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How To Calm The Mind And Body In Times Of Stress

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

In times of stress, you may find your mind races. You can’t seem to turn it off, and you feel anxious or on edge. Also, you can feel uninterested in seeking out and experiencing joy. Thus, finding ways to calm the mind and body is key. Stress can also cause physical effects that vary from person to person. Difficulty breathing, muscle tension, headaches, upset stomach, tiredness, problems sleeping, and chest pain can all be signs that you are in a state of stress. Feelings of stress, both physical and emotional, can be overwhelming, leaving you with a feeling of desperation to find some relief.

Calming The Mind And Body

There are many quick and simple stress-reduction tactics that you can try to calm the mind and body in times of stress.

  • Exercise – It is true; exercise is an extremely effective tool in reducing stress. It doesn’t need to be a strenuous and difficult exercise, even light walks, an easy bike ride, or some light weight lifting can be highly effective. Exercise has a neurochemical effect on the body. It does double duty, not only reducing levels of the body’s stress hormones but also stimulating the production of endorphins, which elevate mood and alleviate pain. In times of stress, taking steps to exercise can feel overwhelming, like the last thing on Earth you want to do. You have to trust that it will help. Try some positive self-talk to motivate yourself to take action. Tell yourself you only need to participate in exercise for 15 minutes and set a timer. See how you feel after 15 minutes, if it’s helping and you are feeling good, you may want to extend it by another 15 minutes, but let that be completely optional – a decision you make at the moment.
  • Mindfulness Meditation – This is the practice of thinking deeply and engaging in the basic human ability to be fully present and aware. By focusing on your breathing and calming your thoughts, you can experience huge gains in reducing your stress levels. Just one 5-minute mindfulness meditation session can improve your mental state. There are several guided meditation apps and programs available if you are just getting started in meditation. Headspace, Calm, and Aura are three guided meditation apps that have free meditations available.

Other Techniques for Calming the Mind

Although stress may feel overwhelming, and even debilitating, there are simple steps you can take to start feeling better mentally, emotionally, and physically. 

  • Journal – By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you can take a huge weight off your shoulders. Often, just by identifying and naming our stressors and our feelings about them, we can start to feel significantly better.
  • Reduce Caffeine Intake – Caffeine is a stimulant that can make you feel more anxious, which can perpetuate your feelings of stress. Try a cup of soothing tea that does not contain caffeine. A glass of water is always an ideal choice.
  • Stop procrastinating – Procrastination can increase your anxiety and stress levels. When thoughts of what you need to get done are overwhelming you, you will feel even more stressed. Instead, you need to focus on getting tasks completed to relieve some of your stress.
  • Take a Walk – Get some fresh air and enjoy nature. A leisurely walk has a similar effect as exercise, increasing endorphins, helping you to reduce your stress levels. Just a 10-minute walk can do you a world of good. Plus, it allows you to get some fresh air and sunshine. Sunshine in itself can be an effective holistic healing treatment for a wide range of mental health concerns, including stress.
  • Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, is a holistic healing treatment that uses aromatic essential oils to improve the body, mind, and spirit. These essential oils come from various parts of a plant such as roots, seeds, leaves, and blossoms. It is believed that essential oils trigger smell receptors in your brain that control your mood. They do so by decreasing levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. You can combine aromatherapy with yoga and meditation for a stronger, more relaxing effect.

Harmony Bay Wellness 

You do not need to suffer from stress. If stress is interfering with your life, there is immediate help available. Harmony Bay Wellness can pair you with a therapist who can help you work through your stress and anxiety. Our therapists can meet with you in person at our South Jersey mental health facility. Also, they can provide talk therapy services online. Our telehealth platform is convenient and easy, allowing you to complete your therapy sessions from the comfort of your home. Do not suffer from stress in silence. There is help available now. Call us today at [Direct] to schedule an appointment.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.