This week, if you feel stressed by too many demands at work, or if something is not going the way you intended, or you simply feel worn out or drained then use this this simple but incredibly effective technique to calm down quickly, recover your mental well-being and return to a place of inner calm and peace.
- Sit down somewhere where you won’t be disturbed.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
- Check in with how stressed/anxious you feel on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the highest and 0 the lowest.
- Imagine a dial with the numbers 0-10 in front of you.
- Start at the number of how high your unwanted negative emotion is – if it is 10 start there, if it is 7-8 or even a 4-5 then start there.
- Take a deep breath in and as you do this imagine breathing in a sense of calm. You can give this a light colour. When you reach the top of the breath hold it and scan your body for the stress and tension you are feeling. Slowly start to exhale while imagining a dark colour slowly leaving your body and releasing the tension.
- Continue this and work your way down to 0 while visualising the numbers going down with each inhalation and exhalation.
- Open your eyes and notice how much calmer you are than when you first started the exercise.
Many people turn to unhealthy habits such as smoking or comfort eating when they feel stressed or anxious but these habits often compound the problem. By using techniques such as the anxiety/stress dial outlined above you are taking a responsible role in your ability to self-soothe.