When you’re in the middle of a busy summer, and if the stress (and the heat) is rising, then you might need some quick tips to stay cool both physically and emotionally.
- Slow Down. First, if you’ve got a lot to do, believe it or not, the best step you can take is to slow your pace. Although it might seem counter intuitive, when you’re mind slows down and you’re focusing on one thing at a time, it’s easier to catch up with the things you need to do. Once you slow down, you can focus. And with focus you’re likely to become more productive and effective in your work. Also, slowing down facilitates your ability to become aware of yourself. You can notice how you’re feeling, thinking, and behaving. Often, when we start to lose touch with ourselves, we might get more easily overwhelmed. And then, the smallest detail can become a trigger. However, with a slow pace, you can focus, become aware, and make smart choices for staying cool.
- Take care of your body. Sometimes when we are in the middle of a stressful moment, it’s actually best to take a break. You might need to go for a slow walk, take a nap, or even get some food in your stomach. You might need to do something that meets your physical needs, which often get ignored when life gets busy. One great way to meet your physical and psychological needs simultaneously is to exercise. Becoming physically active, especially exercise that raises your heartbeat can immediately change your emotional state. You might feel clearer, energized, and nourished physically. Exercise on a regular basis can improve circulation, widen your perception, and increase overall physical health.
- Breathe deeply. Another way to take care of your body in the middle of a stressful moment is to breathe deeply. Deep breathing can be an incredibly important tool, especially if you experience panic or high amounts of stress throughout your day. When you feel tension or stress coming on, you can begin to take long, slow, and deep breaths, for example. You can use what’s called square breathing – breathing in for a count of four, holding for a count of four, breathing out for a count of four, and holding for a count of four, etc. This extended breathing does two things. First, it relaxes the body and second, it directs your attention on your body and instead of the anxious thoughts in your mind. Breathing deeply can be done right in the middle of a stressful moment to stay clear minded and centered.
No matter what time of year it is these tools can be useful. However, it seems that summer time can bring on stress in ways other times of the year don’t. When you’re feeling the heat of your emotions, remember to slow down, take a break, and breathe.
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