The daily grind can wear us down and send our brains into overdrive. Most of us tend to deal with this problem in unhealthy ways. This includes keeping ourselves insanely busy and picking up unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking.
Although these things might keep us distracted, they don’t fully calm the storm that’s in our minds. Listed below are ways to ease your mind when it’s anxious, upset, or stressed out.
1. Give Your Brain A Break
Every now and then, get off of your seat and take time out from routine activities. This will give your brain a break and help it maintain better focus later on.
Standing up feeds more oxygen to our brain. And, oxygen plays a vital role in how our brain solves problems. Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot to supply the brain with oxygen. Just by standing for a few minutes, 15% more oxygen is fed to the brain.
Hence, be sure to get up every hour and walk a few feet. Here are a few things other you could do to give your brain a break.1
- Sit on a chair and rotate your right foot in a clockwise direction. Simultaneously, draw the number 6 from the top down using your right hand. Your right foot will inevitably start moving in the anti-clockwise direction, but try and focus on both tasks separately. Repeat this with the left foot and left hand.
- Stand up from your seat for a few minutes. Rest your eyes on a stationary object. Blink slowly for a few seconds. Then, rotate your eyeballs in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. Slowly count numbers from 1–10 as you do this.
2. Try Breathing Exercises
When you focus on your breathing, the brain sends calming signals to the body. Additionally, your mind becomes clearer and more oxygen enters the lungs and heart.
In yoga, pranayama breathing exercises are characterized by controlled inhalation and exhalation. This breathing pattern has a calming effect on the mind. It also reduces stress levels.2
Furthermore, meditation that focuses on breathing techniques is believed to train the mind to seek a sense of peace and happiness. So, indulge in a session of breathing exercises every day.3
3. Take Up A Hobby
A hobby is a great way to give your mind some respite from the chaos of daily life. You could take up anything from sketching and writing to embroidery and singing.
Experts believe that these sessions will help you recharge your mind and body. However, be sure not to pick anything that involves electronics or gadgets since they might remind you of work and tire you out again.4
4. Visualize An Image
The power of imagination can do wonders when it comes to calming your mind. This is especially true for the times when you’re anxious about an upcoming event.
All you have to do is visualize a place that makes you feel calm and safe. This could be anything from a forest to the hills. Be sure to engage your other senses as well and visualize how the place smells, feels, looks, and sounds.
This technique might help you relax your mind when you’re anxious. Do remember that visualizing an image requires a lot of practice to get right, so it’s perfectly alright to get help from audio guides.5
5. Head Outdoors
Going outdoors might give you a quick burst of energy. And, if you tend to have stressful schedules, just 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference.
When you’re outdoors, the vitamin D in sunlight might provide relief from seasonal depression.6 Additionally, research indicates that spending time in nature and taking part in nature-based activities has positive effects on anxiety, stress, and depression.7
So, whenever you can, head to the nearest park to unwind. Alternatively, you could join an environmental organization and volunteer for them in your free time.
When your mind is in overdrive, it might seem like nothing can calm it down. But, be sure to incorporate these few tips into your everyday routine to give your mind a break every now and then. This will help pave the way for more productive work later on.
|↑1||Vizard, Dave. Meeting the Needs of Disaffected Students: Engaging Students with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. A&C Black, 2009.|
|↑2||Srinivasan, T. M. “Pranayama and brain correlates.” Ancient science of life 11, no. 1-2 (1991): 2.|
|↑3||Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. Hachette UK, 2009.|
|↑4||Gabriel, Ralph. “Evolve: Steps to Enhance and Change Your Life.” Educreation Publishing.|
|↑5||Relaxation Download. Dartmouth University.|
|↑6||Penckofer, Sue, Joanne Kouba, Mary Byrn, and Carol Estwing Ferrans. “Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine?.” Issues in mental health nursing 31, no. 6 (2010): 385-393.|
|↑7||Connecting with nature offers a new approach to mental health care. Natural England.|