk
I say take a dog for a walk, because it can be yours or a dog you borrow from a friend, but theres nothing like the constant excitement and unconditional love of a dog that make them great pals when youre stressed.
This fulfills the advice to get out of the house and get some exercise, while also having a bit of a social connection .
Bonus points if you get some doggy cuddles later or go for a splash around in the puddles with them.
It can be one of the best things to do to relax and focus on someone elses needs rather than your own.
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Hydrate With Water And Meditate On Water
During the workday, I will often walk a block over to a creek and follow the subtle current with my eyes. Maybe it is because as infants we emerged from water that it has the power to soothe. Water helps in many ways, writes Aron. When overaroused, keep drinking it a big glass of it once an hour. Walk beside some water, look at it, listen to it. Get into some if you can, for a bath or a swim. Hot tubs and hot springs are popular for good reasons.
Dealing With Stress At Work
Stress has been described as a modern epidemic, and thats a sentiment with which Dr Rangan Chatterjee, author of The Stress Solution, strongly agrees. He regularly sees patients who are struggling with work-related stress and have forgotten how to switch off: Stress affects every single organ of the body. It can be good or it can be bad as a GP, I see symptoms every single day that are seemingly unrelated, but actually at their root they all have stress as a big driver.
We can work from anywhere now, but is that a good thing? he asks. On Saturdays and Sundays, when were on the beach, were still checking our work emails. Weve forgotten how important disconnecting is, from our lives, from our work, and its just all contributing to this general feeling of overload.
Were used to thinking of stress as a problem, but Dr Chatterjee explains that in small doses stress can be beneficial. If youve got a presentation or a deadline you have to meet you get a little bit of stress. You think more clearly and it allows you to be more productive.
If you have too much stress, that can start to become problematic. So if you get too stressed before your presentation, you could suddenly forget everything. Youre not able to speak in front of your work colleagues, or youre so overwhelmed that you cant actually think or meet your deadline because that stress has got too much.
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How To Cultivate A Calm State Of Mind
We know how to become stressed. Most of us are really good at activating our adrenal system and getting wound up. The question becomes, then, how do you wind down? Research suggests several practices that not only feel good but also put us into a calmer, more relaxed statea state from which we can cope better with whatever life throws at us.
1. Breathing. Jake, who appears in my book The Happiness Track, was a U.S. Marine officer in charge of a Humvee on a convoy across Afghanistan, when his vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device. After the explosion, he looked down and saw that his legs were severely fractured below the knee. In that moment of shock, terror, and pain, he remembered a breathing exercise that he had read about for extreme wartime situations.
It allowed him to do his duty, which was to check on everyone else in the vehicle. It gave him the presence of mind to give orders to call for help, and to then tourniquet his own legs and prop them up before he fell unconsciouswhich saved his life.
Our breathing is a powerful way for us to regulate our emotions, and it is something we take for granted. Through your breath, you can activate your parasympathetic nervous systemthe calming response in your body.
How To Release Exam Stress 7 Things You Can Do To Feel Calm And In Control
If you can imagine humans in their natural environment before we had computers, smartphones, brick houses and exams, most of the stresses that humans experienced would have been threats to life e.g. a predator such as a wolf attacking them for food.
If this happened, people would go into the fight/flight/freeze stress response also known as the sympathetic nervous system.
- Fight attack the wolf to make it go away
- Flight run away from the world
- Freeze play dead
When the wolf had gone away and was no longer a threat you can imagine the people having a big party.
They would have danced, played music and sung songs. They might have cried with relief as they talked to their friends and families about the danger they were in and what they could have lost. They would have found themselves relaxing, breathing deeper and laughing with their the people around them as the celebration went on.
All of these things are ways to break the stress cycle and get them back into a non-stressy state where they’re relaxed, breathing easy and able to go about their normal lives.
Let’s go through each of them one-by-one as each one on it’s own can break your stress cycle .
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How To Cope With Stress Podcast
We interviewed Dr Rangan Chatterjee for the In The Moment Magazine podcast to get his advice on how to manage stress in every area of our lives. This episode is packed with practical tips to help you feel calmer every day.
Listen now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast or most major podcast apps. Alternatively, you can listen online below.
Looking for more wellbeing advice? Learn how to cope with depressing news, explore mindful ways for coping with change, or begin a new mindful habit with our pick of the best mindfulness journals.
This article was first published in In The Moment Magazine issue 23. Discover our latest subscription offers or order a back issue.
Release The Anxiety Or Anger
Dehorty recommends getting the emotional energy out with exercise. Go for a walk or run. in some physical activity serotonin to help you calm down and feel better.
However, you should avoid physical activity that includes the expression of anger, such as punching walls or screaming.
This has been shown to increase feelings of anger, as it reinforces the emotions because you end up feeling good as the result of being angry, Dehorty explains.
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Feeling Stressed 10 Ways To Keep Calm & Rise Above
If you are feeling stressed, you are not alone. Life does pull us in a lot of different directions.
