Learn simple techniques that you can use anywhere at any time to calm your senses. Reducing stress doesn’t require a special time or space or any equipment. And it doesn’t have to take a ton of time. This guide gives you five simple techniques that each take less than two minutes (some only take 30 seconds) that you can practice in the middle of a hectic day to calm your senses.
- Sit upright in a chair with your hands on your thighs.
- Inhale and exhale through your mouth, completely emptying your lungs.
- Inhale slowly through your mouth for a slow count of four. Completely fill every corner of your lungs.
- Hold your breath for the same slow four counts.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth for a slow count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of four.
- Repeat this process four times then breathe normally.
Be Here Now
- When you notice your mind racing, anxiety building, getting stressed about all that’s on your to-do list, pause.
- Close your eyes, and take one very deep breath in through your nose.
- Release your breath slowly through your mouth.
- Pause and slowly say to yourself, “Be. Here. Now.”
- Allow whatever you were feeling to escape from your body in a mist.
- Open your eyes and notice what’s in front of you. Notice aspects of your environment. Notice your breathing.
- Realize that everything is okay right here, right now.
- Name one thing you’re grateful for and feel how that thing makes you feel.
- Before you start, find something to write with and on (i.e. your favorite pen and journal or your phone or tablet).
- Sit down, close your eyes and take a deep breath.
- Pause for a moment while you center yourself and focus on your breathing.
- Think about something you’re grateful for and write it down. Write about the aspects of that thing for which you’re grateful. Describe it in as much detail as possible.
- As you write, feel the feelings that this thing invokes for you. Feel gratitude.
- Write about at least three things you’re grateful for in this manner.
Side note: Turning this into a daily practice where you write about different things every day can have a significantly positive impact on those experiencing depression.
- Sit or lie down. Close your eyes. Take ve deep, cleansing breaths.
- Slowly scan your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
- Notice all the sensations you feel (or don’t feel) as you move from the top of your head, over your face, tongue, jaw, neck, and shoulders.
- Then move through your arms, chest, gut, lower abdomen, and hips.
- Continue down your legs, knees, ankles, feet, and toes.
- Be curious about the painful sensations you may be feeling. Exactly where are they in the specific muscles and joints? Don’t try to make them go away, simply notice.
- When you’re done, take two deep breaths, releasing them slowly.
Name Three Things
- Sit down, close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Let it out slowly.
- Open your eyes and name one object you see in front of you (i.e. your computer).
- Take another breath and name another object (i.e. your desk).
- Take one more breath and name another object (i.e. another person).
- Close your eyes. As you take three deep breaths, name three sounds that you hear, noting one sound per breath (i.e. a fan, your breath, a conversation).
- Now note three feelings that you’re experiencing as you take three deep breaths (i.e. cold, anxious, hungry).
- Repeat the process noting two things, sounds and feelings.
- Repeat the process again noting one thing, sound, and feeling.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Let it out slowly.
Source: Simple Mindfulness