Five Simple Ways to Create Calm
It’s totally normal to experience stress from time to time. Here are five simple things you can do in under five minutes to create a sense of calm.
Practice 4x4 breathing
This simple breathing strategy can quickly reduce stress and anxiety levels. This technique is so effective it is taught at basic training for emergency responders.
- Inhale for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, hold your breath for four counts.
- Place hand on chest and on belly (only the belly hand should rise).
- Why it works: This breathing exercise helps to calm down the nervous system and stop the “fight or flight” response in its tracks.
Instead of focusing on what is making you stressed and anxious, use distraction to calm yourself down.
- Focus your attention on what is happening around you.
- Name five things you see, hear, smell, feel (I feel the smooth fabric of my shirt)
- Why it works: When stressed we focus on what could go wrong, which triggers our “fight or flight” response. Since our brain can only focus on one thing at a time distraction stops the stress cycle.
Manage Your Energy
Another helpful practice is to pause and evaluate how much energy you have. Think of your energy level like a gas tank- there are many things in our daily lives that use energy. In order to feel more energized we need to fill up the tank.
- Ask yourself what are three simple things that give you energy?
- Make sure to include basic things like: listening to a favorite song, petting the dog, or having a snack.
- Why it works: Doing something enjoyable can reset our system. Be sure to fill up your tank!
Move Your Body
Moving your body is a great way to reduce stress. Even ten minutes can improve your mood.
- What type of activity leaves you feeling energized and refreshed?
- Why it works: Movement decreases stress hormones and gives us mental boost.
Reach Out for Support
Sometimes all we need to do is connect with someone to create a sense of calm.
- Send a quick text or make a call to a loved one and check in.
- Connect with your coach or Hinge Health group for a little boost.
- Why it works: Getting support helps us to feel less alone and can provide a boost to mood and energy.