“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”
- Eddie Cantor
When you’re able to slow down, relax, and take a step back from the rush of life on autopilot, you give yourself the ability to be that much more mindful about where you’re at in life. We may feel like slowing down is keeping us from getting things done or from reaching our goals, but this practice is actually a form of self-care that catalyzes productivity in a much more intentional way. So do you know how to slow down and relax when you’re experiencing stress or anxiety? Well, I’d like to share with you my tips to help you calm down when stress gets the best of you.
Taking even just 5 minutes to practice meditation when you’re feeling overwhelmed provides an instant dose of tranquility. It happens to be my number one way to regroup and get back on track.
If you know me, then you know how important enjoying a cup of tea every morning is to me. This is an incredible way to bask in some quiet time and step into relaxation and gratitude.
3. Listen to relaxing music
Activating the senses through music is the perfect way to calm any tension and shift into a relaxed headspace. Classical music or music without any lyrics can also be helpful to eliminate distraction and tap into a much more relaxed state.
4. Laugh it off
Sometimes in order to recenter, you’ve got to just laugh off whatever is getting you down. Take a moment to realize that what you’re feeling will not last forever and that a laugh is often just what we need to check in with ourselves to know that everything is going to be alright.
5. Snuggle with a pet
If you have a pet, enjoy some unconditional love from your favorite furry friend, which has been known to help lower cortisol levels in the body that contribute to stress.
6. Write it out
When stress or anxiety has nowhere to go, it can cause us to feel overwhelmed and even out of control. That’s why writing out your feelings, even the bad ones is an excellent way to release built-up tension to help calm you down.
Just like drinking water after an intense workout makes you feel better, hydrating when you’re stressed can do just the same!
8. Focus on your breath
Deep breathing is a trick that seems to work every time for me. Doing a series of 3-5 deep breaths, filling your lungs, and exhaling as slowly as possible, provides your mind and body with the oxygen it needs to mindfully recenter.
9. Take a break
It’s important to take breaks when you’re feeling a bit out of control. This gives you the physical space you need to not only remove yourself from a stressful situation but also the mental space and clarity to regroup.
10. Stretch it out
Stress and tension can often manifest themselves physically, so getting up to stretch and relax your muscles will leave your body feeling much more relaxed.
11. Name one thing you’re grateful for
Expressing gratitude is something you can do at any moment, not just when you’re stressed, and I highly encourage it! Shifting your thoughts toward positivity can help you keep your frequency elevated and calm your mood.
12. Take a mindful shower
Practicing mindfulness can happen pretty much anywhere, and taking a mindful shower specifically is excellent for managing stress and overwhelm. It’s a great way to reconnect with your body and cleanse yourself of any blockages.
13. Take a walk
Taking a walk, especially in nature, is a great way to not only get exercise but the perfect time to practice mindfulness. You’re able to get your mind focused on all the beauty and good that surround you despite a stressful situation you may be experiencing.
14. Watch the sunset or sunrise
Slow down and become present with mother nature and spend that time enjoying a beautiful sunset or sunrise. There’s nothing quite like gazing at the steady pace of a rising or setting sun to get yourself back in alignment.
“Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for.”
And my last tip is a special gift for you. Well, actually, 3 special gifts that you can use to slow down and tap into the full power of your subconscious mind to attract your deepest desires and dreams. I think you’re really going to enjoy them! :-)
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.