Stress is a common emotion, but people often take it too lightly. Around 33% of people feel extreme stress, while most say it affects their mental or physical health.
When stress becomes this damaging, you have to start doing something about it. We face it every day, so how do we manage it?
The overwhelming stress can make us zone out and reduce our efficiency. Learn the tips for staying calm below.
1. Take Deep Breaths
In stressful situations, you often take rapid and shallow breaths. This phenomenon happens because our body kicks into the fight-or-flight mode. It causes a rise in heart rate and blood pressure, increasing your breathing rate.
To combat this natural response, take some deep breaths. Inhale into your belly, then exhale through your mouth.
It helps to learn some breathing techniques, as well. Breaking the loop allows your body to go back into its pre-arousal state.
2. Take a Break
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stop what you’re doing and take a break. Even a few seconds can help you cool down and be ready enough to face the stressful situation again.
Walk outside if you have to before counting to 10 and taking deep breaths. If you can, take a peaceful walk in the park. Being in touch with nature helps clear your mind and feel safer.
3. Focus on the Present Moment
An effective technique is focusing on the present. It’s an approach even sufferers use to cope with anxiety.
When you feel anxiety washing over you, look around. Name five things you see, regardless of what they are.
Switch to your senses. Name the emotions you’re feeling, notice what you can smell, and listen for sounds. Focusing on things other than the stressor helps manage anxiety.
4. Concentrate on What You Can Control
We often find ourselves in uncontrollable social situations. That’s when staying calm becomes a challenge – when our control slips.
You can’t control other people’s emotions or how they act. Instead of focusing on these things, try to see what you can do. For one, you can accept the situation and find a way to solve or avoid it next time.
Are you stressed over having in-person interactions? See what you can control. For example, you can choose where to sit.
5. Get Enough Sleep and Exercise
Our reaction to any situation may become exaggerated when we don’t get enough sleep. It makes us feel worse, which makes everything seem worse.
Sleeping helps clear our minds and reduce stress. The same goes for exercise, since it helps the body make feel-good hormones.
While you’re at it, eat healthily and take your supplements. These mindful actions will help you feel ready to take on any situation.
Learn More Tips for Staying Calm
Staying calm can become increasingly harder depending on the situation. As we said above, we don’t have much control. What we can control is our reactions.
Learn more tips for staying calm and see what works for you. Check out our articles for other valuable guides.