We've all had those days. When something goes wrong and needs to be fixed immediately, or when there are just waaaaaay too many demands on your time. Your mind feels like it's racing at full speed and your hands aren't moving fast enough trying to keep up with your head. And that if you stop thinking, even for one second, the world will stop spinning. Sound familiar?
The worst part about feeling frantic like this is that you always tend to do something wrong, which leads you to getting even more nervous which leads to yet more mistakes. It's a vicious circle. Plus all that stress can't be good for your immune system and overall health. So what do you do in such situations when you're going crazy and need to calm yourself down immediately? Here are a few things that I like to do:
Eat dark chocolate
Pure dark chocolate is great for relieving stress. Chocolate reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, and compounds within dark chocolate help to improve your mood. I always have a stash of dark chocolate in my desk drawer and when I'm going nuts, I pop a piece in my mouth and let it melt. Bliss!
Call a friend
Even a 2 minute phone conversation with a good friend will put you in a better mood and take your mind off the chaos. And of course, a really good friend will be able to understand your situation and help you find calm.
The main problem with feeling frantic is that you try to 3,762 things all at once. And not one of them gets done properly. So stop the multi-tasking and try your best to single-task. Focus all your attention on one task before moving on to the next one. This will help you slow down your racing thoughts and you'll be able to make sense from the chaos.
Listen to music
Put on your favorite music or some slow, calming tunes to put you in a better frame of mind. Take a break and listen to the music for some time, or let the music play in the back as you work.
Breathe in for 4 breathe out for 8
Breathing techniques ALWAYS help to calm down, and the most common advice is 'take deep breaths.' But I love the 'breathe in for 4 breathe out for 8' technique. It's where you inhale through the nose for 4 counts, and exhale through the nose for 8 counts. I find that this helps to calm me down instantly. If you feel like 4 counts is too much, try 2 and 4. To calm down even further, if you have the lung capacity, try inhaling for 8 counts and releasing the breath for 16 counts. Aaahhh. Zen.
Drink herbal tea
Sipping slowly on a hot herbal tea will help you refocus. There are many herbs such as chamomile, mint and ginseng that are known to relieve stress. All these are available in tea forms. If you can't find these, any other herbal tea or even black or green tea will do. It's the act of sipping on a hot beverage that makes you feel calmer. But not coffee! It will make you more jittery!
Cleaning and decluttering any horizontal spaces such as tables and consoles will help in relaxing your thoughts. When you're going nuts, stop whatever you're doing, and take 5 minutes to put your papers, files and stationery in order. You'll be able to think clearly again.
If you know how to, meditate, even if it is for 5 minutes. Meditation is the best medicine for calming down as it slows down your brain waves, in turn slowing down your thoughts.
Write down your main worries and concerns
Grab a pen and any paper and write down what's bothering you the most or what steps you need to take to solve the problem. Seeing it written down on paper you'll be able to see the problem for what it is, instead of what your frantic mind is making it out to be.
So the next time you're going nuts, try one of these tips, or a combination of a few, or if things are really crazy, all of the above!
If you have any other tricks you use to instantly calm yourself down, I'd love to hear them. Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time,
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