We all worry and stress at times - it is human nature. However, when anxiety begins to take over and calming down seems impossible, we are left with a sense of doom. We can’t always be in a state of bliss (although that would be nice), but we should feel happiness, joy and even elation more often than not. Being in a constant state of unease, worry and displeasure is not good for the soul and it is certainly no way to live. Read on for some quick calming techniques to use when your euphoria is being challenged.
This seems pretty straightforward and obvious, but when anxiety is coming at you full force sometimes it is difficult to breathe properly to avoid hyperventilating. In a state of angst, most people take short, shallow breaths. Taking long, deep breaths disrupts the flight or flight response that comes with those shallow breaths and allows for your body to begin to pacify. Once you decide on the breathing technique that works best for you, practice it when you are in a state of peace so that it becomes a “no-brainer” when you are not.
Challenge Your Thoughts.
Often when we are in a state of anxiety, we begin to think “worst-case scenario” thoughts. Our brains are instantly filled with irrational thoughts that often don't make sense. We sabotage our minds with “what if” situations that can certainly put us in a state of panic. When you begin to feel a sense of worry encroaching, ask yourself “is this likely to happen?”, and “is this rational?” Asking these questions will help reframe your thinking so instead of worrying you are reassuring yourself that everything will be fine.
Visualize Being Calm.
This technique goes hand in hand with practicing your breathing. Once you take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and visualize yourself calm. Envision your body relaxed and imagine yourself working through a stressful situation in a calm and focused manner. Creating a mental picture of what you look like in a state of calm is something you can refer to whenever anxiety emerges.
Drop Your Shoulders.
When you are tense, chances are your posture is being affected. Sit up straight, take a deep breath and drop those shoulders. You will actually be amazed by how the tension melts away once your shoulders are not so strained - it is a truly calming movement.
Have a Centering Object.
When you are anxious or stressed, most of your energy is spent on irrational thoughts. Find a centering object; a locket, a polished rock, even a small stuffed toy to put yourself in a state of calm. Tell yourself you are going to touch this object whenever you feel anxious to help center yourself and refocus your thoughts.
When we experience anxiety, we tend to become hyper-focused on the cause and any rational thoughts leave our minds. When we are in a state of bliss, we see everything with more clarity and definition. While it would be nearly impossible to always be harmonious and content, it is definitely worth it to have some techniques in our bag that will help bring us further from thoughts of despair and closer to serenity no matter what challenge we are facing.
By Melanie Akerberg
People Happiness Manager
Bliss Virtual Services