Life can be a whirlwind. We have jobs, families and other responsibilities, and it can often feel like we are being tugged in so many different directions. The stresses of everyday life build up and before we know it, we start living in a “catch-up” cycle where we constantly feel overwhelmed by the long to-do list and hectic pace.
If your days feel more hectic than calm, finding little moments of quiet and stillness can make a big difference in your overall happiness. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your day, and it will add up to ward off the stress that comes with being overworked.
If you have a hectic day, here are seven simple ways to find that moment of peace:
1. Listen to relaxing music. Music has a way of calming us down and helping us get through so many different situations. We use it to amp up our workout, music can move us to tears, and soothing, relaxing music can bring us a moment of peace when we really need it.
Some people love the soothing sounds of nature: the ocean, birds, wind, or rain – and waiting for nature to bring us those sounds isn’t always practical. Put your headphones on when you’re dealing with a stressful work deadline, when the kids are running around you, or you’re out doing errand after errand and you’ll give yourself a soothing moment that can really keep your day from turning too stressful. Try: Rain Sounds, iTunes, $6.93 or watch videos on Youtube.
2. Practice deep breathing. Next time you have a hectic day, take note of how much you hold your breath. We don’t mean to, but when we’re stressed out and running from this to that, we can forget to take those deep breaths that help our body get all it needs. That’s why knowing how to take those deep breaths and practice it when you’re feeling stressed can help you feel more relaxed and peaceful.
Ujayii pranayama, or the triumphant breath, is a practice that’s used often in Yoga and works by restricting the muscles in the throat and helps you create a small noise within the walls of your throat that is very soothing. It should be used in moderation and only when you’re really in need of that slow down from the chaos.
You can use the triumphant breath in combination with yoga in the morning, setting you in the best frame of mind to tackle the busy day ahead.
3. Get some fish. Research has shown that watching fish swim in an aquarium can have many health benefits. According to About.com, watching fish can reduce stress and can lower your blood pressure which can be very beneficial in reducing the chaos in a hectic day. Fish tanks come in all shapes and sizes and can fit nearly anywhere in the house, but if you’re worried about caring for another living thing, you can always get an app that works the same way. Try: Marine Aquarium 2.6, iTunes, $1.99 – this way you’ll have the stress-relieving fish with you everywhere you go and can take a moment out of the chaos to practice deep breathing while you watch the fish swim.
4. Be mindful. With so much going on around us, it’s easy to lose track of self and that’s why being mindful can really help refocus you when you’re deep in chaos. Mindfulness is defined by the University of California, Berkeley as, “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.” It can help keep us in the present, filter out the stress voices in our heads, and look at the whole picture. Mindfulness has so many benefits including increasing positive thoughts, boosting immunity, enhancing our relationships, and can help your ability to pay attention.
5. Use a stress ball. The concept of the stress ball has been around for a long time, with some saying it can date all the way back to the Ming Dynasty in 1368 A.D. They are thought to work by hitting the pressure points in the palm that help regulate stress and they’re wildly popular today because they work really well. When your day is getting hectic and you can feel the anxiety and tension build up, reach for a stress ball and squeeze it in your hand. Not only will it hit that pressure point to help regulate your breathing, having something to focus on to take you out of the hectic pace even for a moment can help you feel more centered. Try: Isoflex Stress Relief, Amazon, $4.29 – pick up a few and keep them around the house and your office for when you need a moment to find peace.
6. Cry it out. Have you ever come away from crying and instantly felt a whole lot better? There is good reason for that: according to PsychCentral, crying can elevate your mood and relieve stress. Researchers from the University of Minnesotafound that crying improved the mood of 88.8% of the participants in their study that looked at crying and how it affects mood, healing and immunity, and stress.
7. Set an alarm. Using your phone, set a daily alarm sometime in the middle of the afternoon, where your stress and pace always seems to be at its highest. When the alarm goes off, take a minute to take a deep breath and see the beauty in the chaos of what is going on around you. There is beauty in even the simplest things and if you have to set an alarm to take a moment, that is okay. Try: The Mindfulness App, iTunes, $1.99 – once you get used to using the app, you can switch to your phone alarm and practice on your own.
TapGenes Take Away: If you have a busy, hectic lifestyle, taking a few moments out of the day to re-center and focus on the positives can do wonders for your health and happiness.
What do you use to help find a moment of peace? Read more on TapGenes: