Day 1. Deep Breaths. Sound too simple? Taking deep breaths for 1-2 minutes helps to calm the central nervous system. Breathe from your diaphragm/belly rather than your chest. If you place your hand on your stomach or diaphragm, you should see your belly expand as you breathe in and go down as you breathe out. Some people like to breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and then exhale for 5 seconds. Do what feels comfortable to you.
Day 2. Be In Your Feet. My colleague, Camille DeLong, teaches a meditation class. She has people visually focus on connecting their feet to the center of the earth. This helps to ground and center you. You can imagine light coming from the bottom of your feet and anchoring into the earth’s core center. The more you focus on being in your feet, the less your mind will race. Another way you can try this is to roll your foot over a tennis ball. This hits a lot of the acupuncture points in your body and helps to relax the body. This is another way of being more in your feet. One time I tried this while I was venting about a stressful situation and it calmed me down.
Day 3. Drink Water. Are you drinking enough water? Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to drink water. Water helps to oil the engine of your body. It helps with mental clarity and flushes out impurities. If you are drinking enough water according to your weight, and you’re still thirsty, contact your physician.
Day 4. Describe Your Surroundings. While you’re driving in a car or sitting at your desk, say out loud what you see. Do it as if you were talking to someone who hasn’t seen the setting before. Here is a simple example: “I’m driving down State Street. I see Costco to my right and Best Buy to my left. I’m approaching the stop light. I see a man crossing the street with his dog.” By doing this exercise, it forces you to have to be 100% present in the moment. This helps to reset your brain and focus.
Day 5. Express Gratitude To Someone. If someone took out the trash without you having to ask, compliment them. If someone did a nice job on project at work, tell them. People like to feel appreciated. This also helps us to focus on the positive and helps with mental clarity.
Day 6. Power Pose! Have you heard of the Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy? She did research on powering posing. A power pose can be standing like a super hero with your hands on your hips. The more open your body is, it raises the amount of testosterone in your body and reduces the cortisol level (stress hormone) in your body. Just doing a power pose for 2 minutes will change the chemistry in your body. Try this before an interview, giving a presentation, before a hot date, or any situation where you want to boost your confidence a little bit.
Day 7. Visualize Your Calm Place. Pick a calm place and visualize being there. My calm place is a beach. Use each of your 5 senses to describe that place. What all do you see there? Do a panoramic view. What smells do you smell? What sounds do you hear? What textures do you feel? What does the air taste like? This helps you to be more present and refocus your brain to calm it down.
What helps you? Would love to hear your ideas.
Thanks for reading!
Heather Severn Callister, LMFT & Coach
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