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Sometimes we all feel a little emotional and we may even go off the rails a little. Sounds familiar, right? The thing is that our mood is dependant on our hormones, which play a vital part not only in our health, but in our emotional well-being as well.
Sure, our feelings are sometimes triggered by life events, but they are also affected by the hormonal fluctuations that happen to us every month.
No matter what the cause of your emotional state, here are a few methods you can use to help you calm down in 10 minutes - and they really work:
1. Admit your feelings
Take your emotions for what they are and validate them as real feelings, without judging yourself for being vulnerable. If you start hating on yourself, you will only feel worse.
2. Let it out
Let yourself be vulnerable and cry if you need to. Don't worry about your mascara; just let yourself be.
Breathing sends a message to your brain, causing a positive feedback loop reinforcing your fight-or-flight response.
Three-part breathing. Take one deep breath in and then exhale fully while paying attention to your body. Change the ratio of inhalation and exhalation to 1:2 (you slow down your exhalation so that it’s twice as long as your inhalation).
4. Pressure points
What’s great about this is that you can do it at work, on public transport, or wherever you are.
Simply use the thumb of one hand and press around the palm of the other hand. It’s very soothing.
By pushing your palms together and holding for 5 to 10 seconds, you give your body proprioceptive input, letting your body know where it is in space.
One area to start with is the point where the inside of your wrist forms a crease with your hand. Press your thumb on this area for two minutes. This can help relieve tension.
5. Close your eyes
80% of sensory stimulation is said to come in through the eyes, so shutting them every now and then gives your brain a much-needed break. Just lying in bed with your eyes closed allows for the chill time that you need.
6. 10-second hug
A 10-second hug a day can change biochemical and physiological forces in your body that can lower the risk of heart disease, combat stress, fight fatigue, boost your immune system, and ease depression. You can begin by giving yourself a hug. By squeezing your belly and back at the same time, you are letting your body know where you are in space.
7. Progressive muscle relaxation
PMR is a technique where you tense and release all of your muscle groups, leaving your body feeling more relaxed afterwards.
Lie down on the floor with your arms out by your side. Make sure your feet aren’t crossed and your hands aren’t in fists. Start at your toes and tell yourself to release them. Slowly move up your body, telling yourself to release each part of your body until you get to your head.
8. Get some air
The temperature and air circulation in a room can increase your anxiety. If you’re feeling tense and the space you’re in is hot and stuffy, this could trigger a panic attack.
Remove yourself from that environment as soon as possible and go outside — even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Not only will the fresh air help calm you down, but the change of scenery can sometimes interrupt your anxious thought process.
When you feel emotional, try at least 3 of these techniques to make yourself feel better.