This article is taken from an interview I did for Vogue magazine India
Tell us 5 simple ways to remain happy and calm during a stressful situation
Their are many ways to remain happy and calm during a stressful situation. Here are just a few for you to practice and benefit from.
This technique quickly calms and relaxes, balances your autonomic nervous system, helps you sleep better, makes you less reactive and raises your anti-aging hormone DHEA. The technique can be performed without anyone noticing, for example whilst in a stressful situation. It can also be performed anytime of day to help you relax more. Great to do at night whilst about to sleep:
Focus on the area of your heart as you gently inhale through the nose for a slow count of 5. Then exhale gently for a slow count of 5, and repeat. Do this for about 10 minutes, or for as long as you want or have time for.
Anchor happy and calm feelings
This requires a little practice but you will soon feel great and be able to call up good feelings quickly and easily:
Sit quietly and recall as vividly as possible a time you felt really happy and calm, or if you can’t remember a time now imagine just what it would really feel like to feel happy and calm. Then as if you are right back there now – what do you see, hear and feel?
Go through the memory over and over in your mind as you make the images big, bright, bold and colourful, the sounds loud and crisp, the feelings stronger and give that happy, calm feeling a colour. Then imagine spreading that colour throughout your entire body from the top of your head down to the tip of your toes, and imagine doubling that feeling. Go through that memory over and over again, and when you really feel those good positive feelings throughout your body simply squeeze your thumb and middle finger together. This squeezing is anchoring the good feeling to a very specific, unique and replaceable gesture.
Clear your mind for a moment by just looking around the room. Then test your anchor by once again squeezing your thumb and middle finger together just as you did before. The happy and calm feelings should return. The more you practice this simple method the quicker and stronger the feelings will be. You can use this happy and calm anchor whenever you wish to feel good.
Anger Release Secret
This is a great technique to instantly reduce anger:
Think about something which made you angry. Then relax your bottom jaw and with hands open and relaxed (not tense or in a fist) push down on the side end (facing you) of the little finger of either hand with the forefinger and middle finger of the opposite relaxed and open hand. Now try and get angry – you can’t!
New Behaviour Generator
Sit quietly and with eyes closed bring to mind an image of yourself looking exactly how you’d like to be – perhaps happy and calm in stressful situations for example, or healthier, slimmer, more radiant and confident in your daily life. Make it a really appealing image, something you want to become, but realistic and attainable of course. Make it a good one, the best image of you you can make – now! Make it a big, bold, bright, clear and colouful image. If there is something you’d like to change about it go ahead and make those changes.
When you are completely happy with the image, imagine a wonderful, big, bright movie of this new you going about your day. What would you see, hear and feel being this new you?
When you have completed that for a while come back to the beginning and bring up that wonderful image again. If there is anything you’d like to change about the image, this movie, to make it even better go ahead and do that. When you’ve done that see the appealing image in front of you again and this time imagine stepping into this new you, like trying on a new set of clothes. And imagine going through your day being just the way you want. What would you do, see, hear and feel?
I recommend doing this exercise first thing in the morning as you wake up and last thing at night just as you are about to sleep. You will soon notice the changes in your life to match the new image of yourself!
Tap Out Stress
This is one of the most powerful ‘tapping’ sequences I know to quickly remove stress from both the mind and body! A lot of people have heard of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques,) but what many don’t know that an original, more powerful and quicker method was first discovered before EFT called ‘Thought Field Therapy’, or TFT as it is more widely known.
Bring to mind a specific problem, something that bothers you – some stress, anxiety, anger or worry for example. Now tap the following points about 10 times each in the exact following sequence. You can tap either side of the body with either hand, it doesn’t matter:
Beginning of your eyebrow – next to the bridge of your nose
Under your eye pupil – on the edge of the eye socket
Under your arm pit about 10 cms – level with your bra strap if you are a woman
Under your collarbone – that soft indentation next to your breastbone
Side of your index finger – next to the end of the nail facing you
Under your collarbone again
Side of your little finger – next to the end of the nail facing you
Under your collarbone again
Then think about your problem and notice what has changed. Keep repeating the sequence until you are satisfied that you feel better!
Bonus Technique – ‘Affirmational Havening’
This is a wonderfully effective yet deceptively simple technique based on the latest neuroscience. It will increase your serotonin, that feel good brain chemical and make you feel happier and more relaxed. Perform this technique as often as you can, for as long as you like on a daily basis. It will have a positive and accumulative affect on your emotional well-being. I talk about this in my best-selling book co-authored with Jack Canfield ‘The Soul of Success’.
As you comfortably sit think about a positive state you would like to have more of, and sum it up in one word – happy, confident or calm for example. Next do your best to connect with your chosen positive emotion and place both hands on top of each opposite shoulder. Then whilst chanting your chosen word gently and comfortingly smooth, stroke down from the top of your shoulders to your elbows. Keep repeating this motion as you keep reciting your word for a couple of minutes. Then notice the difference in how you feel!
If you would like to know more or have any questions please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org