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7 Ways To Instantly Chill Out When You’re Feeling At The Edge

7 Ways To Instantly Chill Out When You’re Feeling At The Edge

It can be very easy to feel like we’re not in control of our own lives. With so many different responsibilities and people to worry about, who’s really running the show? In the end, you’re in charge of your own life, but it can be hard sometimes to remember that among all the stress and hubbub of the day-to-day. Whenever you’re feeling a little too anxious, just read these seven tips on how to chill out. You’ll feel better in no time — I guarantee it!

1. Meditate.

Meditation involves sitting, usually cross-legged, and focusing on your breathing patterns. The point of meditation is to let your mind let go of all of your stresses and to clear it completely. Meditation is a popular way to relax, and meditation sessions can last as long as you want. 10-minute sessions are fine, while some people might find hour-long meditation sessions to be the most helpful. However, meditation is good for more than just relaxation. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation has been shown to improve symptoms of the following conditions: asthma, cancer, pain, and sleep problems, among others.

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2. Practice yoga.

Yoga, like meditation, is a great way to relax. It often focuses on clearing your mind of all worries and letting it drift. However, because yoga is based more on holding poses for longer periods of time and moving, yoga is great for a light workout or for a good stretching session. In one study, people who practiced yoga regularly produced less of a stress-inducing hormone, therefore leaving them more relaxed in the long run.

3. Get moving.

Exercise is a great way to chill out. When you work up a sweat, your body releases endorphins, which have been shown to increase mood and enhance body image. So next time you’re feeling too stressed out, hop on a bike or go for a run. Even a moderate amount of exercise is sure to make you feel better.

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4. Take a spa day.

Your body takes a lot of abuse day to day, so show it some love with some much-needed pampering. Shave, put on a face mask, or paint your nails. Soaking in a warm bath might be a good option, since studies have shown that doing so increases your body temperature, therefore making you feel more relaxed. This also makes it easier to go to sleep once bedtime rolls around.

5. Smile.

Research over the years has shown that the act of smiling, even if you don’t feel particularly happy, improves your mood. According to researcher Judith Grob, we think, “I smile, so I must be happy.” Laughing can produce a similar effect. If you’re feeling really stressed, start laughing to yourself. You may feel insane, but pretty soon the happy mood will follow.

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6. Take up a hobby.

Hobbies are great ways to remove yourself from your routine and to chill out a little bit. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, having a hobby can do wonders to improve your mood. And if you don’t have a hobby and don’t know where to start? Try gardening! A study done in the Netherlands showed that gardeners were way less stressed after gardening than people who read for the same amount of time.

7. Play music.

Musical instruments are a great outlet for people looking to chill. Not only is music a great way to connect with other people with similar interests, but it also has been shown to lift your spirits. WebMD credits music with improving mood regardless of genre. So whether you’re into slow classical music or heavy metal, chances are you’ll feel a lot calmer after a short jam session.

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Featured photo credit: B.C. Lorio via flickr.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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