9 simple ways to calm yourself when life gets difficult

Life can sometimes feel like a roller coaster, throwing us into situations that test our mental strength and leaving us feeling overwhelmed.

That’s when it’s important to have a few simple strategies on hand to help calm the storm inside. By mastering these techniques, you can regain control and bring yourself back to a place of peace and balance.

In this article, I share my personal go-to methods. But remember, this is what works for me – feel free to adapt this in a way that works best for you.

Are you ready to discover how to find tranquillity amidst the chaos? Let’s dive in.

1) Breathe deeply

It’s surprising how often we forget the power of our own breath, especially when life throws us curveballs.

Deep breathing is not just a cliché. It’s a scientifically proven method to reduce stress, calm your heart rate, and put your mind at ease. It’s all about getting more oxygen into your bloodstream, which sends a direct message to your brain to chill out.

Think of it as an immediate stress relief button that’s always available to you, no matter where you are or what situation you’re in.

You don’t need anything special to practice deep breathing. Just close your eyes, take a slow deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth.

Repeat this process for a few minutes, and you’ll likely find yourself feeling calmer and more centered.

Remember, it’s not about escaping the situation that is causing stress but rather giving yourself the space to respond to it in a more balanced and calm manner.

2) Go for a walk

Believe me, I can’t count the number of times a simple walk has helped me regain my peace of mind.

There’s something therapeutic about moving your body, stepping away from the source of stress, and just being with nature. It’s like the rhythm of each step helps to wash away the worries.

A few months ago, I remember feeling particularly overwhelmed by a project deadline at work. The pressure was intense, and it seemed like my mind was in a constant state of chaos. I decided to step away from my desk and go for a walk around the block.

As I walked, I let myself simply experience the moment – the cool breeze, the rustling of leaves, the bustle of the city around me. It was in that simple act of walking that I found my thoughts starting to untangle.

By the time I got back to my desk, I felt calmer and more focused. The project still had its challenges, but they seemed more manageable because I was in a better frame of mind.

So, next time you feel the world closing in, try taking a walk. It might just be the breath of fresh air your mind needs.

3) Listen to calming music

Music has a profound impact on our mood and emotions. In fact, neurologists have found that listening to calming music can decrease the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, and can help to slow down our heart rate and lower blood pressure.

Try creating a playlist of songs that relax you. It could be a mix of classical music, soft jazz, acoustic tunes, nature sounds – whatever resonates with you.

Plug in your headphones, hit play, and let the soothing melodies wash over you. It’s like giving your mind a break from the noise and chaos, allowing it to find its rhythm again amidst the turmoil.

4) Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of meditation where you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.

It’s about training your mind to stay in the present, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

You can practice mindfulness anywhere, anytime. It could be while you’re having your morning coffee, during your commute, or even while doing household chores.

The key is to focus on the task at hand and take note of all the sensations involved. Feel the warmth of the coffee cup in your hand, listen to the sounds around you during your commute, and notice the texture of the dishes as you wash them.

By practicing mindfulness, you allow yourself to experience life as it unfolds, rather than being swept up in a whirlwind of worries and stress. It’s a small step towards inner peace, but it makes a big difference.

spiritual journaling 9 simple ways to calm yourself when life gets difficult

5) Write it out

When your mind feels like a tornado of thoughts, it can be incredibly helpful to put pen to paper and write it all out.

Journaling is a powerful tool for stress management. It’s a safe space where you can express your feelings, fears, and frustrations without judgment.

Start by writing down what’s bothering you. Then, delve deeper into how it makes you feel. It might be uncomfortable at first, but it’s a process that allows you to confront your emotions head-on.

In addition, writing can also help you identify any negative patterns or triggers in your life. Over time, you’ll start to notice patterns in your behavior and reactions, which can provide valuable insights for managing stress more effectively in the future.

So, grab a notebook and start writing.  It may help you find clarity amidst the chaos.

6) Reach out to loved ones

Never underestimate the healing power of a heartfelt conversation with someone you trust.

In times of stress, reaching out to friends or family members can provide a much-needed sense of comfort and understanding. They may not have all the answers or be able to solve your problems, but they can offer a listening ear, a comforting word, or a different perspective.

Sometimes, just knowing that someone else cares about what you’re going through can make the weight on your shoulders feel a little lighter.

Let your loved ones know you’re having a tough time and could use some support. We all need a little help sometimes, and there’s no shame in asking for it.

7) Engage in creative activities

There’s a certain magic in creating something with your own hands. For me, it’s cooking. There’s something incredibly therapeutic about chopping vegetables, stirring a pot, and creating a delicious meal from scratch.

Engaging in a creative activity, whether it’s cooking, painting, gardening, knitting, or even doodling, can be a wonderful stress reliever. It allows you to put aside your worries for a while and focus entirely on the task at hand.

The process of creating not only diverts your mind but also gives you a sense of accomplishment. And let’s not forget the joy of seeing the end result of your efforts!

Next time you’re feeling stressed out, try getting into a creative activity. You might just find that it’s an unexpected source of calm and satisfaction.

8) Practice yoga or meditation

Yoga and meditation are age-old practices that have been used for centuries to promote relaxation and inner peace.

Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to improve mental and physical health. Even a simple yoga routine can help stretch your body, focus your mind, and induce a sense of calmness.

Meditation, on the other hand, is all about focusing your mind and eliminating the stream of thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress.

Even if you’re new to these practices, there are plenty of resources available online to guide you through beginner-friendly yoga poses and meditation techniques.

9) Be kind to yourself

In the face of challenges and difficulties, remember that it’s okay not to be okay all the time. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, and it’s okay to need a moment to gather your thoughts.

We often put so much pressure on ourselves to be strong, to keep going no matter what. But sometimes, the bravest thing you can do is to admit that you’re struggling and need a break.

Being kind to yourself means acknowledging your feelings without judgment. It means giving yourself permission to take care of your mental and emotional health.

You’re doing the best you can with what you have. And sometimes, that’s more than enough.

Final thoughts: Embrace the journey

Life, with all its ups and downs, is a journey filled with various challenges. These difficulties often test our resilience, pushing us to our limits.

Yet, amidst all this chaos, there’s an inherent capability within us to regain our calm and composure. It’s a strength that lies deep within, waiting to be harnessed.

Whether it’s through deep breathing, a leisurely walk, a comforting chat with a loved one, or a quiet moment of mindfulness, each method serves as a reminder of our ability to find tranquility within the storm.

Remember, it’s not so much about avoiding the chaos as it is about learning to navigate through it. It’s about finding that inner peace amidst the turmoil and chaos that life often throws our way.

As renowned philosopher Alan Watts once said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

So take these methods not just as ways to calm yourself when life gets difficult but also as steps towards embracing life’s unpredictable journey. After all, it’s in these moments of struggle and adversity that we truly discover our strength and resilience.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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