Instant Calming Techniques | Friend Yourself Project

Instant Calming Techniques

Feeling stressed?  Need help de-stressing and calming your nerves? Here are six stress reduction techniques that require only a few minutes to immediately calm and refresh you.

Remember to breathe.
In response to stress, many of us breathe more shallowly or we hold our breath, triggering anxiety and panic. Remember to breathe smoothly and evenly.

For even greater results, use deep breathing to calm yourself. To the count of three, breathe in through your nose. Hold to the count of three. Then, again to the count of three, slowly and evenly exhale through your mouth like you’re blowing to cool something hot. Repeat a few more times. If you begin to feel light-headed, take a little break.

When you breathe deeply, the body releases endorphins and then interprets the presence of these endorphins to mean that it can stop producing stress hormones. Automatically, your heart rate slows and your mind becomes more relaxed.

Visualize relaxation.
Try this visualization: Close your eyes and imagine you that a warm light is entering the top of your head, then bathing and relaxing every part of your body, from your head to your toes. Feel that warm light easing and releasing every tension.

Some people prefer to replace the light with a color of their choosing and they fill themselves with that color and the attributes they associate with the color. For example, they may associate blue with calmness and they fill themselves with blue/calmness.

Shrug your shoulders.
Shrugging your shoulders will help to release the tension in your neck and back. While breathing deeply, slowly raise your shoulders up toward your ears. Hold for a count of five and then exhale and slowly lower your shoulders. Roll your shoulders a few times, then repeat the entire process to release pent-up tension.

Smiling can trick your mind into feeling better. Studies have shown that even forcing a smile when we don’t feel like it can be enough to improve our mood and help us feel calmer. Smile big and see if you don’t feel better.

Change your posture.
Are you hunched over with your breathing constricted? If so, straighten up! Imagine a string tied to the center of the top of your head and as it’s pulled, you straighten up. Physical balance translates into improved emotional balance. Improve your posture and feel more refreshed as you breathe more easily.

Distract your mind.
Listening to music, singing a song, counting to 10, or performing another mental exercise can all distract the mind from it repetitive, stressful thoughts. Once the mind is given something else to focus on it will, at least temporarily, leave its current stressed state. That distraction may be all that is needed to help you feel calmer.

The next time you feel overwhelmed, be a friend to yourself and try these techniques. Since they take so little time, try a few and find which ones work best for you. Incorporate these stress management techniques in your daily life and enjoy more calmness!


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