In the helter-skelter life of ours, emergence of anxious thoughts is quite normal. The problem starts only when you don’t know how to reduce stress or calm your mind in pressing situations.
Whether you are a sensitive person or one who gets overwhelmed easily; whether a student, housewife or a businessman, you must have a few practical points handy to calm your mind.
Today I am going to tell you about a few simple and practical ways to help calm down your mind. But before that,
if you want to know how to reduce stress, you should be familiar with the cause. Let’s look at the various evident causes of stress quickly.
There can be many reasons for your anxious mind.
- Work-related anxiety
- Pressure of meeting deadlines
- Past pain
- A sense of nothingness
- Mental Chatter
- Racing thoughts
- Not able to express oneself
- Dilemma of choice
- Not able to focus on something
- A transitional phase of life
- An argument
Which one is troubling you? Think about it and now read on how to reduce stress naturally.
30 ways : How to reduce stress & calm your mind
Here are a few simple and practical ways to help calm down your anxious mind and reduce stress.
1. Listen to music
Effect of music on health is not unknown to us. How many times we have felt the scintillating goosebumps kind of sensation throughout the body when a particular tune is played!
Music has tremendous power to heal the cells and even our emotions. Science has proved it over and over how music affects the mechanism of the brain and our overall health. This study also proves it.
2. Take a Shower
Water has the ability to take away all the negative elements of our aura and re-energize it. Taking a shower not only cleanses the body but also calms our mind instantly.
As Sadhguru (founder of Isha foundation) says,
“..Over 70% of our body is actually water. If you run water over it, a certain purification happens which is beyond cleaning the skin.”
3. Go for Walk
The essence of walking is in the change of environment. a brief change in environment will help to change your mood too. Walking also improves cognitive functioning.
This study shows that a brief nature walking helps in reducing stress and self-reported rumination..
So whether morning, evening or after-dinner walk, Just go out and walk.
4. Look at nature
If you don’t want to walk, just go outside and observe nature. You can do that from the balcony of your home as well but the effect will certainly be multiplied outside.
If you are lucky enough to live near a natural beauty such as river, hill, sea, sand-dunes. Go and admire them. Breathe in the air coming through these natural pieces of beauty. You will feel as if it is bringing healing elements along with it.
5. Watch your thoughts mindfully:
Become a witness to your mental chatter. What’s going on inside? What are you thinking? Just read your mind. Pay attention to all the racing thoughts coming in your mind without engaging in them.
6. Analyze your thoughts
Analyzing your thoughts is like giving categories to your thoughts. Is it a judgment, a worry, criticism or stress of an unlikely event? Think whether it is important to ponder over it in the present moment. This way you un-clutter your mind and reduce stress.
7. Face your anxiety
As the thoughts pop in one after another, keep removing the remote ones and focus on the main issue.
Don’t shy away from facing the main thought which is making you uneasy.
When you go through your thought, you go through the pain again. This process makes you stronger and confident.
8. Look at the positive side
This method is a counter-attack on all your negative thought patterns. Whatever problem you are facing, it will have one positive aspect. If you can’t find any, re-think and ask :
- Am I worried because this problem pushes me to come out of my comfort zone?
If the answer is yes – this is a positive sign.
- Will these kinds of situations help me to handle even the worst situations?
If the answer is again Yes – it is a positive sign.
Keep asking different questions and analyze the impact of your thoughts in the positive light.
9. Spend time with a kid
Play with a kid, talk to him the way he understands, observe his actions. You will forget all your worries instantly and feel charged up again to face life.
10. Deep breathing
Sit in Sukhasan (lotus pose) or lay down in a quiet place. Breathe in slow and deep, hold and then breathe out slowly.
Do it as long as you are comfortable doing it. (5-10-15 minutes) Focus on your breathe. Your mind gets relieved of all the anxious thoughts.
This video beautifully shows the deep breathing technique with visual.
11. Talk to someone
Sometimes you simply need that one person who can listen to all your doubts, worries and never judge you. If you have someone whom you can confide to, then talk to him.
If you don’t have anyone so close, talk to God and unburden your mind. Most of the times you find a solution to the problem.
12. Yoga and Pranayam
Few Yogasan like Sukhasan, Savasan and Uttanasan, Pranayam like Anulom-Vilom and Bhramri works effectively, if practised regularly.
Yoga and Pranayam increase the sense of well being, fights stress and thus lowers the risk of depression.
13. Write down everything
- What is troubling you?
- Why are you not able to relax or focus?
- What are the thoughts which you want to get rid of right now?
Write everything. Pour your heart out.
This way you transfer your negative emotions to the paper. Now tear it apart and feel the lightness. This has worked for many.
14. Head Massage
When stress gives throbbing headache or a feeling of tight pressure around the head, give yourself oil massage.
