Calm Down In 5
5 ways to calm down in 5 minutes
With anxiety and triggers becoming unavoidable in our daily life, having tools to calm the mind and body are essential to have when overwhelm hits. When you’re angry or anxious, some practices, including breathing techniques and releasing emotional energy, may help you calm yourself down.
The great thing about all of these tools and tips, is that you can do them discreetly and under the radar. All these tricks focus on the physical aspect of calming down, which in turn calm the mind.
- Elongate your exhale. Breath work is epic at calming and clearing the mind however I find the most effective tool of them all to be elongating the exhale. Slow breathing techniques with long exhalation will signal a state of relaxation by the vagus nerve, resulting in more VN activity and further relaxation. Though VN involvement can explain the effects on health and mental health, the link with cognition is less clear.
- Focus your gaze on the horizon. For me when things get intense my eyes can become hyper focused on an area, this only makes my stress levels higher as tension is building up in my gaze. By softly focusing your gaze on the horizon stress disappears, as your mind becomes able to see past the trigger. This technique is also great for grounding!
- Shake off stress. Nothing feels better than physically shaking off stress and releasing emotions. Somatic practices such as shaking are used in therapy to get rid of built up trauma in the body. Shaking also activates the parasympathetic nervous system and signals the brain to calm, relax, and let go. Full body shaking is optimal however for a more under the radar approach, shaking your hands or feet can also be effective.
- Check your pulse. Another awesome grounding technique. Stress can be detected by looking at our heart rate. Heart rate variability looks at how our heart beats to indicate how our body is responding to stressors, both good and bad. By feeling your pulse you can begin to get out of your mind and into your body, to focus on the sensation and to connect the two together. Often we run from stress, only to find this exaggerates the feeling! By being ok with stress and watching it come and go, we are sending safety signals to ourselves that even if stress occurs we can ride the way and still be safe. This builds are resilience and tolerance to future feelings of stress.
- Drop your shoulders. If your body is tense, you will feel a sense of gripping and tightness. Sit up tall, take a deep breath and drop your shoulders. To do this, you can focus on bringing your shoulder blades together and then down. This pulls your shoulders down, instantly feeling lighter and less tense.
With these 5 tricks in your tool box, I hope you feel more empowered to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself when it comes to situations maybe you’re avoiding in order to avoid difficult emotions. Just know that we can usually handle more that we limit ourselves too and especially with these tools, begin to test boundaries and see how you feel. We can do hard things and we grow more resilient through discomfort.
Categorised in: Mindset
This post was written by Amelia Crossley