Many of us have trouble doing what we need to do simply because we cannot center ourselves. Whether we are becoming angry, upset, anxious or we simply can’t concentrate, it is important that we learn to calm ourselves before taking action or making decisions in a flustered state. There are so many ways to calm and center oneself before taking action and not every technique is for every individual. Sometimes you must try several things before you find the one that is right for you but, once you do find it will be well worth the effort.
Refocus. One basic calming technique is called refocusing and it simply involves taking a moment away from your stressors and focusing yourself before becoming flustered. The technique is simple.
- Stop. First and foremost, when you being you must stop whatever you are doing. It is best to distance yourself from whatever is upsetting or disturbing you. Sometimes this means that you must physically create distance between yourself a situation or even a person. If other are involved, be sure to excuse yourself appropriately before removing yourself.
- Go to a place that you feel more comfortable in. It could be a few steps away or it could involve hiding in the bathroom for a few minutes. Just find a place that is more calming for you.
- Refocus. Once you find a place where you can relax a bit, take this time to get your senses and emotions in order. Refocusing is a simple form of meditation.
- Relax your body. Because mind and body are so connected, it is best not to attempt to refocus while standing or in motion. Take a seat or lay on your back if you can. A supine position is optimal but if it is impossible in your case, sitting or even standing completely still will work as well.
- Take deep breaths. This will help align your physical and mental states. relaxing the body is conducive to relaxing the mind and vice-a-versa. Be sure to breathe deeply from your diaphragm. This should feel like breathing from down low in your belly area as opposed to up high in your rib cage. A nice slow, deep , and steady breathing pattern will also help to quickly lower your heart rate.
- Think calming and relaxing thoughts. It is important not to judge yourself when you are doing this. Your reaction to stress is not “bad” or “wrong” it simply is. Use this time for positive affirmations and consideration of what must be done next. Be sure to continue breathing deeply and remain relaxed as you prepare yourself to return to the original situation. When you return you should feel more focused and refreshed.
Refocusing is a technique best used in a situation that you intend to resume immediately. If you are simply stressed and need a break there are certainly other options.
- Distract yourself. Do something that you enjoy too much to think about being stressed. You can use TV, exercise, socialization, music, or anything else that makes you smile to get you mind in a more positive place.
- Sooth yourself. Do something utterly calming that will get your mind and body out of the negative. Take a warm bath, get a message, or even hug yourself. Light some candles or use essential oils with a scent that you like and just relax.
Distraction and self-soothing are awesome techniques to when you have time to yourself. They also leave plenty of room for interpretation and individualization. What is distracting or relaxing to you may not apply to someone else. While that might be disheartening while you are trying to find your thing, it is also why it is so important to keep at it when you are looking.
For some, anxiety may not even stem from outside stressors and that can render the aforementioned techniques relatively ineffective. If you are having trouble finding your calm and nothing seems to be causing it from the outside you may have another issue that requires other changes.
- Check your diet. Eating the right foods in the right quantities is important to your health. overindulging and not getting enough of certain foods can cause negative effects both physically and mentally
- If your are an avid coffee or soda drinker it may be causing you some anxiety. Caffeine is a stimulant and over consumption can raise your heart rate and make it nearly impossible to calm yourself.
- Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant. However, though it may have an initial calming effect, it can also cause depressive symptoms, irritability, and effect health negatively.
- Be sure to get enough protein in your diet to help better regulate your blood sugar. However, avoid too much food with high fat or sugar content as these can have the opposite effect.
- Don’t avoid complex carbohydrates. These and whole grain foods generally contain fiber and can promote serotonin release in the brain.
- Get exercise. exercise is known to release endorphins into the body. Even the most tame and moderate physical activity can lead to feeling calmer, happier and more relaxed. Adding something as simple as a quick stretch when you wake up can reduce pain, anxiety, and depression, promoting your own well-being. By avoiding exercise you are also avoiding these positive effects.
- Talk. Whether you go to a friend or professional you should have someone to talk to about things. Finding someone who calms you that you can express your feelings to can have a positive effect on your life. you can talk about your problems or the weather. Just having someone there can be helpful in releasing stress of any kind, sometimes before you even know it happened.
Whether your stressors come from the outside or within it is important to know how to find your calm. Sometimes that involves taking some time out for yourself and sometimes you must take more preventative measures to avoid negative feelings altogether. The important thing is finding what works for you and sticking to it. You cannot control what makes you feel but you can control how you deal with your feelings. When you find your calm, you find control.