Stress impacts every aspect of your person- mind, body, and soul. Because it is something that you cannot physically see, you may not notice when you are under higher amounts of stress. That is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness refers to a heightened state of awareness of your body and mind. Identifying stress and recognizing the way it affects you is essential to staying calm. The more you practice mindfulness, the more you’ll be able to respond appropriately when stress levels rise.
Here are seven ways to help you stay calm when you are feeling stressed.
1- Pause, and Think Before You React
When you are feeling stressed, your mind may tend to spiral into “what ifs” and potential scenarios before you’ve fully evaluated the situation. It’s easy to jump to conclusions. Instead of doing that, gather as much information as you can about what is happening so you can make the best, most logical decision. Take a deep breath, take a mental step back, and think about the situation from a different perspective. It can be helpful to ask yourself a few empowering questions such as, “What is one good thing about this situation?” or “What strengths do I have that can help me overcome this?” Empowering your mind through questions like these can help you focus on a solution rather than the problem.
2- Break Negative Thought Patterns
Negative thoughts tend to breed more negativity. It’s important to be able to identify when you are beginning to spiral into negative thoughts before it becomes a pattern. Studies have consistently shown that focused attention to problems or stressful events is linked to anxiety. When stressful situations present themselves(and they definitely will!) redirect your mind. Break the negative thought pattern and begin a pattern of thinking on the positives. Even if you can only think of one positive thing, that’s a great start!
The act of meditation has been around for a very long time. It was first practiced in India around 5,000 BC. Modern scientists have researched extensively the benefits of meditation. Regular meditation greatly reduces stress in the body and mind.
4- Care For Your Physical Health
If you have recently experienced stress, trauma, or a crisis of any kind, it is absolutely essential that you support your body’s physical health. In the midst of a difficult situation, your physical health is usually the last thing on your mind, but taking care of your body will help you respond to stress appropriately. Physical activity and healthy eating will give you the capacity to handle difficulty.
5- Connect with a Friend
Your friend may or may not be going through the same situation that you are, but someone that you trust can help calm a stressful situation and support you emotionally. When you are feeling overwhelmed with stress, pick up the phone and give your friend a call.
6- Get Into a Routine
When a crisis comes, it often disrupts every part of your life, especially your daily routine. One of the best ways to cope with big life changes is to create a new routine. What time do you need to exercise? What time do you need to make dinner? Making these kinds of decisions helps to ground you and remind you that you are in control of your physical, emotional, and mental state, even when you are stressed.
7- Aromatherapy with Essential Oils
Scientists have studied aromatherapy’s benefits to emotional health for years. Diffusing essential oils like lavender can help reduce stress levels. You can also pair aromatherapy with other stress reduction techniques like meditation.
The human brain is amazing! It changes and adapts through the various situations that we experience in life. As you practice these seven techniques, your brain will adapt and it will become easier to stay grounded and calm when stress comes.
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