How to Find Calm in 30 Seconds

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It doesn’t seem like it should be hard to relax. We are constantly told to “just calm down,” or to “just chill,” or to “just stop worrying about it.”  

The truth, however, is that it can be really hard to relax. And messages like “just relax” can make us feel worse, like we are failures at unwinding. 

Fortunately, relaxing is a skill that can be learned and cultivated. The key is to implement strategies that calm down the nervous system. And the fastest way to do that is by using the breath.

Here is one of my favorite exercises for learning to relax and dealing with stress and anxiety, step by step: 

  1. Place your hand on your heart.

  2. Breathe deeply into the heart space, tracking the sensation of each inhale and exhale.

  3. Remember a time you felt safe and loved by another. This could be another human being or a pet.

  4. Notice the positive feelings that arise when you think of that moment.

  5. Allow yourself to enjoy those feelings and stay there for 30 seconds.

Breathing into the heart center activates the parasympathetic branch of our nervous system – the branch that helps the body relax. Activating that part of us through this breathing exercise takes us out of feeling keyed up, anxious, or on edge. 

It sounds too easy to be true, but taking slow deep breaths is the easiest way to relax. Other activities that help include anything rhythmic—tossing a ball back-and-forth, rocking in a rocking chair, or swimming, for example.

Learning to ground yourself is key to well-being. From a sense of groundedness we tap into our creativity and deepest resources. In that place, life is rich, beautiful, and rewarding.

Are you struggling with anxiety or too much stress? Make an appointment today to find calm in your life