When you consider the lifestyle of a 21st-century adult, there is no way stress can be taken out of it. There’s no way to avoid the chaos and stress associated with daily life. It’s there at work with too much to do and too little time to do it, it’s there in your relationships with family, friends, and lovers, it’s there in your finances with the ever-mounting needs and bills, it’s everywhere.
No doubt it’s a lot to take in, and anyone can become victims of stressful times. And while there is hardly any time to unwind or relieve stress, there are simple actions you can engage in to calm your mind during stressful times, enhance your capabilities, and prolong your lifespan. If you desire to feel relieved, become more productive, make more progress, and of course be free of stress, here are some ways to achieve that calm:
You’d be surprised how powerful breathing can be. Aside from a means to keep your heart functioning through the provision of oxygen, it also helps you relax and calm down through the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system in the body.
If you want to shift your focus from the fight-or-flight response mode to a calmer, more composed one, doing breathing exercises can help you reduce the rush of stress. This allows you to assess the situation correctly and come up with objective solutions.
Mindful breathing entails breathing in and out while holding your breath for a few seconds at a time. When you breathe in and out, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system which lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. It also gets you in a state of mindfulness where your attention becomes focused solely on your breathing. Once calm ensues in your mind, you start to let go of all other thoughts and worries.
Another way to calm your mind when stressed is through self-care. Setting aside time to care for yourself, detaching yourself from a stressful routine, and focusing solely on your well-being allows you to create a stronger and healthier version of yourself. You can indulge in activities like:
- Guided meditation with crystals to enhance calmness
- Taking a warm bath to relax
- Going shopping for things you fancy such as clothes, shoes, paintings, and crystal pyramids if you are into them
- Reading a good book
- Getting a massage, and much more
These activities may appear simple but are effective as they take your mind’s attention away from the daily worries of life. Additionally, these allow you to focus on the moment, be present while performing your tasks, and have your mind shift into a calmer state.
Engage in Physical Activities
You may not believe it, but engaging in physical activities even for a short period helps relieve stress and improve your overall mood. Some studies have shown that individuals who are less sedentary and those who engage in some form of physical exercise experience reduced stress, have better sleep and moods, and generally are more mentally healthy.
When you are feeling stressed out, taking a short walk or stroll will help to reduce that feeling. Also, if you have the time to engage in more regimented physical activities, you are advised to do so for an overall improvement in your mental wellbeing.
There are times when your mind plays tricks on you, causing you to focus more on the negative aspects of things that cloud your thoughts. Everyone is susceptible to self-criticism, which frequently has a negative impact on your mental state. This sometimes leads you to become more stressed about what you feel or perceive as inadequacies and impending failures.
One way to reduce stress from self-criticism is to practice self-compassion, self-acceptance, and self-love. It’s being more aware of what is real and encouraging yourself to do better. Self-compassion is the ability to be aware of your emotions, especially when you fail at something. It involves being conscious of the failure, assessing the feelings and emotions that come with it, and properly dealing with it rather than drowning in that experience. It also entails understanding that making mistakes is a necessary part of learning and not a mirror of your capacity.
Proper practice of self-compassion will help reduce your self-imposed burdens, including your cortisol levels, which lead to your fight-or-flight response to stress. It also lets you focus on improving yourself.
Stress is an inevitable part of life. As a human being, you are often put in positions where you have to push yourself beyond your capacities to meet the daily demands of life. By doing so, you find yourself stressed out. Take some time to follow some of the practices mentioned in this article, including others like eating healthily, listening to music, and having adequate rest. With these, you are sure to overcome your stressful moments and have more productive and better days.