6 Ways to Feel Calmer Instantly
You don’t need to look hard in order to find where all this stress is coming from in our modern lives. Anything that causes stress is what we refer to as a ‘stressor’, and these are all around us, all the time. Some are physical, while others are mental.
Consider the way you start your day: by being woken up in the dark by a screaming child that pulls you out of your REM phase. That means that the brain fires up on red alert, and sends panic signals by releasing cortisol and adrenaline into your body. You’ve only just woken up, and your body has already switched on a “fight-or-flight” response.
Unfortunately, being stressed and burned-out is rapidly becoming the ‘new normal’ in a world where we have too much to do and not enough time to do it in. From my perspective, it is toughest on mothers as they have to take care of their families, career, homes, and social life while feeling depleted and sleep deprived.
The good news is that although stress is ubiquitous, there is also a large array of options when it comes to treating and solving it.
Here are five ways you can feel better almost instantly.
You can go Marie Kondo on your home, or you can just do a little spring clean. Whichever you choose, you’ll find that having a more organized space can instantly help you to feel better about your current predicament.
If you only have five minutes, then just clear your immediate area, or through away 10 objects that are unnecessary.
Eat for peace
If you’re feeling very anxious, it might well be because you have allowed your blood sugar to drop. Something as simple as eating a meal can help to boost it back up and significantly improve your mood again. Our moods are tied extremely closely to what we eat, due to the link between our blood sugar and the release of cortisol and serotonin (the stress and feel good hormones respectively!).
Whenever anxious or stressed, always opt for foods that can satisfy your soul and belly, while producing the “feel good” hormones; chose foods rich in magnesium, tryptophan, and vitamin C. To give you an example, a delicious smoothie made with spinach, berries, almond milk and avocado can do the trick.
Spend time in nature
Walking helps to engage the ‘default mode network’ — the network of brain regions that spring into action whenever we’re not doing something highly active. The result is that your mind wanders and you feel calm and creative. Fresh air and scenic views will do the rest. A five minute spin around the block is all it takes!
If your baby is with you, chose the closest park and sit on the grass; your child will benefit tremendously from being close to mother earth and for being able to breath fresh air and soak in some delicious vitamin D.
Just five minutes of meditation can be more than enough to help boost your mood and help you to feel better. The aim of meditation is to calm your brain by focussing on something other than the negative thoughts you’re currently experiencing — even if that ‘something else’ happens to be nothing at all!
Just set a timer for five minutes, and make an effort to push all concerns out your brain. It’s that easy!
If you feel too stressed out to meditate, simply “Ooooom” for 3, long times; humming stimulates your vagus nerve and will decrease your anxiety level almost instantly.
Another way that you can overcome stress and anxiety is to exercise. This stimulates the release of serotonin, not to mention being extremely good for distracting yourself!
Again, five minutes might well be enough. Just take a moment out and do 30 jumping jacks. You’ll get the blood circulating and feel better in no time.
Hold your baby
Hugging, kissing, holding your baby will stimulate the production of oxytocin, which is the feel-good-relaxing hormone. It is also a great habit to do some breathing exercises when holding an overstimulated toddler, so they will learn the trick and hopefully use it in their adult life.
• Add Foods and Supplements to your diet that support your nervous system
• Hydrate, and limit alcohol, caffeine, and inflammatory foods
• Hold your baby
• Move every day, especially in nature
• Breathe, meditate, OM; be mindful!
• Go Marie Kondo on your home