Calming Yourself Down in 5 Minutes or Less

We’ve all been to the point where our stress has hit a crescendo and we’re completely overwhelm and mentally exhausted. During these stressful times, be it when you’ve missed a deadline, there’s a family emergency, or a combination of seemingly small and insignificant events that all happen at once, it’s an excellent idea to have a strategy in mind that will help you calm down. Not only will calming yourself down help to alleviate stress, it will also help your physical health and overall health.

 

Focus on your breathing

 

During a stressful time, you may begin hyperventilating, causing you to feel lightheaded and can worsen the feelings of panic that you are already feeling. Hyperventilating happens when you take too many deep breaths at too short a time, decreasing the CO2 levels in your blood. If you find yourself getting light-headed, count to 5 before your next breath and try to take a long, slow breath for 5 seconds, holding it for a couple seconds and releasing for 5 seconds. This will help your body get into a better rhythm of breathing, which will ultimately help calm you down.

 

Move around

 

Getting up and taking a quick walk around the block gets your mind preoccupied with something else and allows for better circulation, which could make you feel more invigorated. Make sure to walk at a quick, but steady pace. If you have a favorite exercise and you’re able to do it, get to it! Not only will you feel powerful at one of your weaker moments, you’re body will release endorphins that trigger positive feelings.

 

Stretch

 

Get up and move to the nearest door frame to do a pectoral stretch. Line up your forearms flush against the doorframe and lean forward, stretching your chest. Take a few deep, slow breaths and repeat 3 times.

 

Sit up straight

 

When we’re stressed, we tend to slouch and roll our shoulders forward. Make a conscious effort to sit up straight and hold your shoulders back. This stance will take pressure off of your back and allow you to feel empowered. There are also studies being done to show the connections between good posture and mental health.

 

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