Just unwind. Calm down. Breathe easily.
It’s true that saying than doing.
Stress management and mental relaxation are skills that require practice. It is a habit, and just like any habit, it must be formed and nurtured.
But how exactly do you do that?
The good news is that it’s really not that difficult, according to Richard Templar, the best-selling author of the The Rules Of… series.
Yes, he says, “you can train yourself to react to stressful situations in more relaxed ways, and the more you practice, the simpler it gets to turn off the stress and concern.”
Naturally, you won’t be able to avoid all of life’s difficulties, but anything that helps to lessen their severity is worthwhile. While waiting, you’ll be able to handle daily disappointments much better.
The neuronal networks in your brain get stronger the more you use them. Therefore, the more you practice being relaxed, the simpler it will be to do so the next time.
Ahead, he breaks down six techniques to start using to train your brain to approach problems in a calmer way.
Stay in the present
Richard says, “There are many excellent methods for concentrating on “now,” which is just what you need when you’re prone to worry about what’s about to happen.
You need to transition from the “worry” brain pathway to a more calming one.
So think about practicing mindfulness, yoga, meditation, gardening, or running, whichever one you choose. And the more often you do it, the more effectively it will help you relax.
Give yourself a choice
Your sense of stress can significantly change with a small shift of perspective.
It might surprise you to learn that turning off the stress is sometimes not that difficult, Richard says.
Say that you will be running late for your appointment because of the snarling traffic. You have two choices: arrive late and feel rushed, or arrive late but not feel rushed. To me, it seems like a no-brainer.
Although being late cannot be avoided, tension can. Stress should be rejected just by becoming aware that you are, in fact, choosing to experience it. Listen to the radio while singing along. You could do it.”
It always comes as a surprise when breathing makes such a significant difference in your physical and mental health.
Try some stress-reduction breathing exercises every day. Get used to them so you can utilize one that suits you when you’re feeling stressed and need to unwind quickly.
Modify your language.
What do you tell yourself when you’re anxious, Richard asks? Y
By controlling the language you use, even in your own brain, you may significantly alter how you feel.
Practice using the appropriate terminology to reduce rather than increase your tension. Is this actually a crisis, or is it just a bug?
If you have a tendency to flap when you’re anxious, Richard advises that you should practice slowing down. Work out your priorities and force yourself to complete one task at a time. For example, call the AA before calling to let them know you’ll be late or cool the car down.
Writing things down encourages your brain to calm down so that you can write, whether it’s your feelings or a to-do list.
Plan a restful getaway
No, listen, Richard says. The idea behind this is to acknowledge that much of the enjoyment of a relaxed vacation comes from the anticipation.
“A friend of mine recently had to postpone her ideal vacation because she developed Covid.” However, the preparation for it had provided her the motivation to get through a challenging year at work and a mental haven to retreat to when things began to overwhelm her. She had therefore benefited greatly from the vacation even without taking it.
Naturally, if you can travel, that’s better, but don’t discount the importance of planning and thinking about it as well.