Navigating daily stresses and anxieties can be hard to do sometimes. Life is full of unpredictable ups and downs and it’s easy to let your constant worries cause you to be constantly anxious and unsure how to deal with all of these emotions. If you are constantly feeling overwhelmed or finding the day to day tough to handle, there are surprisingly easy ways from experts on how to calm your daily stress and anxiety with a few different techniques.
Breathwork healer and expert, Ana Lilia suggests making breathing exercises a priority in your daily routine. “Having a daily practice of active breathing is an important component to reduce stress and anxiety. Breathwork also has mood-boosting powers helping you feel calm and relaxed and it also helps you feel energized and clear headed,” she said.
“Throughout your day, check in with your breath. Notice in this moment how you are breathing. Is it shallow? Are you holding your breath? Are they short or long breaths? And then notice how you feel emotionally,” advises Lilia.
Lilia provided a few breathing exercises to do depending on the emotion you’re feeling in the moment. “If you want to feel energized, take short, quick inhales and exhales, for 30 counts. Then pause for 15 seconds and start the active breathing again for 30 counts. It’s normal to feel tingly, more alert.”
“If you’re looking to relax your body and mind, do the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Take a breath from your diaphragm to the count of 4, hold your breath to a count of 7, and slowly exhale to a count of 8. Repeat this breathing exercise 3-8 times or until you feel calmer,” she said.
“If you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t remember a breathing technique, always go back to taking slow, deep breaths from your belly.”
Dana Myers, LCSW and founder of A Fit Mind-Life Coaching, also added that “Deep breathing can help us activate our parasympathetic nervous system to calm the body down i.e. manage our stress response, decrease fear and anxiety.”
In addition to breathing, another exercise Myers suggests to practice when you’re trying to get a grip on your stress is to practice self-compassion. “Self-compassion refers to the way we regard ourselves when encountering pain or suffering i.e. the practice of kindness, acceptance and understanding.”
“Make an effort to treat yourself the way you would treat a friend or a small child. Ask yourself, ‘Is the way I am responding to my own suffering the same way I would respond to my friend in this situation?’,” Myers said.
Taking the time to slow down every once in a while is key too. “We live in a fast paced world, with a never ending to do list. Incorporate at least one thing per day that forces you to slow down,” suggests Lilia. “I like to start my mornings by drinking a cup of tea or even just hot water. The hot water forces me to take my time with it. And even though I might already be working on my computer, I still have to slowly drink my tea so that I don’t burn myself or spill anything. That forces my whole pace to slow down.”
Another important tip especially for those working from home is to get outside for some vitamin D. “Not only does it help keep your bones strong and healthy, but research also shows that it helps to boost your mood. Our body naturally makes vitamin D when the sun hits our skin. Try to spend at least 10 minutes outside in the sun. Feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin is soothing and relaxing,” said Lilia.
Something important to keep in mind is to know that you’re not alone and it is okay to seek outside help to help get your anxiety under control. “Express your feelings of overwhelm to a positive support person i.e. family member, friend etc. Let them know how they can help support you. Talk to a mental health provider for professional help. Remind yourself that you are not alone,” said Myers.