Retrain your brain for a calmer life
We live in fast-paced times.
You could say stress is part of our daily life! Everyone has to cope with it. And most of the time we master the challenges of everyday life with flying colours, don’t we?
But do you know those moments when you don’t know where your head is anymore and you have the feeling “this will never change. It will stay like this forever”. These are the moments when we have “just had enough”. Hand on heart: Does this sound like someone you know?
If you feel so stressed-out that you are overwhelmed trying to cope, anxious or even panic about your to-do list… then take a closer look at the following 7 strategies to retrain your brain and learn how to handle stress better & stay calm under any kind of pressure.
Did you know? Stress & Pressure can put the body into “fight or flight” mode – an age-old tactic you probably have heard about. However, this evolutionary process releases hormones that prepare the body for either “fight or flight” mode, to get you ready to either fight or run from danger. In this day and age, our massive daily stress triggers these fight or flight hormones…. even when we are not faced with life-threatening situations. Okay, to us it may feel like our life depends on giving that presentation at work… I know situations like this… But let’s be honest… it’s not holding exactly the same amount of danger as facing a wild sabre-toothed tiger…. is it?
So if we often feel anxious or even panicky, it could be an indication that our fight or flight mode is probably triggered too easily. In this case, wouldn’t it be helpful to learn how to calm yourself down when you’re entering this state?
how you can calm down under any kind of pressure
TAKE A DEEP BREATH … OR TWO
Breathing deeply and slowly triggers the body to stop releasing stress hormones and start to relax. Focusing on your breath can also help to distract your mind from whatever is bothering you so that you focus only on what is happening at the present moment…either around you, nor inside of you.
A wise man once said: ” If you are in your head, you are dead”. Well, it’s a little bit dramatic… but you may see the point of truth in there. If we are not aware what’s happening around us and – instead- are wrapped up in our To-Do-Lists and worries, then we are only functioning… then we are not really living at all.
Let’s start practicing how to be more present and focus on our breathing, right away. Here is a simple but very effective exercise:
Close your eyes. Relax your shoulders and your lower jaw! Breathe in deeply through your nose – all the way into your belly and not just your chest. Hold for a moment and breathe out slowly through your mouth. Take a few minutes just to breathe deeply. Inhale – Exhale – Repeat. After some time you should find yourself feeling much calmer.
If you like I have written down my “3 best practice tips to tap into the present moment easily”. Just click here to have a look at the little article.
GO FOR A WALK IN NATURE
Exercise is just as important as sleep when it comes to keeping stress in check and dealing with external pressure. Exercise prompts the body to release those “feel good” hormones that help you to clear your mind.
If you’re under pressure at work, just five minutes of fresh air and a change of scenery could help you to feel calmer and gain a new perspective on the situation – you’ll probably realise it’s not a case of life or death anyway.
If you’d like to read more about the benefits of a “Walk Outside” click here to find out how a walk outside can boost your health AND your success.
Staying grateful for everything you have in your life – no matter how small – can keep things in perspective and help you to maintain a positive attitude
Studies have shown that people who keep a daily gratitude journal have lower levels of cortisol – the hormone responsible for stress. Try taking a few minutes at the end of each day to write down 5 things you feel thankful for and see how much better it makes you feel.
Writing a gratitude journal may seem difficult at first, I know. Grap a free copy of my “Gratitude Log For Inner Peace” simply by clicking this link.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO VALUE YOU
You probably have a few people in your life who can make you feel stressed just by being around them. While it’s not always possible to cut these people out of your life entirely, when you’re under pressure try to spend more time with friends and family who are helpful, positive, and will lift you up rather than drag you down.
But most of all: allow yourself to be proud of yourself! Remember your strengths, your achievements and your worth.
GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
Let’s be honest: Everything seems worse when you’ve haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Stress and anxiety can often lead to insomnia so you end up in a vicious cycle – not being able to sleep and then feeling worse because you haven’t had enough sleep.
Make sleep a priority, especially if you’re under a lot of pressure. Create a sleep routine, that helps you to calm down. What about creating a spa like bedtime routine that helps you to relaxe? Probably you are the typ of person that enjoys guided meditations that help you to drift into sleep! OR you need a quick but exhausting yoga sequence to kick off our day.
Whatever it is that fits you most: Keep your mind clear and set an intention to have 8 hours of delicious sleep tonight. Unplug from all devices about 1 hour before you sleep.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Always imagining the worst case in every scenario is clinically known as catastrophic thinking and can increase anxiety and feelings of panic.
Rather than dwelling on negative aspects or outcomes, try to spend a few moments thinking positively. If your bathroom has flooded and you have to replace all the flooring, for example, this could be a very stressful situation. Yet try to focus on the fact that it gives you the opportunity to update and renovate, and the repairs should be covered by your insurance.
Staying optimistic allows your brain to avoid stress and stay calm.
Are you struggling being positive? Are you facing negative self-talk? Wait a minute. I’ve got something for you: click here to grab a free copy of my “POSITIVE MINDSET CHEATSHEET”.
PAUSE AND MEDITATED
Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and influence your brain waves over time so you can manage your emotions better and stay calm when you need to most.
If you think meditation is all about sitting cross-legged for hours and chanting “om”, you couldn’t be further from the truth – even a few minutes of sitting quietly and concentrating on your breathing is a beneficial form of meditation. You can also try apps like Headspace or 7Mind.
Personally I love guided meditations. You can easily find quiet a lot on YouTube and choose the ones that fit your needs! Click this link, to get to a free “Guided Meditation To Relax Your Mind and Release Stress” by amazing Merissa Peer. Or listen to this one … it’s a guided meditation for relaxation, positive energy and creativity by Mindvalley.
You can’t control what life will throw at you next, but you can learn to cope with pressurised situations and deal with stress in a healthy way.
Making an effort to practise some of these strategies the next time you feel under pressure can help you to feel calm and able to deal with any situation.