I find the most effective recommendations to be the ones that are the easiest to implement and remember. Here are just 3 of those suggestions:
1) Change your setting.
If you’re dealing with a stressful situation, remove yourself from that room for a moment. Once your body senses stress, changing your surrounding can often help create a healthier distraction from the current situation because you’re changing the surrounding energy which in turn, can influence your mood.
It’s best to go into a space that is quiet at which point you can focus can regulating your body with such things as breathing, doing a quick mindfulness exercise, listening to a song that makes you happy, look at the birds, and/or just doing nothing for a few minutes until you feel like you’ve been able to calm yourself down.
2) Take 2-5 minute breaks every couple of hours.
Set multiple alarms on your phone to remind you to stop what you’re doing and take a few deep and long breathes.
Often times when we get anxious, we forget to breathe which can cause tension in our bodies. As children, we may have had our teachers or parents telling us to take a break. As adults, we must build these breaks into our schedule ourselves.
3) Do body scans.
A body scan is a wonderful way to become more self-aware. The more you do them, the faster it becomes a habit. It’s a great way to help you understand your emotions and behaviors, and it could take as little as 30 seconds to do.
I suggest doing a body scan, checking in with your body, and noticing where there’s tension, every time you get into your car or change rooms. Before leaving your current room, notice how you are feeling. Maybe use a color scale (green is relaxed, yellow, orange to red being anxious) or number scale of 1-10 (1 is low and 10 is very anxious).
Check-in with yourself as you leave a space and then again once you’ve arrived in the new space. Keep checking in until you’ve reached a low enough level of stress where you feel you can re-enter the original room and/or situation or enter a new situation.
There are many other great recommendations. These may not work for everyone so keep trying until you find something that relaxes you. Some other ideas: playing a mindless game on your phone, creating a list of the things you need to complete, taking your dog on a walk, listening to a quick 5-minute mindfulness exercise, listening to classical music, or turning your phone off until you finish a task. You may even combine some of these ideas.
Learn to finish it off with a body scan before returning to your next project to know whether you’ve had a long enough break. And remember, to always breathe.