The stress we feel in our lives can be overwhelming. You may feel stressed at work, or in a relationship, or even by the thought of buying groceries. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce that anxiety and feel calmer during stressful times. Here are some tips on how you can use mindfulness to reduce your stress:
Stay in the present.
One of the first steps to being mindful during stressful times is to stay in the present. This can be difficult, especially if you're stressed or overwhelmed by your circumstances. But staying in the present helps you focus on what's happening now and gives you a way to make sense of your situation from another perspective.
It's easy to get lost in negative thoughts about things that have happened in the past or worry about what might happen in the future, but these things don't help when you're trying to manage stress levels. If nothing else, this mental exercise will give you a break from thinking about everything around you so that it doesn't keep weighing on your mind!
Staying mindful during stressful times means focusing on now and giving yourself space for reflection later (when there isn't anything else pressing).
Focus on your breath.
Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment. This can be a powerful tool for regaining control of your emotions when times get tough. It's easier said than done, but there are a few techniques that can help you center yourself and stay mindful during stressful situations:
Take a few deep breaths. When you're feeling anxious or stressed, taking time to slow down and focus on your breath can help bring your mind back into the present moment. Try taking one long breath through your nose with an open mouth, hold for five seconds, then exhale through pursed lips for five seconds as well. If this sounds too complicated, try just closing your eyes and breathing deeply from the diaphragm (the area below your chest). Do this until you feel more relaxed or calmer than before.* Focus on what's happening around you instead of what might happen in the future or what has happened in the past.* Count backward from 100 by 3s.* Focus on how much food does matter right now?
Identify one thing you can control.
When stressed out, it can be easy to get caught up in what is happening around you. But when your thoughts start to spiral, pull yourself back and focus on the one thing that matters—you.
As we've already discussed, mindfulness is about being present and aware of what's happening inside and around us. This means that instead of worrying about things outside your control (your boss doesn't like you? Your kid got sick? Your partner forgot a birthday?), set aside those thoughts for later. Instead, please focus on the one thing that does matter: how this situation makes you feel and how it affects your well-being. If something doesn't make sense or isn't right with what's happening now, ask questions until it does!
Feel your feelings.
Feelings are natural, they happen in life. They're what you feel at any given moment. The good, the bad, and everything in between.
Feelings are not right or wrong and certainly aren't facts (thoughts can sometimes feel like facts). They don't last forever either—just like your moods change throughout the day and week depending on what's happening around you at that moment. Feelings aren't actions; they're just how you experience something inside you—your mental or emotional state.
Compassion is the ability to feel empathy for others. When we are mindful, we can practice compassion by being aware of our thoughts and feelings before reacting to them. This helps us make better decisions about what we do in stressful situations. Compassion can be practiced through volunteering or helping others, as well as being kinder to yourself when things aren't going your way.
Declutter your home and workspace, as well as your mind.
Decluttering is a trendy topic, and for a good reason. Having a clean home and workspace can make you feel calmer, more in control of your environment, and less stressed.
If you're feeling the effects of stress and would like some help decluttering your life, here are some tips on how to get started:
Start small—a few minutes each day is enough to start making a difference
Remember that it's okay if not everything gets tossed right away
Focus on getting rid of things that don't bring joy or function anymore
Everyone feels anxious sometimes, but there are ways to feel calmer during stressful times
When feeling anxious, it's essential to understand that you are not alone. Anxiety is a natural human emotion; everyone sometimes feels it—even people who appear happy and confident in their lives. One way to feel calmer during stressful times is by being kinder towards yourself. Remember that it isn't a weakness or a sign of character flaw to feel anxious; instead, anxiety tends to come up when something challenging happens (like entering a new relationship or moving across the country) and can be triggered by specific external factors (like being at home alone).
It's also okay if your anxiety has worsened over time—this may mean that underlying mental health issues are causing your symptoms. If you suspect this might be true, don't hesitate to seek professional help!
We hope these tips have helped you feel calmer and at ease with your stress. It’s important not to let anxiety take over but instead focus on what you can control, breathe deeply, and practice compassion for yourself. Remember that everyone feels anxious sometimes—no one is perfect!