Take any natural stress-buster oil and give a pampering, slow and soft head massage. Press all the trigger points on the head with hands or perhaps a small massage wand.
15. Practice acupressure to calm your mind
There are few pressure points in our body which help in relieving the anxiety. One must try them to release the pressure of mind and to calm it down.
Study says that the pressure points give immediate relief from anxiety.
16. Distract Your Mind
Your mind needs to change the focus at that moment. Get up, go out or just change the place where you were.
My favorite distractions are going out for shopping or for a movie.
What are yours – drawing, swimming, crossword, exercise, sports, Sudoku?
17. Eat mindfully
Mealtimes are not to be rushed. Psychologists say that if a person eats very fast or in haphazard manner, that means he is tensed.
Observe how you eat. Slow down. Feel the texture, taste and look of your food.
18. Eat yummy food.
Food changes mood. Then why not try with your favorite ones? Cook them or go out to eat. It amazingly reduces stress and will calm your mind.
Studies have shown that dark chocolate is a great stress buster. It has antioxidants to reduce stress hormones and calm your mind. So grab that bar of chocolate and devour(keeping in mind the fat content of course).
19. Count your blessings.
Make a gratitude journal and jot down all the things, persons, events you are grateful for.
This works like a reverse mechanism.
When your mind is saying nothing good is happening with me, you are telling your mind how many reasons you have to be happy for.
20. Make affirmations.
Affirmations have the power to rewire your brain. Indian spiritual leader and founder of Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says,
” peace is our innate nature. It cannot go away from you.”
Always keep this in your mind and say, repeat and feel these positive affirmations:
- I am in peace.
- I am capable of healing.
- I am courageous.
- I am strong.
- I release all the negative thoughts and behavior.
- I can feel the thoughts draining out of my body cells.
21. Disconnect from social media
Social comparison is one of the prime reasons for stress. Disconnecting from social media accounts for a while will help you a lot.
So Log Out from Facebook, Twitter, Insta or disable the internet connection for a few hours and promise yourself that you are not going to touch the phone for that period.
22. Listen to a guided meditation.
For many of us, meditation seems very tough. In that case, listen to a guided meditation. Follow the process.
You can also listen to Vedic hymns, mantras or the chant of Om. These chants create positive vibrations all over and have a super calming effect not only on our mind but also on the soul.
I have created this 108 Om chants video. It will not only reduce stress but also help in sound sleep.
More articles on Sleep :
23. Do not pressurize your thoughts to alter
If you try to force all your thoughts to change into positive, you will feel more stressed. Don’t feel guilty and give your mind an extra load of work. The more it comes naturally, the better it is for you.
The thoughts are like clouds. They cannot stay. Give them time to fade away naturally.
Just be aware that some thoughts are racing in your mind but don’t get engaged. The more you try to suppress your thoughts, the more violently it will retaliate.
24. Deal with a realistic approach
Yes! I am feeling stressed. My mind is unquiet. Now what?
Okay, So these are the thoughts making me uneasy! What can I do about them?
As soon as you take the realistic approach, your thoughts will channelize to a better direction. Your mind has now shifted attention from the effects of the problem to the cause and solution of the problem.
25. Close your eyes.
Yes ! as simple as it is to read. Just close your eyes.
Slowly try to still your rolling eyeballs. Look through the darkness inside.
When you do this, you give your brain cells some time to relax and calm down.
26. Ease down the forehead lines.
Again as easy as it is to read. Concentrate on your facial expression and try relaxing your forehead.
These lines are called ‘ worry lines ‘ for a reason. Believe it or not, these expressions send the brain a signal that something is not right and the brain gets stressed.
27. Take action.
You have observed and became aware of your thoughts.
You analyzed them and understood the reason and solution. Now, what next?
- If you had work-related anxiety or were worried about the deadlines : get up. Make a routine and follow it religiously.
- If your mind was unquiet because of a strained relationship : Start implementing the ways to smoothen it.
- If you were worried about your health : Make lifestyle changes. Consult a doctor. Ask the specialists.
28. Listen to a motivational speaker.
Switch on an uplifting podcast or Youtube video of your motivational speaker.
29. Cry and let it all out.
First of all, crying is not a sign of weakness. So if you feel like crying, then let it all out and unburden yourself.
By letting out tears you will feel much better and light. Importance of crying can be seen through the emergence of ‘ crying clubs ’ everywhere to confront your sorrows and frustration.
India’s 1st crying club.
30. Consult an expert.
People tend to hide their mental problems. Sometimes this accumulation of unnecessary thoughts becomes so stressful, that professional help becomes necessary.
These people have experience in handling similar cases. You should never hesitate to approach such specialist in the time of need.
I swear by all the techniques because these worked for me and still works, but every individual reacts differently to anxiety. So with time and trial, one will know which one works for them.
Don’t forget to write in comment section which method did you like best or you already follow.
healing through words,