Overwhelmed By Stress? Try This 10-Minute Practice

Written by Cheryl Paige

This time of year, stress can skyrocket. We hit the breaking point. We are sure that if one more thing happens, or is added to our list of things to do, we'll fall apart.

When we do, it's usually all over the people closest to us — regardless of their involvement.

When you're in the thick of it and feel yourself spiraling out of control, try these calming techniques to keep the feeling of panic at bay.

1. Give yourself a timeout.

If you're about to lose control, it's essential to physically remove yourself from the situation. This time away allows you to release the energy of stress, anger, or frustration we are experiencing.

Find a quiet place (the bathroom works wonders if you're a mom like I am!) to calm down and gain perspective.

2. Take 10 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.

In the thick of the stress and overwhelm, your heart is probably pounding, your breathing is erratic, and you feel like you're about to scream, cry, or break something. Deep breathing tells your body everything is okay and you can relax.

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3. Assert control of your feelings, verbally.

Say, “I command that all negative thoughts, negative energy, negative vibrations, and negative emotions leave my mind, my body, and my energy field now." Breathe in and release. (Do this three times.)

4. Feel your feelings, all the way.

This calming break is not about trying to stifle our feelings. It's a space for us to experience our feelings in a safe place, where our emotions won't cause harm to other people.

If you just push your emotions down, they will reappear with a vengeance at the worst possible moment, affecting everyone around you.

Before you can let go of any emotion, you have to feel it fully. During your timeout, you get a "rant window" to express all these emotions. Purge them using any of the following means (or whatever works for you) so that when you re-enter the situation, you've diffused the negative energy around it.

5. Write it down.

And don't censor your writing. Write everything and anything that comes to your mind. Remember, you can always rip up the page when you're done.

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6. Express it physically.

Go walking or running, or scream into a pillow and cry. Whatever makes you feel better.

7. Visualize the feeling melting away.

As you navigate this season of heightened stress, finding ways to recalibrate yourself and return to a calm state of mind is essential. Take time to care for yourself so you can enjoy this time of year the way it's meant to be.

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