We are human, we get anxious, we lose our cool, we get unsettled. That is totally normal. But, what happens when that state of anxiety builds or our frustration turns to anger and then to rage. That’s when we feel out of control and we may say or do things that we regret or can’t seem to control.
When we start to feel our anxiety building or our frustration turning to anger or any other emotion that might kick us up to the next level there are a number of things we could do to bring our calm back. Bring us back to center.
The first thing you can do is take deep breaths, in and out, full deep breaths counting to 10. When we get anxious or upset we tend to shallow breathe which intensifies those feelings. When we can slow our breathing and take full breaths it helps calm our ‘fight or flight’ nervous system.
Journaling is a great way to release pent up emotions. Grab a pen and paper and write about what you are feeling and why. Quite often you will find the root cause is something completely unrelated to what is happening right now.
You can start with a question like “Why am I feeling this way?”, listen for the answer and write. Even if the answer doesn’t come right away , write the question over and over until it does.
3. Challenge your thoughts
Often what we are thinking may seem irrational when we are anxious or frustrated. Stop for a moment and look at what is really going on. Just like the journaling, stop and ask yourself the question “Why am I feeling this way?”.
Challenge yourself to get to the root cause, and look at why that may be making you feel that way.
You may want to question;
When we stop and look at things rationally we realize our brain has jumped directly to the worst case scenario and we are off and running.
4. Go for a walk
Walking is a great way to let off steam or get your head back to center. It is hard to shallow breathe when you are walking, so walking helps you deep breathe and also the fresh air can help clear your head.
As long as you don’t get caught in the ‘what if’ loop or the ‘I want to be angry’ scenario. If you set your mind to calming yourself as you walk, you will come back much calmer. One lap around the block is all you need.
When you need to calm yourself, put on a guided meditation. It can be difficult (not impossible) to get yourself into a meditative state alone, but listening to a guided meditation, silently with your eyes closed can do wonders.
Your brain cannot work towards that meditative state it desires and remain anxious or angry. Let it choose the calm.
Having a mantra to repeat in times of need can help greatly. Mantras can be as simple as “calm” or you can ask yourself “will this matter next week?” Repeating mantras help to shift where your attention is at the moment.
When we are angry or anxious we can become hyper focused on the cause, rational thoughts flee. Mantras allow our rational mind to take back control.
Grab a coloring book (or paper) and some crayons. Having a coloring book around for just this reason is a great idea. Coloring has been proven to take us to that meditative state.
So, just like meditation, coloring calms that spiralling brain. Plus coloring seems like so much more fun. It doesn't matter if you are doodling on an envelope with a pen or you have fancy markers and coloring book. Just let go and leave your tensions behind in your coloring.
8. Listen to Music
I’m not talking heavy metal music, but calm, soothing, uplifting music. Choose music that makes you happy.
Science has proven that music actually changes our brain waves. When we listen to music it shifts us. Choose music that shifts you into a calmer happier state of being.
If you want to intensify the feeling, get moving. Dance to that music. Movement helps us feel better in our bodies.
9. Self care
Get the body moving, yoga, dance, a walk. Make sure you're hydrated and fed. A hungry, thirsty, achy body is just itching for a fight. Look after yourself.
This also includes time for yourself, make sure you get quiet time as you need. When you look after yourself you are better equipped to take on all the needs and tasks in a day.
Coloring and journaling are great and would probably be my first go to’s in calming myself. But, any creativity can help.
Do you love to bake? Garden? Paint, draw? Knit? It doesn't matter what you do for creativity as long as it is something you enjoy. Do what makes you happy. When you are doing something you love it will help calm you.
Live your best life, look after yourself. Also, remind yourself that you are human and you have emotions. Emotions are fine, they look after us. However, we need to be in control of our emotions and we can best do that when we look after ourselves and lower our stress. These calming practices can help you with that.
Have an Amazingly Creative Day,