How many times have we heard these glorious 3 words? The irony often being, when told to calm down we often feel anything but calm. However, sometimes it really is something we need to do as the long-term effects of worry, panic & stress can be serious.
For many of us we are trying to juggle a lot at the moment & this can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress & generally being overwhelmed.
So, with that in mind, I am going to say it…we need to calm down!
How to calm down
You may have read this a few times but when we’re stressed our bodies go into fight or flight mode and that’s all well & good if we’re trying to escape an imminent attack by a bear, less so when we’re simply trying to juggle daily life.
If this seems familiar there are resources that can help, one of which is Headspace, who provide guided mediation via their app & lots of helpful articles on their website – one of which we’re using here.
When you’re right in your fight or flight mode Headspace recommend trying the following:
Breathe deeply – “Slow, deep breathing, where you fill up your belly with breath and exhale it over several seconds, can help create comfort and relaxation”.
For some of us this can take practice. So ideally trying breathing in for 4 seconds, pause, then exhale for 4 seconds, then pause again before repeating. However, if you feel this move from your natural breathing pattern makes you feel a little panicky, try starting with 2 seconds & build up to 4.
Ground yourself in your surroundings – this may be one of the easiest to start off with; “Noting what you can hear, see, touch, taste, or smell can help you move your awareness and focus from your racing thoughts to your surroundings.”
Get outside – we have talked about the benefits of getting outside plenty already & I imagine we’ll mention it again. Aside from offering distractions as you have to think about where you’re walking, crossing the road etc you can also appreciate what you can see around you. So why not make the most of this warmer spell & get outside.
Practice gratitude – this can be a tricky one when you’re frustrated as you’re probably not going to be too thankful for the situation you’re in at that time, but its worth noting being thankful for the positives in your life can lead to a greater sense of wellbeing both over time but immediately too. When things feel like they’re going wrong it can be tempting or even natural to feel like everything is going wrong & nothing ever goes right but if you really think about it, this is probably not the case. So instead try to focus on this situation & what you need to do to rectify it & also think about the positive aspects of your day, week, life etc & be grateful for those things.
Living life in a calm, zen state feels like something that can only happen when things stop going wrong but in order to feel more calm, more often it is likely we need to accept that things won’t always go to plan & life will always throw up challenges so we need ways to cope with these challenges & then move on.
We hope you find this useful & interesting. You can find the full article, with a lot more information here as well as a fab 3 minute meditation to help release stress.