Life can be stressful. It's a fact. The only variable in the equation is you and how you choose to deal with whatever situation life throws at you.
The way you react in the heat of the moment is dictated by decisions and beliefs you already possess. The trick is to spend time preparing the mind in moments of calm, so as to be ready for when things get stressful.
Try these four techniques to increase feelings of tranquility, even during high-stress situations.
Check the breath
There is no escaping the fact that the breath is our anchor in the high seas of emotion. Start paying attention to the state of your breath at any given time. Sitting on the train reading a book; breath smooth, barely noticeable. Talking to an ex on a chance encounter; breath fast, shallow, tight.
Your breath is the biggest indicator of your emotional state, so tune into what's it's telling you. Once you become more aware of your breath, then you can start to control it and your mood will follow suit. Just the simple act of slowing down the breath can dramatically reduce feelings of anxiety.
Aromatherapy on hand
Aromatherapy is a powerful proven method of reducing stress. Obviously, booking yourself in for a long, relaxing aromatherapy massage would be the preferred option, but often this is just not feasible.
It's easy to buy essential oils and blend your very own calming scent which you can then spritz onto your wrists, or onto a hanky. This way, when things get stressful you can inhale an aroma, such as lavender, which has an instant calming effect on the nervous system.
Count to five
Calm yourself in stressful situations by focusing your attention on finding five objects, or simply counting to five. This method snaps you out of the spiralling effect that anxiety and stress can have on your mental state. We've all been there; getting worked up about something and it being blown out of proportion.
Nip this in the bud by looking around you and acknowledging five objects, or counting down from five in a slow and methodical manner. This gives you a chance to regain composure and assess the situation more calmly.
Change your POV
When you're feeling stressed you lose the ability to see a situation clearly and your point of view (POV) becomes obscured. Find clarity with a mental reminder that your current perspective is completely subjective and will be different in an hour, let alone a week.
If you're experiencing stress, then the knowledge that your point of view can be shifted to prevent negative emotions, gives you power to control how you react in certain situations.