Physical activity of any kind helps release stress. Take a 15-minute break for a quick walk around the neighborhood; the fresh air will also help clear your mind. If you're stuck indoors, try a few repetitions of scissor jumps, go up and down the stairs or take a ride on your exercise bike. By putting your palms together and holding them for 5 to 10 seconds, you give your body a “proprioceptive input,” according to Brukner, which “lets your body know where it is in space.”.
I like this one because it reminds me of the position of trees in yoga, which is the last of the postures in the Bikram yoga standing series. The palm pusher is like a mini, portable tree position that I can take out at any time to calm down. Did you know that a 10-second hug a day can change your body's biochemical and physiological forces that can reduce your risk of heart disease, combat stress, combat fatigue, boost your immune system, and relieve depression? You can start by giving yourself a hug. By squeezing your belly and back at the same time, you're giving yourself a proprioceptive input (letting your body know where you are in space), says Brukner, who can help you stabilize.
The wall pusher is especially beneficial for people with sensory integration problems. Simply push against the wall with your palms and flat feet planted on the ground for 5 to 10 seconds. If you've ever experienced an earthquake, you can appreciate why this gesture is calming, placing the weight of our body against a solid, immobile surface and feeling the force of gravity stabilize, even at a subconscious level. If you do Bikram yoga, Superman's posture is basically the full Locust position (airplane position), except that the arms and hands are stretched out in front of you, not at the sides.
You lie face down on the floor and extend your arms in front of you. At the same time, you extend your legs behind you and hold them straight. Hold that posture for 10 seconds. It's a great exercise if you're stunned, overexcited, distracted, or anxious.
There are different theories about how and why lavender oil soothes you. Some scientists believe that lavender stimulates brain cell activity in the amygdala (fear center) in a similar way to how some sedatives work. Others think that essential oil molecules interact with enzymes and hormones in the blood. A study published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine measured the responses of 17 hospice cancer patients to aromatherapy with humidified lavender essential oil.
The results reflected a positive change in blood pressure and pulse, pain, anxiety, depression and a sense of well-being. Sometimes I use lavender oil for better sleep. How is 988 different from 911? What happens when you call? Experts Answer These Questions and More. Intense feelings of anxiety and stress that appear quickly often stem from irrational thoughts.
You could start focusing only on the worst possible outcome or become a chorus of “what if” that influences your deepest fears. Slow, deep breathing, in which the belly is filled with breath and exhaled for several seconds, can help create comfort and relaxation, according to research published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. This is because deep breathing stimulates the body's parasympathetic nervous system, lowering blood pressure and heart rate and relaxing our muscles. Try breathing with a box, where you inhale for a count of four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, and breathe out slowly for four seconds before starting again.
A 2002 study found that people who have pets generally have lower heart rates and blood pressure levels and are better able to handle stressful situations. However, if you feel like you're struggling to stay calm on your own, you may want to consider meeting with a mental health professional to learn about other coping methods. A psychiatrist discusses why this news is distressing for women, parents and people who menstruate and give birth, and how to care for them. There are some specifically designed to help people calm down while in a panic and they have been invaluable to me.
Leaving the house is a good way to change the scene, fresh air is relaxing and flooding your body with endorphins is a great antidote to all stress hormones. Once the fight-or-flight reaction kicks in, it can be difficult to stop experiencing feelings of stress or panic, or even convince yourself not to. Whether it's a little stress or a big panic ball in the pit of our stomach, learning to calm down is essential for all of us. Some of them I learned in Aron's book, others as part of the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program in which I participated, and others in Lauren Brukner's fantastic book The Kids' Guide to Staying Awesome and in Control (but they also work for adults).
Interacting with your favorite furry friend can lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone and lower blood pressure. I've also found that singing to the beat of the music is a great release and a good way to calm and relieve tension. Long-term mindfulness meditation is a key part of maintaining a calmer approach to life and its myriad distractions and problems, helping us replace stress responses with clarity. When you're feeling stressed or scared, it's easy to get caught in the trap of negative thinking.
Learning to calm down doesn't just involve learning ways to calm down during a time of acute anxiety or panic. Any way you can provide proprioceptive information, or techniques that bring you back to your body, can be incredibly solid when it comes to calming down. . .