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Calm for the Holidays

Calm for the Holidays

A few quick ways to take holiday stress down, relax and invoke your calmer self:

  • Breathe deeply.
  • Exercise.
  • Diffuse charged conversations.

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Deep Breathing

When your emotions run high, breathing speeds up, too. Slowing your breathing down relaxes tense muscles, bringing shoulders down from ears, calms roiling emotions, and helps disarm the hormonal cascade within the body that feeds anxiety.

Just five minutes of deep breathing can calm you effectively.

Move your body

Moving to do just about any exercise boosts your mood and manages your anxiety.

Just going for a walk can balance your emotions and provide positivity.

Diffuse Charged Conversations

Many relatives would tread into topics that are going to raise your blood pressure. Diffuse inflaming conversations and remain your calm self.

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How it’s done: This one begins with a long, slow inhale, followed by a quick, powerful exhale generated from the lower belly. Once comfortable with the contraction, up the pace to one inhale-exhale (all through the nose) every 1 to 2 seconds, for a total of 10 breaths.

When it works best: When it’s time to wake up, warm up or start looking on the brighter side of things

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IDEAS

  1. While keeping your mouth closed, take a deep breath in through your nose, counting to 2. The breath does not have to be deep. 
  2. Put your lips together as if you are starting to whistle or blow out candles on a birthday cake. This is known as “pursing” your lips.
  3. While continuing to keep your lips pursed, slowly breathe out by counting to 4. Don’t try to force the air out, but instead breathe out slowly through your mouth.
  • Breathing fast can act as a trigger for people with anxiety causing symptoms that often accompany panic attacks, but you can use that to your advantage.
  • When you breathe fast and start to feel symptoms that you normally associate with anxiety, it may help you re-interpret those symptoms in a less threatening way.
  • They become less worrisome because they have a clear cause, the same way an elevated heart rate during exercise doesn’t bother us.
  • And if you can connect anxiety to faulty breathing habits, it means you can change the way you breathe and potentially see some improvement.