You know when you’re having one of those days where you’re so full of stress and anxiety you just can’t relax. Maybe you just had something sprung on you that caused you to go into panic mode instantly. We’ve all been there, and the good news is that you have complete control of the situation.
What really decides the kind of day, week, month, or year we are having is the way we react to the situations that are handed to us.
It’s a choice, however, it’s not always easy to handle everything well. Sometimes our first reaction to something stressful and upsetting can be very explosive.
The next time you’re put in this position, take a step back and do these four exercises and then choose your reaction after you’re feeling calmer and more relaxed.
- Gratitude – Start by writing down 10 things you are grateful for at that moment. It doesn’t have to be anything super big either, it can just be the awesome cup of coffee you’re having. Do this quick, whatever pops into your mind.
- Breath-work – Now it’s time to take a few deep breaths. This is scientifically proven to stimulate your vagus nerve which in turn activates your relaxation response, lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, and balances the brain to the body. You’re going to breathe in for a count of four, hold for 2, and exhale for 8. Repeat this 4 times. Make sure you are filling your belly and chest with air trying to fully expand them.
- Meditation – Now that we are all calm, we are going to do a 3-minute meditation. First, pick a focus mantra. For example, if you want to feel calm, you can say the word calm every time you breathe in. Set a timer on your phone for 3 minutes and focus on your mantra that whole time. Breathe normally during the meditation.
- Smile – Think of something that makes you happy and smile about it. It is almost impossible to feel stressed and angry when you’re smiling. Give it a try right now.
I know these exercises seem super simple but do not discount them because of this.
They all work really well, together and separately. Give them a try the next time you’re feeling stressed to get some instant relief and make your walk through life just a little bit easier and more pleasant.
When you do this exercise make sure you are in a seated position and are in a comfy, safe place and you have at least 5-10 free minutes. Do NOT do this exercise while driving or in a bath or swimming pool.
Tina Stinson is a Plant-Based Certified Holistic Health Coach and Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and Instructor. Tina helps professionals reset their mindset, nutrition, and self-care in order to help them thrive in their lives.