Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quieting the Mind for those Unpredictable, Stressful Moments!

Between the business of school, work, family time and (recently), natural disasters, this is a good time to practice and apply strategies to quiet your mind and focus on staying in the present moment.  Below are some tools to remind you of ways to stay calm during unpredictable times:

• With the warm weather on the horizon, it is a great time to take a power walk on one of your favorite trails or even on your neighborhood sidewalk in your own backyard.  Use this time to release all of your ruminating thoughts so that you can revisit life challenges with objectivity and a serene state of mind.

• Talk about it.  Conversing with a close friend or relative can go a long way in relieving the impact that stress can have on your mind.  Also, you may find that the person you are talking to has even bigger challenges and you might take comfort in knowing you are not alone!  Believe it or not, listening and providing encouragement to a friend is a great way to alleviate some of the tension you may be experiencing from your own worries.

• Close bonding with a friend or loved one can go a long way in releasing calming hormones that help to combat stress.

• Make a fresh start by recording all of your aspirations, concerns and future goals in a journal.  When you put your journal down, you are marking the beginning of a new day, full of possibilities!

• Join a yoga or meditation class; by coordinating breathing exercises with releasing negative, stressful thoughts, you improve the mind-body balance needed to put you in a calm state.

• Try an invigorating hobby such as karaoke or skydiving (with an expert or coach if it is a high risk sport, of course).  Getting your adrenaline up in a positive way can help to counterbalance the distress that comes with the spike in adrenaline associated with stressful situations.

• Regular exercise is imperative to releasing mental and physical tension.  Bear in mind, in the hot weather to work out indoors in an air conditioned environment or if you are going to engage in high impact activity outdoors, that you do so during the early morning or early evening hours.

• Take time to prepare a new and fun recipe to serve for yourself or friends and family; the food preparation will foster creative expression, while serving others will nurture your inner spirit.

• Find new ways to laugh and stay lighthearted.  Enjoying a conversation with a friend(s) is a great way to lighten up the tension or watch a comedy that doesn’t require a lot of thinking.  When you find yourself worrying excessively, check in with yourself and ask, “what kinds of strategies can I employ to lighten up the situation?”

Sometimes, we can get so caught up in worry that it’s easy to forget what’s really important, most of all, taking care of ourselves and keeping our mind at peace.  For more information on this topic, visit this link.

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