SO WHAT ARE ... 7 Ways to Calm Yourself Way Down!
1. BREATH - Yes! I know .. it might sound simple but breath in for 4 and breath out for 6 ... simple breaths .. not deep ... The Australian Institute of Sport was wondering how to bring it's athletes heart rates down as fast as possible and they developed "4 & 6" as a technique to calm them as fast as possible ... Practice now ... another way to think about it is to think about BREATHING from your DIAPHRAGM (us singers know what your talking about) .. same concept.
2. MUSCLE RELAXATION - Hold for 5's. Start with your Noggin (your head and neck) and tense your muscles ... hold them for 5 and then relax. Then move to shoulders, your core (chest and stomach), your butt and legs/feet. Hold each muscle group for 5 and relax them ... then repeat ... then do your "4 & 6" for a few minutes ... the repeat "Hold for 5's" ... it can take a while but it works really well!!!
3. STOP WHAT YOUR DOING - One of the best ways to calm down is to stop focusing on what's causing you distress. Check your heart rate and if it's over 100 Beats per Minute (BPM) then your possibly in a FIGHT, FREEZE or FLIGHT response. Download a heart rate monitor for your smart phone and use some BIO-METRIC testing to measure how your going ... Use the below techniques and measure yourself as you calm down ...
4. REFOCUS YOUR SENSES - in your immediate environment STOP for a minute or two and focus everything on 5 things that you can SEE with your EYES ... Then pause and name them .. BREATH ... then focus on 5 things that you can HEAR ... Pause and name them ... BREATH ... then use your TASTE, TOUCH and SMELL to focus your other senses in the same way ... What this does is SLOW your mind down into the moment (Yes, this is a kind of mindfulness activity .. and Yes, it works).
5. USE DISTRACTION - I know this one sounds funny .. but playing a mindless game on your smartphone (Tetris, Candy Crush, Angry birds as examples) ... where its distracting your total attention ONTO the game .. Then do some BIOMETRIC testing after 15-20 minutes .. see how your going!
6. SELF-SOOTHING BEHAVIOURS - These one's can be very individual but EXTREMELY effective .. whatever helps you calm down ... for me its going for walk around the block ... At lunch I will regularly go for a walk and get FRESH AIR ... can do wonders! ... BUT not everyone is the same! What's your self soothing behaviour?
7. VISUALISATION - close your eyes and imagine yourself at the beach! ... A tropical island on a deck chair with friends and family around ... Ahhhh ... nothing better ... Allow yourself to visualise a CALM and SAFE place and try to BE there ... then BIOMETRIC test yourself after a 15-20 minutes and see how you go!
Thanks again for reading this and we really appreciate any questions you may have, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian and the EFL team