How to ‘Calm Down’ and Welcome Autumn
Healthier, seasonal fruits are in supermarkets and on street stands in every town, and we take advantage of their availability and lower prices. Sensible sunshine exposure is often linked to many women’s health benefits, including heart-health.
As fall approaches, we slow down. It’s only natural after the excitement of summer to welcome a more relaxing lifestyle. But as the sunny mindset becomes a memory, we can’t relax our guard against stress. It’s too bad there’s not a preventive ointment we could apply to our bodies – like sunscreen – to lower our levels of stress exposure.
Feeling Overwhelmed vs. Everyday Stress
It’s complicated. Those words could probably be used to describe everyone’s work, home, and family lives. We have many ways to reduce unhealthy levels of daily stress, but what about those moments when you hit a wall emotionally and your tension level skyrockets?
What often happens is, the little things pile up until one trigger sets off your body’s stress response and releases hormones that cause you to shift into emotional overdrive. The trigger could be anything from running late for an important meeting to something as minor as a spouse’s offhand remark. And when someone tells you to calm down, it only makes it worse because it invalidates your anger.
Overwhelming Anxiety: Taking it Down
Here are four tips you can use to quickly regain control of both your body and emotions when you’re feeling suddenly overwhelmed:
This is the quickest way to clear your head and regain a sense of control. It works for full-blown panic attacks as well as those moments when you feel overwhelmed; it is something most students of yoga practice. Very slowly, inhale a long breath through your nose. Concentrate on filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs. Hold your breath and count to four. Exhale slowly through your lips and focus on relaxing your shoulders, facial muscles, and abdomen.
You can employ visualizations to help you detach from your current situational stress, or simply think about your blessings. It sounds trite, but your mental positive reaffirmations about yourself and your life go a long way to helping you refocus on what’s important. Some people have mastered self-hypnosis, and others practice PMR, a Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique.
Each person’s calm-down music will vary; some find that a classical piece helps them relax. Others use lively rock or hip-hop to take them to the happy place. Keep your stress-relieving music handy and when you feel the need, take five minutes – just five minutes can help – and focus on your music.
Physically move away from your stressful situation and go to a place where you can really move. A brisk walk around the block is terrific for women's health; while walking you can focus on reframing your mind and emotions. Inside you can perform a variety of movement motions --dance, jump, wave your arms, or even run in place. You can do this stress-relieving kinetic movement when you need it or schedule it for a daily break.