21 Helpful Ways to Stay Calm

21 ways to stay calm
The ability to stay calm is vital in today's hectic world of change and uncertainty.

Indeed, some pressure is necessary to keep us alert, ready for action and on our toes, however, we must be able to find that place of calm when we need it.

While these helpful tips are not a quick fix, they can put you in the right mindset and in combination can make the difference between stress and a balanced outlook.

Here are 21 helpful ways to stay calm:

1. Slow down. When things are hectic we tend to rush even more, thus risking burnout and loss of perspective. A good way to generate calm is to slow right down.

2. Release it. When stressful situations pile up, talk to a friend, have a cry (it helps release stress hormones and toxins), or yell at the top of your lungs. Afterward, you'll be ready to face the world again.

3. Exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever by boosting your feel-good endorphins and distracting you from daily worries. 

4. Breathe. According to Patricia Gerbarg, an assistant clinical professor in psychiatry at New York Medical School, slowing one's breath through breathing exercises is beneficial for a variety of anxiety issues:

"By changing patterns of breathing, we can change our emotional states and how we think and how we interact with the world. That's a very powerful tool for psychological practices."

5. Write in your journal. Journaling, or expressive writing, is a wonderful way to manage anxiety and release stress and thus calm you. The process helps you get in touch with your feelings and serves as another way to release what is bothering you.

6. Create a sanctuary. Designate an area in your home that can serve as a calm place for you. It could be as simple as a bubble bath, or it could be a room with relaxing candles, pretty lights and soothing regenerative aromas. relaxation

7. Make a to-do list. When you're stressed you often feel scattered and ineffective. Making a to-do list helps you prioritize, gets you back on track and restores control.

8. Be prepared. If you know you have a difficult situation coming up at work, a test, or a big challenge, prepare for it so you are less nervous and anxious. Being prepared helps you relax.

9. De-clutter. Quite often a messy, cluttered area in your home such as a kitchen, bedroom or work area can trigger added stress by adding to the confusion and disarray already present in your mind. Not only does de-cluttering improve calmness by having things neat and available, but the act of tidying and energy required to tidy up also produces serotonin which makes you calmer and happier.

10. Organize. Similar to de-cluttering, organizing can help further calm you. Organize your closets, the kitchen, garage, etc. By simplifying your processes, you reduce much of the stress caused by endlessly searching for misplaced items availing more time for important tasks.

11. Make affirmations a part of your routine. A great way to stay calm and centered is to utilize affirmations. As stated in my article of the same name, Affirmations are repeated positive statements designed to bring about the desired result (in this case calm). The repetitious aspect influences and triggers the subconscious mind into positive action.

12. Try a visualization technique. Visualization is another great tool for calming yourself. It is a way to use the imagination through pictures or mental imagery to create visions of what you want to experience. To stay calm try visualizing a beautiful lake or waterfall, a field of colorful, fragrant flowers, or any other mental picture that evokes peace and tranquility.

13. Ensure your magnesium intake is adequate. Magnesium is considered nature's tranquilizer. Magnesium reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and increases relaxing GABA receptors in the brain. When GABA is low in your body it becomes impossible to relax.

14. Alter your perspective. Perspective is how we view or perceive a situation. What may initially seem disastrous can appear significantly better when viewed from a more objective, detached perspective.

15. Focus on the positive in your life. We all know life is not perfect; however, there are so many things that go right. Instead of bemoaning what is not working, focus on what is. Then, in due course resolve the trouble areas.

16. Pamper yourself. Take a spa day; experiment with a new hairdo, or enjoy some alone time to read, meditate, or watch that tear-jerker movie you were embarrassed to admit wanting to see.

17. Turn to nature. Getting some sun and fresh air can uniquely rejuvenate you. The sun not only brightens your outlook, but it also helps your body produce vitamin D to improve blood flow and strengthen your bones. Natural light also helps relax you by regulating your body’s melatonin production while being out in fresh air clears your head, improves oxygen intake, and helps you sleep better.

18. Live in the moment. Become aware of the moment with each of your senses. See, smell, hear, taste and touch the sights and sounds around you. When you are experiencing the present you do not dwell on anything else. Living in the moment helps you stay calm and centered.

19. Experiment with aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils in massage or bath. Aromatherapy is great for stress relief, improving clarity, boosting mood and relaxing you. It is an especially pleasant way to calm and put you in a tranquil state.

20. Say no. Learn to say no to situations and people that drain you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Some people never change no matter what you do to try and help them. All that changes is your sense of calm. Similarly, don’t take on more projects in your life and work than you can reasonably manage.

21. Take good care of yourself. The best way to stay calm is to be in the best health possible. Eat properly, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. There is no substitute for good health. Good health includes emotional well being. Engage in activities that promote all aspects of healthy living. Feed the mind, body, and soul!

Live in The Moment
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5 Effective Ways to Control Your Emotions

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