With so many tasks to complete and work to do during our days, there is no wonder many of us feel so anxious, stressed and overwhelmed. However, even on our worst days, we can still feel calm and relaxed. The secret to reducing your stress and anxiety is learning how to be PRESENT.
Have you ever noticed that when your mind is too full with all of your thoughts, tasks to do, and emotions, you begin to feel anxious, easily agitated, overwhelmed and tense? I often hear that “I have no time to stop.” “I have too many things to do ” and “there is not enough time in the day.” Although these statements are probably very accurate, they are unhealthy ways to live day to day. When you are feeling that stressed, you need to pause, get present and center yourself.
The key to living a healthy, productive and meaningful life is by allowing yourself the gift of time. Learning how to live in the moment and becoming more present and mindful. I am going to let you in on a little secret. Having a healthy mindset can be achieved in as little as a few seconds to a few minutes a day. All you need to do is take a minute to acknowledge that you are feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. Then give yourself a few minutes to get back to a healthy mindset. When you have given yourself the opportunity to quickly recharge, you will notice that your mood will increase, you will be much more productive and a happier, healthier person. Here are 3 proven ways to feel calm and more relaxed.
Calming Jars for Adults
Calming glitter jars do not need to be just for kids! They can be a great way to bring yourself back to the present moment and feel balanced and grounded. This powerful mindfulness tool helps to you calm down by giving you time to sit silently and still for a few seconds. As you watch the glitter fall to the bottom of the jar, you can take a few deep breaths and begin to relax.
When we are feeling overwhelmed and stressed our mind looks like the glitter when it is all stirred up and shaken around in the glitter jar. However, when we take a mindful breath we begin to feel grounded. Just like when we put the jar down and let it settle, our thoughts begin to settle and we can think more clearly.
How to Make Calming Jars
Step 1: Fill a glass or plastic bottle/jar with 1/4 cup of warm distilled water.
Step 2: Add 1/4 cup of clear glue. The more glue you add the slower the glitter will fall.
Step 3: Slowly swish the glue and water around in the bottle. Be careful not to shake it as that will make lots of foam and bubbles.
Step 4: Now fill up the bottle/jar to the top with warm distilled water.
Step 5: Here is the fun part! You can add glitter to the jar and food coloring (if desired). Choose as much or as little glitter as you like. I recommend that you use different size and colors of glitter. If you do choose to use food coloring, only add a few drops. A little goes a long way!
Step 6: Hot glue the lid onto the bottle/jar. This will make sure that it does not open and spill everywhere.
How Calming Jars for Adults Work
The glitter in the jars represent all of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. When the jar is still, all of the “glitter” aka your thoughts and emotions are settled. Just like when you first wake up, you may feel relaxed with little thoughts. However, as the day starts, you begin to think about all you need to do, so the glitter is slightly spinning. Totally normal and expected.
As your day goes on though, you may experience stressors. These stressors start to really shake up the “glitter.” So much so that the jar begins to look quite like a storm…very hard to see through. Your mind is very similar. When you are experiencing stress, your mind begins to feel like you are spinning. The only way to settle the glitter, is to set the jar down and let the glitter slowly fall to the bottom of the jar.
As you watch the glitter fall, you can begin to quiet your mind and take a few moments to sit still. While you are taking a moment to calm your mind, you can take some deep mindful breaths. This mindfulness exercise will immediately begin to make you feel calmer and grounded. You will soon be able to see “through the storm” and think much more clearly.
Another powerful, but simple form of mindfulness is mindful breathing. This can take as little as a few seconds or as long as you need. Mindful breathing helps you to feel grounded and more present, instead of worrying about the past or future.
If you incorporate mindful breathing into your daily routine, then it will become a habit. Once a habit is established, you will be more likely to use this skill when stressed or overwhelmed. Mindful breathing is a great exercise for anytime throughout the day.
What is Mindfulness Breathing
Mindfulness breathing is simply taking deep breaths while staying focused on the present moment. My favorite one is the 5,4,3,2,1 breathing exercise. It is quick, but very effective in grounding you and bringing you back to the present moment. You begin by getting in a comfortable position and then you focus on 5 things you can see. With each one take a deep breath in between. Then you notice 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and finally 1 thing you can taste. Bringing your awareness to your senses, helps you to feel grounded and calmer.
Another great breathing exercise is what I like to refer to as 5, 5, 5. You simply take a deep breath in for 5 seconds, then hold your breath for 5 seconds and then exhale deeply for another 5 seconds. You repeat this 5x.
Once you feel a bit calmer from using the above two mindfulness techniques, then you are ready for the power of journaling. Clinical studies have shown that gratitude journaling can increase your happiness, establish goal attainment and improve physical health. In addition, gratitude journaling has been proven to improve sleep and lower cellular inflammation!
If those aren’t enough reasons, then here are a few more:
- Gratitude journaling can help you to gain a sense of focus and learn what’s really important to you.
- Become more self aware
- Feel more calm and less stressed
- Make you feel more accomplished and productive
- Become more mindful and appreciative
Overtime, gratitude journaling will help you to feel more relaxed, by allowing you to focus on what went right during your day. Instead of being fixated on what you forgot to do or did wrong. You begin to train your brain to focus on the positive and dismiss the negative. This is an essential skill for creating a calming and more relaxed YOU! Check out my full post on the benefits of gratitude journaling here.