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How To Calm Yourself Down In Five Minutes

One minute your child is yelling and throwing tantrums and another minute you have to deal with a toxic co-worker. Sometimes it’s strangers on the streets who anger you and other times it’s the negative news cycle that has you on edge. Let’s not forget the much heavier stuff like grief, loss, change, and mental health struggles. Life is full of stressors and triggers from every direction. We can all agree that it’s not easy to always be calm and mindful in a world that’s constantly giving us reasons not to be.

We may not have the power to completely eliminate stress and triggers but we have the power to respond to them in healthy ways. One of those ways is taking a mindful break. This is intentionally pausing the rush of daily life to reconnect with your inner self. It’s about creating a space for yourself amidst the busyness of life to tune out distractions and tune in to your emotions especially when you’re harboring heavy emotions like anger, anxiety, fear, frustration, guilt, grief, loneliness, sadness, and shame.

Here is how you can calm yourself in 5 minutes by taking a mindful break (Do the following in order):

  1. Breathe: Take a few deep breaths, inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Focus on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Don’t be in a rush to breathe in and out. Take your time. *This will help you calm your body and mind, reduce tension and anxiety and increase your focus and awareness.

  2. Rest: Find a comfortable position to sit or lie down. If not, relax your body while standing up - you can shake it off. Close your eyes if it feels comfortable to do so and just relax. Unclench your jaw and muscles and tune your focus internally to how you feel. *This will allow your mind and body to slow down and be present with yourself.

  1. Empowering words: Repeat a positive affirmation or mantra to yourself depending on your situation. For example, if you’re feeling anxious you can say, "I release all negative thoughts and emotions, and I welcome peace and tranquility." Reframe the negative thoughts you have into positive ones. Instead of saying, “I am not anxious”, say “I am calm and grounded.” *Positive affirmations can help cultivate feelings of self-confidence, self-worth, and positivity.

  2. Absorb: Check-in with your five senses. What can you see, hear, feel, taste, smell, or touch? Absorb your surroundings. A simple exercise is picking a color and naming everything you can see in that color or you can describe how the weather is making you feel. The idea is to tune in to your sensations. *This will help you increase your awareness of what’s happening and how you’re feeling while also calming you down.

  3. Knowledge: Take a moment to pause and reflect before making a decision or taking an action. This means that before jumping into a situation or reacting impulsively, consider the potential consequences of your actions and the impact they may have on yourself and others. You’ve already calmed down by this point so it’s easier to make the right decision in response to what triggered you. *This will help you be more mindful and thoughtful in your action instead of acting on the impulse of emotion.

The summary of it is:

B - Breath deeply

R - Rest your mind and body

E - Empower yourself

A - Absorb the surroundings

K - Know before you act

This exercise is useful for all age groups including adults so have fun teaching your loved ones about it. Life is one huge triggering event for all of us but we can always take a mindful break as a way to calm ourselves.

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