5 skills to calm your nerves

Stressed student
By Eleanor O'Neill, Student Blog

25 June 2018

Work, exams and the pressures of everyday life can unexpectedly wear you down. Stress and anxiety lead to sleepless nights, a lack of focus and even illness, but there are methods to treat yourself well - read our nerve-calming skills for a zen-like attitude!

1. Breathe

It sounds astoundingly obvious, but taking the time to just breathe deeply helps relax your mind and body. Simple exercises can easily become part of your regular routine and may alleviate stress symptoms like muscle tension and headaches.

Breathe in steadily through your nose for about five seconds and then release the breath through your mouth. Repeat the action for a few minutes or for as long as you need to.

This practice is best done while sitting down or lying comfortably in a well-supported position. You should loosen any tight clothing to prevent discomfort.

2. Meditate

Many find meditation beneficial for emotional health and self-awareness. While eastern in origin, it has become increasingly popular among Westerners and classes are easy to find in most areas.

If you are new to it, try taking two minutes in the morning to sit in a comfortable place and focus on yourself and your thoughts. Over time, it will get easier to clear your mind and relax for longer.

Experiment with what works best for you. You may find that a certain position, a centring mantra or meditation music is a useful aid.

3. Talk

If you feel under pressure, simply talking to someone about how you're doing may be the best course of action. Asking for help can be difficult but open communication is essential for your wellbeing.

Having a trusted friend, family member or even a professional to air concerns and frustrations with can be a great source of stress relief. You should also know when to find support from colleagues.

Try not to worry about appearing unable to cope or about being a burden. People are generally more willing to help than you may assume.

4. Laugh

Laughter increases the flow of endorphins to your brain and has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cardiac health and even work out your abs!

A good joke, or even a bad one, can have a massively positive effect on your mood. Even just smiling to yourself relaxes your facial muscles and eases tension.

Look up some cute cat videos on a tough day or find something to have a good giggle about.

5. Listen

Soothing music has been proven to help regulate your breathing and heart rate. A few good tunes can be beneficial to your mood and boost your self-esteem.

Singing along with your favourite songs acts as a great outlet for any pent-up tension.

Headphones and earphones can also act as a buffer to outside stimuli when you're feeling overwhelmed.

How to stay calm when you know you'll be stressed | Daniel Levitin | TEDTalks

How do you keep calm, cool and collected under pressure? Tell us in the comments below!


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