We feel it ourselves as naturopathic physicians raising three small children. We love our jobs and our children. But our days are busy and accomplishing everything that needs to get done can feel overwhelming. Plus, there are sneaky stressors that creep in, like watching too much news on TV, getting stuck in traffic, or the fact that the dishwasher just broke.
Stressors are all around us, and some days our stress barrel can absolutely feel overloaded. But what may surprise you is that feeling stressed is not a given. You do not need to be irritable and anxious. We will share how in a minute. First, here is a look at how stress affects your body:
Your Body Has Its Own Stress Management Center
Inside your body, stress is regulated by the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. It is the communication network between your hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands.
If you encounter a stressful situationsuch as you are stuck in traffic on your way to an important meetingthe HPA axis goes into action. It stimulates the release of cortisol, your bodys stress hormone. Cortisol raises your blood pressure, quickens your breathing, dilates your pupils, and stimulates the release of blood sugar so you get a sudden surge of energy.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep calm, cool and collected and carry on with whatever the day brings
Connect with the Sinatras at:
Reduce Anxiety With The Four
A final breathing exercise to try is the Four Square, which I learned years ago to reduce anxiety:
- Breathe in slowly to a count of four.
- Hold the breath for a count of four.
- Exhale slowly through pursed lips to a count of four.
- Rest for a count of four .
- Take two normal breaths.
- Start over again with number one.
Important: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health.
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Make A Schedule Of Worry
Oftentimes, when things are stressful in our lives, we feel like we need to worry about them all of the time in order to solve them.
Sometimes, that just isnt true.
Say Im worried about future results of a medical test. I can spend my whole day stressed about it, or I can say, okay, I am going to give myself 15 minutes to worry and stress about them at 10:00am, and then after that, no more.
Give yourself permission to bottle up some of that stress into specific time periods so you can spend the rest of your time knowing that you cant do anything to change it and should instead get on with your life.
Its the same thing if youre stressed about a busy schedule or upcoming performance.
Your schedule is only going to get busier if you fill it with stressing out, and the more time you spend stressed, the less time youll have to practice for your performance.
Accept that stress is a natural part of life, but tell it that it only has a few minutes and stick to it.
How To Keep Calm Under Pressure
Stress is a normal part of modern life, but if youre often faced with stressful situations and feel panicked or overwhelmed trying to deal with them, you may benefit from learning some coping strategies that can help you to stay calm.
Pressure can put the body into fight or flight mode an evolutionary tactic that releases hormones designed to get you ready to either fight or run from danger. In modern times, stress triggers these hormones but theyre not so helpful when the danger comes from giving a presentation at work rather than being faced with a wild animal. If you frequently find yourself feeling anxious, or panicked, your fight or flight mode is probably being triggered too easily and its helpful to learn how to calm yourself down when youre entering this state.
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Instant Ways To Calm Yourself Down
Becoming easily overwhelmed or over-aroused is common in highly sensitive people. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned to take the edge off.
As a highly sensitive person , I’m easily overwhelmed or over-aroused. As such, I am always looking for ways to calm down. Here are some techniques I have compiled over the years. Some of them I picked up in Arons book, some as part of the mindfulness-based stress reduction program I participated in, and others in Lauren Brukners fantastic book The Kids Guide to Staying Awesome and in Control .
First Of All Heres Some Background
When we worry or become anxious, our sympathetic nervous system is triggered. You have probably heard of the Fight or Flight response. This is where adrenaline floods though our body to gear us up to either run away or fight the object causing us to be scared. You might notice your:
An increase in heart rate Your breathing speeds up A choking or heavy feeling in your chest Muscles feel tense, achy or shaky You feel hot and maybe sweaty You become lightheaded Your vision may become blurred Butterflies or cramps in your stomach or an urge to go to the toilet Very important * Your thoughts race so you cant think straight
Originally named for its ability to enable us to physically fight or run away when faced with danger, this response is now activated in situations where it isnt appropriate, like in traffic or during a stressful day at work.
Adrenaline can make you feel very anxious or angry. Your thoughts are racing so you are not thinking clearly or logically and that is why you are likely to say or do something you later feel bad about.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Relieve Stress
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. But in the heat of the moment, during a high-pressured job interview, for example, or a disagreement with your spouse, you cant just excuse yourself to meditate or take a long walk. In these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible.
One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is to engage one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touchor through movement. Since everyone is different, youll need to do some experimenting to discover which technique works best for youbut the payoff is huge. You can stay calm, productive, and focused when you know how to quickly relieve stress.
Social interaction is your bodys most evolved and surefire strategy for regulating the nervous system. Talking face-to-face with a relaxed and caring listener can help you quickly calm down and release tension. Although you cant always have a pal to lean on in the middle of a stressful situation, maintaining a network of close relationships is vital for your mental health. Between sensory-based stress relief and good listeners, youll have your bases covered.
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