Whether it’s work, family or an overly critical friend that’s upsetting your sense of calm, the first thing to do when you feel your anger rising is to give yourself a time-out. After that, here are some other ideas to help you get your zen back…
Yes, you’ve probably heard this before but for good reason. When we’re angry, stressed or anxious we take shallow breaths that keep our heart rate up. By interrupting this with long, deep breaths you allow your heart rate to calm and normalise. Breathing techniques are an excellent distraction if you’re having a panic attack or even struggling to sleep. Try this one: breathe in deeply for 5 counts, breathe out immediately for 5 counts and then hold for 3 counts. Focusing on the pattern helps your mind disengage.
2. Find something green
Whether you step out into your garden, go for a walk around the block or simply stare at a pot plant, being around nature is an excellent stress reliever. Take 5 minutes to breathe and focus on the living plant in a form of meditation. Notice the vibrancy of the colours, the patterns, the soil – inspect every detail with awe and gratitude and you should feel your mood shift.
3. Run through the scenario
If you’re on the verge of saying something potentially explosive, remove yourself for a few minutes and run through the conversation in your head. Will saying something or reacting make things better or worse? Will your words or actions cause harm? Would you say the same thing if you weren’t so angry? Is this a real problem? If the problem is something you need to address, think about what needs to be said and do it when you’re calmer. Also remember that when you’re alone you can say whatever you want to the person driving you crazy – just say it in your head – and that alone might make you feel better.
This herb is one of the best natural remedies for calming humans and animals alike, so use it! If you’ve got some growing at home, spend a few minutes breathing in the scent. Otherwise add a couple drops to a tissue and inhale while you do some breathing exercises.
5. Music and meditation
Listen to some calming music or a meditation. Certain oriental music or spoken word from someone like Deepak Chopra gives me an immediate sense that all is ok. Find a song or guru that makes you feel like you’re in a happy bubble and play it whenever you feel your stress rising.
Remember that stress is one of the biggest role players in most lifestyle diseases, so next time your calm seems to turn to chaos, ask yourself if it’s really worth losing your head and health over.
Calm is king.