We can’t always dedicate an entire day (let alone an entire hour) to engaging in some sort of calm, relaxing activity. In cases like these, it’s nice to have a few go-to techniques that can bring about a sense of calm in as little as a few seconds.
Here are just 15 techniques to try next time you’re feeling a little stressed out, anxious, or negative about something that’s going on in your life.
1. Take a deep breath. Breathing is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to calm down. Here are three techniques to try when you want to fall asleep.
2. Change your environment. You’d be amazed at what a difference it can make to simply get out of your current environment just by stepping into the next room. If you can, go outside for some fresh air.
3. Do child’s pose. Child’s pose is a resting pose that helps relieve stress and fatigue while encouraging you to turn your awareness inward.
4. Do a body scan to release physical tension. Body can meditations can be quick or as long and as thorough as you like. Here’s how to do a body scan.
5. Use aromatherapy. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, frankincense, ylang ylang, rose, and others are known to have a calming effect. Use them with a diffuser around your home.
6. Try a hand massage. Massage your hands freely with some lotion or try pressing your thumb from one hand to the palm of your other hand for a soothing effect.
7. Practice gratitude. What are you grateful for right now? Think about all that you have in your life right now to see things from a positive perspective.
8. Write what you feel. Even if you don’t have time to write a full journal entry, a sentence or two of what you’re feeling right now can be enough of a release.
9. Hug yourself. If you can’t hug someone else, hug yourself! Wrapping your arms around yourself is a self-loving act that can be just as good as a hug from another person.
10. Clear your schedule. Take a look at your to-do list and knock off an item or two that can wait until tomorrow. Even if they’re small things, you’ll instantly feel a small lift off your shoulders.
11. Say an affirmation or mantra. Affirmations and mantras have the power to change your perspective or become aware of something. Here are 5 short and simply positive mantras to try.
12. Change into comfortable clothes. If you’re at home, get comfy by changing into loose-fitting clothing that allow your body to move freely and your skin to breathe.
13. Have a hot beverage. Whether you love coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or some other delicious hot beverage, the warmth may help you feel a little less stressed.
14. Listen to your favorite song. Music has the power to calm your emotions and lift you up. So grab a pair of headphones and put on your favorite song or playlist for an instant pick-me-up.
15. Practice mindfulness. Nothing compares to bringing your awareness to the sensations you’re feeling in the present moment. Become mindful to detach from thoughts and instantly feel better.
Pick a couple of the above techniques to try next time you feel negativity start to creep up in your thoughts. The more you use them, the more you’ll associate them with a sense of calm, and the more effective they’ll be when you need to turn to them again and again.