3 Ways To De-Stress And Calm Yourself Down
By Antonietta Marinelli | July 02, 2021
Stress has the power to impact the overall functionality of both our bodies and minds. Excessive levels of stress can cause us to act out, procrastinate, and even become stagnant when attempting to complete an activity or task. We all hold moments when we feel anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, and worried – and when these negative thoughts overtake our mind it is a difficult task to calm down. Our biggest obstacle is we find it difficult to pin-point when to slow down. We tell ourselves “There is so much to do, but so little time.” No wonder we are left feeling deflated, stressed, anxious and exhausted, right? So, here are three ways we can calm down both our body and mind:
Focusing on your breathing technique is a very effective way to slow down your heart and to feel more at ease. The main effects of slow breathing techniques cover autonomic and central nervous systems activities as well as the psychological status. Research has shown that slow, deep breathing techniques can lead to the feelings of comfort and relaxation, make you more alert, and reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and anger (Brito, 2020).
There are several deep breathing techniques, one being four-square breathing, also known as box breathing. Here is how to do it: Sit in a comfortable position in a quiet space.
- Slowly exhale.
- Slowly inhale while counting to four.
- Hold your breath for a slow count of four.
- Slowly exhale for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for four counts before repeating.
A study explored the therapeutic effects of yoga and the ability to increase well-being (Kane, 2019). A postdoctoral research study by Jonathan Greenberg, PhD showed that yoga is good for your body, health, and mind. It has been used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia, and others. Even when applied to large populations, like prisons, it increases inmates’ sense of wellbeing and self-control (Migala, 2017). Another study in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, found that mind-body exercises like yoga decreases the cascade of inflammation that so often sits simmering in the body and wreaking havoc due to chronic stress. The deep breathing throughout practicing yoga controls your sympathetic nervous system.
3. Hot Baths
Did you know that research suggests that people who bathe in hot water for even just 10 minutes every day have better mental and emotional health? In Greek and Roman times, bathing was not only an opportunity to brace good hygiene and keep well, but it was also a place for socializing, entertainment, and convalescence. Fast forward to now, studies has found that taking a bath on a regular basis helps you to sleep better. A warm bath can also improve breathing (Lamothe, 2018), The temperature of the water and pressure on your chest increases your lung capacity and oxygen intake. A growing body of research has shown that passive heating, like spending time in a sauna, can also reduce the risk of having a heart attack, improve blood sugar control, and even help lower your blood pressure.
An hour-long hot bath may help:
- Reduce the risk of a heart attack
- Improve blood sugar control
- Lower your blood pressure
- Burn 140 calories
- Protect you from illness and infection
Also, hot baths are a great way to rid of physical pain in your muscles and joints! We all hold different ways in which work for us individually to calm down both our bodies and minds. The above ways are a great place to start if you do not know how to calm yourself down, however they are not long-term solutions. If you ever need more effective or professional guidance it is worth reaching out to your local doctor, or medical professional.
• Brito, J. 2020. How to Calm Down When You’re Feeling Extra Anxious. Greatist. [Accessed 1 July 2021] https://greatist.com/health/how-to-calm-down
• Hayasaka, S. 2010, P. 219-221. Bathing in a bathtub and health status: A cross-sectional study,Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. [Accessed 1 July 2021] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388110000344?via%3Dihub
• Kane, S. 2019. Healthiest Ways to Relax Your Mind, Body and Soul. [Accessed 1 July 2021] https://psychcentral.com/blog/healthiest-ways-to-relax-your-mind-body-and-soul#1
• Migala, J. 2017. What Yoga Does to Your Brain. Better by Today. [Accessed 1 July 2021] https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/what-yoga-does-your-brain-ncna794531
• Piarulli, A. 2018, P. 353. How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Pysiological Correlates of Slow Breathing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. [Accessed 30 June 2021] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00353/full