Are you an over thinker? Or an over-reactor? Do you sometimes feel like all crap comes at once and you can’t deal with it. It’s so easy to get to this point. If we don’t deal with something stressful head on, confront it, and then put it to the side, it bubbles up inside and we end up doing or saying something we usually regret. Some of our most regretful reactions come from irrational thoughts and actions, where we haven’t stopped for a second to actually analyse the bigger picture, or realise that we need to pull ourselves together before making a decision to do something. Here’s a few ways you can do that in 5 minutes (or less):
Remove yourself (15 seconds)
If something or someone is stressing you out, then remove yourself from the situation. Simply step outside of the meeting room, or stop talking to the person/people and just walk away until you are calm enough to deal with the situation. We get more wound up when we keep ourselves in the space that is making us feel negative so moving away from it, will first and foremost prevent any more added negativity and not build on what is already there.
Breathe (1 minute)
The best way (in my opinion) to pull yourself together is by breathing. It may seem pointless to some people, but long deep breaths can calm you completely. When you breathe in, place your hands on your rib cage (in the same way you would put your hands on your hips) and breathe in by pushing your ribs outwards, count to 4, and then exhale for 7. Do this a couple of times, and you will feel more relaxed, less tense, and your mind will clear as you focus on your breathing.
Put your phone down (15 seconds)
We turn to our phones for everything these days. But these aren’t going to help us when we are getting stressed. The likelihood is that you might see something on social media which will add to your stress so throw your phone into the deep pockets of your coat and forget about it.
Chant (30 seconds)
Literally look in the mirror and say something motivational to yourself. Positive affirmations are so powerful. You’re in control of what your thoughts are, so fill your mind with positive ones. Tell yourself you are strong, and you are OK (even if you’re not) because you will be… in a couple of minutes.
Think of the bigger picture (30 seconds)
What are you really getting in a stress over? Of course it’s important, but try looking at the larger picture for a moment. Will this pass? It will indeed, but quickly remind yourself of everything else that you believe is going right. Remind yourself of all the positive in your life. And remind yourself that you can get over this small hurdle that is getting you down temporarily.
And then…stop thinking (1 minute)
All you need is one minute for this. The 1 minute is spent breathing deeply and not allowing thoughts to come into your mind. Whenever you feel a thought coming into your mind, literally force it out and tell it to leave your mind. Close your eyes and think of nothing. This can be so hard to do, so if you have trouble with not allowing thoughts to come into your mind, then picture a colour without thinking of the colour (and I mean don’t tell yourself the colour). This will really clear your mind and relax you.
Put on your game face (1 minute)
Fix up look sharp (Dizzee Rascall reference). Look in the mirror, check your hair, check your makeup, check your outfit, pout in the mirror and then smile for 10 seconds. All of these things will help release endorphins as you appreciate yourself and put on a game face. It will get you feeling happier, as no one likes a Debbie Downer, especially not you.
All you need is a couple of minutes…