When the daily chaos of life becomes overwhelming and you're pushed to the edge of the cliff, don't plunge straight down with increasing speed to the ground below. You do know that's going to hurt, right? Instead, use these 15 techniques to open up your parachute of calm and float freely and peacefully into the horizon.
1. Spray some lavender
Studies have shown that this popular flowering herb can be applied topically to relax your muscles or it can be inhaled for calming effects. It's an effective remedy for anxiety, depression, irritability, panic, stress and sleep problems.
2. Find a new perspective.
Change your perspective on the situation; ask yourself why you're feeling overwhelmed. Is this really worth stressing over? Can you solve this problem? Do you have a roof over your head and food on the table? Are things really as bad as your mind is making it out to be? Gain a positive attitude and be sure to laugh along the way.
3. Go for a walk.
To reap the calming effects of walking, you don't need to pound the pavement for hours on end. A comfortable stroll can be just as effective as a power walk. The secret is to use your mind, focus on the present moment and connect with nature.
4. Play soothing music.
Pick music that is soothing with a slow tempo and light instruments. Music is my anchor to calm. Every time stress sneaks in, I can play this song by Paul Fogarty, and I'm instantly peaceful.
Meditate in short intervals throughout your day. Relax, relax, relax.
When you smile, a sense of peace and well-being develops; simply put, you just feel happy. Try smiling, even when you're stuck in traffic.
7. Breathe deeply.
When you feel agitated, you tend to breathe rapidly or shallow. Pay attention to your breath and you will experience quick and instant relaxation. Slow down your breath, and in particular slow down your exhalation.
8. Water the plants.
Gardening and spending time in nature can help restore your attention and relax your body and mind. If you don't have time to get dirty in the garden, simply watering your plants can induce the same results.
9. Write down everything.
Journaling will allow you to clarify your thoughts and feelings, and will help you gain valuable self-knowledge and reassurance. It can also be a great problem-solving tool; sometimes it's easier to come up with a solution on paper. You can also release powerful emotions, gain clarity and let go. Let go of what you don't need and stop worrying about what you can't change.
We all know the stress-relieving benefits of yoga, but if you don't have time to attend a daily yoga class you can still reap the benefits by incorporating a stretching routine into your day.
11. Visualize a more peaceful scenario.
The mind is very powerful; when you visualize peaceful, serene scenes, it invokes calming feelings, as if you were really there. Though visualization our bodies can relax and the stress will melt away. Close your eyes and imagine rhythmic waves on a long, white sand beach.
12. Call a friend.
If you're chronically stressed, you probably haven't figured out how to change your perspective. Friends who make you happy will help you bounce back and regain your inner peace.
13. Ring a mindfulness bell.
This might seem silly, but it's actually an effective way to bring you into the present moment. Yes, there are mindfulness bell apps. Set an alarm as a reminder; when this bell or alarm goes off, it bring you into a different frame of mind. Tell yourself to breathe and relax.
14. Don't turn on the TV (or turn it off!).
Don't watch the evening news while eating, and every now and then take a break from stressful, fear-based media.
15. Put your phone away.
Take a break from the outside world and connect with your inner world — after you've talked to a friend, of course!
Tell yourself peace is in this very moment. Peace is not in tomorrow's moments, or yesterday's; it's right now. So go on and relax. You deserve it!