So, you’re in the thick of things. You have a deadline coming up and you still have a crazy amount of work to get done. Or, you’re in a meeting with a key account who could make or break your business, and they’re a pain to deal with. Worse yet, you have little money in the bank, and you have tons of bills to pay. No matter what, know that you’ll get through it. Try these techniques to help you in the moment.
A few minutes of writing can do wonders for the wandering mind and the restless spirit. Here is one way to approach unloading your mind. Eventually, it might not even be the written results of your journaling that help you, but the process of journaling itself may become a respite from your stress, like it has become for me.
1. Write down what it is that’s stressing you out. If you don’t know what is stressing you out, write about that and how it irritates you. It doesn’t matter, just write!
2. If you know what is stressing you out, is there anything you can do to solve it?
3. If so, write down those steps. Take the easiest ones and start doing them right away. For the more difficult steps, make them as actionable and as easy as possible and start working towards them. Sometimes, inaction stresses us out. But don’t be overly harsh on yourself, high stress can be paralyzing.
4. If there’s nothing you can do to affect what’s stressing you out, let it go. It’s silly to stress out over what you can’t control, and there are many things in life that we can’t control (even if we think we can). I know, this can be easier said than done. But, at the end of the day, you can control your own thoughts; you can’t control other people’s actions.
5. If this still doesn’t help you, just continue to write. Empty your mind onto paper. It might help you make sense of things if you can visualize them.
When the stakes are high and you can’t step out to journal or collect your thoughts, try these easy breathing exercises. In less than a minute, you’ll feel better and you should be able to navigate those difficult moments with more ease than before.
4-7-8 Breath: For a quick reduction in stress levels, try this easy breathing exercise. It was introduced to me by a friend during a tough time. For a an instructional video, look below. First, inhale deeply for four seconds. Then, hold your breath for seven seconds. Finally, exhale for eight seconds. Do this four times and you should feel better.
Side note: Whether you hold for 10 and exhale for 12, or hold for 5 and exhale for 6, it doesn’t matter – just make sure that the exhale is longer than the hold.
Ujjayi Breathing: Ujjayi is a breathing technique commonly used in yoga. After a few years of practicing Ujjayi breath, I now use Ujjayi breathing automatically in moments of high stress. It’s supposed to sound like the ocean and it comes from the back of your throat. For a video tutorial, look below. You can use Ujjayi breathing for sixty seconds for quick relaxation. The longer you do it, the more still your mind will be.
I sincerely hope these techniques help – journaling and intentional breathing continues to help me in difficult moments. If journaling or breathing have helped you in the past and you have some other effective techniques, please share in the comments. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe to my blog and share with your friends – I have so much more to share with you!
Dhruv (rhymes with groove)