Well-Being//

10 Simple Techniques to Calm Yourself When Life Gets Stressful

Most importantly: You've got to keep going.

d3sign/Getty Images
d3sign/Getty Images

Do your moods ever feel like a roller coaster?

One second, you’re on top of the world. The next, you’re down in the dumps.

It only takes the smallest of events to change your mood completely. For instance, receiving a compliment from a friend makes your day, while getting one piece of criticism can destroy it completely.

Many of us tend to react strongly to things that happen around us, regardless of whether or not they’re within our control. Unfortunately, this can lead to exhaustion, poor mental health, and hurt your ability to make long-term decisions.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to change the way you perceive what happens to you in life. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get what you want (because sometimes what you want changes). And when you do have a reason to celebrate, it’s simply a step on your journey.

Setbacks and victories are a part of life, not something your whole life is contingent on.

So let’s look at these 10 ways you can bring peacefulness into your life:

1. Look at the big picture.

Sometimes we think that if something doesn’t go our way, our world will come crashing down. Maybe you’ve experienced a conflict with someone, or you’re anxiously waiting to hear back about a job position.

At the time, it might feel like everything is resting on this one thing. You’re so fixated on one opportunity that you become blinded to all the rest.

The world is a big place ““ there are many opportunities out there if you go out and look for them. Something may seem like a big deal at the time, but one day you’ll look back and realize it didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Not matter what happens, you’ll be okay.

2. Go for a walk outside.

My head always clears up when I go outside for a walk. Maybe it’s the boost in energy, the sound of birds chirping, or a change in environment.

Whether it’s a sunny spring morning or a cool winter afternoon, I get a better perspective of the issues in my life and feel refreshed after a walk.

3. Breathe in, breathe out.

When we stress out, we tend to breathe quickly. Our breathing and anxiety levels form a vicious cycle, where they influence one another and lead us into a downward spiral.

If you find yourself doing this, stop. Inhale slowly through your nose, pause for a moment, and then breathe out, while allowing your shoulders to drop.

Repeat as needed.

4. Understand the other person’s point of view.

I used to feel critical or angry when someone made a decision that didn’t seem to make sense. But when I saw their situation through their eyes, I became more understanding.

Before you judge, try to understand first. It’s easy to make snap decisions or draw a conclusion when we only know one side of the story.

5. Practice self-care.

The other day, a friend’s picture of herself at the spa made me realize that I don’t actively make enough time for myself. We spend most of our day running errands or doing work for others, but rarely do we sit down and enjoy a moment for the sake of it.

It doesn’t even have to be a day at the spa. Making time for yourself can simply mean sitting down and listening to your favorite music, catching up on a book, or reflecting on your favorite moments of the day. You deserve that time on your own!

6. Dump out your worries.

Worries do no good for us. They’re unproductive, raise blood pressure, and out of our control. Yet, we can’t help ourselves.

Get rid of your worries before you go to bed. Try writing them down, mentally tossing them away, or remind yourself that life is full of possibilities if one doesn’t pan out.

7. Acknowledge life’s twists and turns.

As much as we resist, life is unpredictable. It goes in different directions from what we expect, and leads us to destinations we couldn’t foresee.

The randomness of life is both amazing and frightening. When I recognized this fact, I started to appreciate the magic of serendipity. I had a greater sense of peacefulness in my actions.

8. Share your experiences.

When you share good news, you multiply the positivity. When you share sad news, you divide the sorrow.

At least, that’s how I feel when I have something to share. Talking about something that happened to you or listening to a friend can help both of you to connect and grow together.

9. Practice gratitude.

I’m trying not to take so many things for granted. Now, I make an effort to say “thank you” on a regular basis to the people, events, and surroundings that help me become a better person.

Someone gave you (unsolicited) advice? “Thank you.” A hardship in your life showed you a valuable lesson? “Thank you.” That’s all you need to say.

10. Keep going.

So you faced a setback. You just received a rejection letter. Or, you finally broke through an obstacle and made a step forward in your progress at last.

Regardless of whichever one it is, keep moving forward. Keep working towards where you want to go. There’s no limit to how much you can learn and grow as a person.

Take a Step Back

We all experience moments that bring out emotions of joy, sadness, and everything in between. But when you feel exhausted from constantly thinking and worrying about everything, take a step back and evaluate how you respond to events.

Feeling peaceful is about appreciating the randomness of life. It’s about doing what we can while enjoying the process.

When you approach life’s challenges with a calm, collected head, you can tackle whatever comes your way.

Originally published on Medium.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

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