5 Practices to Stay Calm in Stressful Situations
There are days, especially during this period of confinement with the threat of COVID-19, that keeping calm and controlling anxiety is extremely difficult. Various situations, along the way, lead us to lose control. Losing control is not beneficial, for us or even for those around us.
Continued stress can lead, among other problems, to states of anxiety and oppression that usually result in low energy, shortness of breath, leaving us extremely tired and short tempered.
Here is some yoga inspired tips, that will help you remain calm in stressful situations. Quick and effective solutions that you can use before facing that person or that moment that you know you will lose it.
1. Remain Neutral
Avoid too much or too little emotion. Balance! yes, this technique is not easy, but try to step back and try to gain some perspective. Question yourself…
A) Is it really important?
Sometimes we are so involved with the moment, that we don’t even stop to think if the situation or person is really important and, if it is really worth it, the whole emotional state we are experiencing.
B) How would I feel if I were in the other person’s shoes?
Placing ourselves at the other person’s shoes helps to create a state of emotion, empathy and understanding.
C) Will it be as important in a week? Two weeks? One month?
This helps to focus our energy and time on things that really matters. Time is precious.
2. Body Scan
Have a sit, and be sure your spine is erect, close your eyes and mentally observe yourself.
A) Focus on your breathing.
Your breath has a lot to say. Is it calm, agitated, or short?
B) Then observe your thoughts.
Is your mind in a whirlwind of thoughts, in a so called – monkey-mind state? Are you able to focus? Do a conscious observation of your thougths.
C) Lastly, bring your attention to your body.
Observe areas of tension and pain. Make a mental observation to all areas of your body (feet, ankles, legs, hips, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms, neck, head).
Breathe slowly and deeply.
A) Exhalation is longer than the inhalation. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth with strength to resemble a sigh of relief.
B) With each exhalation, imagine all your tension dissolving and leaving your body.
C) Retain your breath, 1 to 2 seconds, after inhaling and just after exhaling. Continue to observe your body and how it feels.
4. Center and ground yourself
Give the meaning “to be groundless”. Rediscover your ground, your foundation. If you are sitting in a chair, press your feet firmly against the floor. If you are sitting or laying down on the floor, feel your body heavy and sinking into the floor.
5. Accept the emotion or feeling without holding on
Do not resist! Nothing is permanent, nothing lasts forever. Welcome all the emotions you do not want, one by one.
A) Say it: I welcome you, I accept you…
B) Give the emotion a name, understand it and take time to listen to it
C) Then ask that same emotion to give you some space, to take a break
D) Now that you have accepted the emotion you don’t want to have; it is time to welcome and receive the emotions you want (base this emotion on the opposite of the undesired emotion). For instance: Should you not want fear, you want to have courage. Become aware of what you want and how you want to feel.
Stay calm and focused. Get to know and understand your body. Measure your heart rate and evaluate your trigger points.
These tips can be done individually or simultaneously.