How to train your mind to be calm in any situation
Whether it’s a driving test, starting a new job, or moving house, there are a million different situations that put us under pressure. Sometimes it’s difficult to get out of our heads and racing mind and we get stuck in a cycle of stress. There are actually a multitude of ways you can train your mind to be calm, and here at Rescue Remedy we’ve pulled together our top tips to help with relieving stress in any situation.
Mindfulness & Breathing Exercises
Mindfulness has become really popular over the last few years. Simply explained, it means paying attention, having an awareness to the present moment: your thoughts, feelings, everything around you. Connecting mind and body together, mindfulness can be a fantastic way to slow down a racing mind and focus on your current task. Practicing mindfulness regularly can ultimately lead you to total inner calm.
It can take some practice, so don’t worry if you find it difficult to start with. Try mindfully doing your everyday tasks first, like brushing your teeth or making a coffee. As you become more comfortable with it, you can use it focus on work tasks, too; that’s when you’ve really used mindfulness to train your mind to be calm.
Deep breathing is also an excellent relaxation technique. Begin by sitting or lying flat in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Breathe out, feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times.
Eating healthily is perhaps one of the more surprising ways of dealing with stress. Stress can often cause us to stop eating, or overeat, so ensuring you’re looking after your body can actually help calm your mind, too. Stress can trigger an increase in blood sugar, so eating healthily can help stabilise this and balance your hormones. It’s the ultimate self-care and an easy way to train your mind to be calm.
A balanced breakfast is a good way to start a stress filled day; try and avoid stress inducing caffeine and sugar, as well as highly refined foods such as white bread which can upset your blood sugar levels.
Positive thinking is so much more than just trying to smile or being cheerful. It can be an amazing way to train your mind to be calm in any situation, as it’s an entire perspective on life. Using positive thinking means approaching your daily life and any situation, good or bad, with a positive attitude; easier said than done, right? Of course, you’re not expected to have continuous positivity, and putting that pressure on yourself wouldn’t help either. However, trying your best and training yourself to see the bright side of things can really help when a difficult situation arises, as you’ll be more equipped to deal with it.
If you’re finding it difficult knowing where to start with positive thinking, look to meditation, which is an excellent way to learn how to train your mind to be calm. Meditation can help clear the mind and find your inner calm, ready to start again with a positive outlook. There are so many other benefits of meditation too, such as reducing stress, improving sleep and increasing focus.
Take a Break
It’s ok to take a break. In fact, it’s essential when dealing with a stressful situation. Whether it’s a day or several months, if you are feeling burnt out, taking a break can have an incredibly restorative effect on your mind. So many of us have such busy lives, it can sometimes feel wasteful or can make us feel guilty when taking a holiday or some time off. However, you actually need to take breaks in order to have the stamina to be at your best. So, absolutely do not feel guilty about it. Allowing yourself to schedule in breaks is another great way to train your mind to be calm in any situation.
Taking short breaks throughout your day as well as an extended one can really help you reset. Why not try practicing meditation during your breaks? As we mentioned above, it’s a fantastic way to clear your mind. There are lots of guided meditation apps you can try now which help you if you’ve never tried it before. We particularly like Headspace and Calm.
Being active is a fantastic stress reliever. Not only will it distract you from a stressful situation, it releases endorphins that elevate your mood and it also reduces stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. If you find it hard to motivate yourself to be active, low impact exercise such as walking or yoga are equally as beneficial for your mood as a HIIT workout. Even just dancing around your room will help! Carving out at least 10 minutes in your daily routine to be active will really help in training your mind to be calm.
Stressful situations can cause a racing mind and interrupted sleep, but the benefits of rest for stress are innumerable. Try just going to bed and waking at the same time each day. A regular sleep routine will restore the body, improve concentration, regulate mood and allow you to cope with stress a lot better.
Make a Plan
Making a plan will help you feel more in control and reduce the stress around a situation. Having everything in your head can make you feel overwhelmed and like things are spiralling out of control. It’s good to not only plan what you’re doing right now, but also plan some fun things in the future to help you get through the stressful situation, such as meeting up with friends or going on holiday. This will help calm your mind as it knows that you will get through the difficult time, with a reward at the end.
People who practice gratitude have reported benefits such as more positivity, sleeping better and increased self-esteem and psychological wellbeing. With so many different types of stress around, it’s good to have something small to do every day to be ready to combat a stressful situation when it appears. It’s super simple to put into your daily routine, too, and practicing gratitude daily is a fantastic way to keep training your mind to be calm in any situation. There are lots of beautiful gratitude journals available to buy these days. You just need to write down 1-3 things you’re grateful for each day, and feel the benefits coming in.
Reframing Your Thoughts
Learning how to reframe your negative thinking pattern can be a great way to train your mind to be calm in any situation. Ask questions to yourself to find out where the negative thought is coming from and be able to deal with it better. Why are you having this thought? Is it accurate? Is it helpful? What advice would I give to a friend going through this? By going through this questioning pattern, you may be able to rationalise your negative thinking and reframe it into something more manageable. Try to always see the positive in your situation. Reframing takes practice, so don’t worry if it’s a while before you’ve got the hang of it and soon you’ll have trained your mind to be calm.