Looking for some calming activities you can do at work and home?
You’ll find them here.
Daily life can be hectic and crazy, but it doesn’t mean you should let it get to you every minute of every day. Learning some coping techniques and exploring calming activities can help you feel more centered and less reactive to daily life.
By practicing calming activities you may:
- Improve digestion
- Slow your breathing rate
- Reduce stress hormone activity
- Minimize muscle tension and stress
Whether you’re waiting for a remote Zoom call to start, sitting alone in your cubicle, or trying to relax for the day, you’ll find the calming activities below can help you enjoy a sense of calm.
Try These Calming Activities Any Time of Day
Give yourself just a few minutes to explore these calming activities that take less than five minutes in most cases. If you’re feeling overly stressed, then pick a few and do them back-to-back or throughout the day for the ultimate calming experience.
Try these when you’re looking to keep calm:
- Breathe Deeply
Taking a few deep breaths from your stomach encourages less shallow breathing (the kind that can trigger a panic attack). Breathe through your nose to a count of four, exhale, and repeat as often as you’d like.
- View Nature
There’s something about being in or near nature that is inherently relaxing. Numerous studies show that exploring green spaces can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Can’t get outdoors or don’t have a window to look out? Simply looking at pictures of nature can have a similar effect. Grab your phone or a coffee table nature theme book and start viewing!
This one will always make the list of calming activities because the idea of meditation is to let go and simply be. While that may seem hard, you can do it for as little as a minute to reap the benefits of meditation. Whether that means praying, journaling, or doing yoga, try a few minutes of “meditation” in whatever way suits you to calm your mind and body.
- Just Sit
Dislike the idea of meditating? Sometimes just sitting in the quiet or listening to gentle music can be enough to reset your mind. Sit in a comfortable chair, on a pillow, or in a favorite reading nook and just close your eyes for a few minutes and relax. Don’t call it meditation; call it sitting if that feels more relaxing to you.
- Drink Your Favorite Beverage
If you like flavored beverages, sit for a moment and savor the taste of whatever it is you’re drinking. Feel it enter your mouth and pay attention to the moment it awakens your taste buds. Tea in particular can help you relax as it has aromatherapy properties and can help you concentrate better due to its ability to lower stress hormones. Aim to try white, purple, oolong, green, or black tea for healing and relaxing properties.
- Light a Candle
Scents play a powerful role in our everyday lives, especially when it comes to calming down. Many candles contain essential oils or plant extracts that can be used as an aromatherapy. One study published by the Journal of Advanced Nursing reported aromatherapy helped intensive care patients to feel more positive and less anxious immediately. Lavender in particular is known to be relaxing.
- Write Down Three Things You’re Grateful For
A gratitude mindset is always a good reset button when things. Gratitude is an excellent way to counter stress and can make you feel happier when practiced on a regular basis. If you’re worrying, for example, about what you don’t have or what you need, instead, take a few moments to jot down what you do have. This shifts the focus and helps you to see there is abundance in your life when you look for it.
Dancing has always been a form of self-expression, the backbone of many cultural beliefs, and a way to unwind. Dancing can also help alleviate anxiety. It often brings individuals back to primitive experiences and through that, a more liberated state of mind and movement experience. Restore your calm by turning up your favorite tunes and dancing for a few minutes.
With a few minutes of stretching, you can loosen up your muscles and stress-bust your mind. Stretch upon waking, after sitting too long, and even after a car ride. Stress often builds up and tenses our muscles and stretching is one way to let it out and help relieve tension.
- Sing Your Favorite Song
Belt out your favorite song for major stress relief. Not only is it a great aerobic exercise, but it also releases feel-good endorphins to lift your mood and spirit.
- Cuddle Your Pet
Adore your pet? Get some cuddle time in. Research shows that spending time with our pets is an amazing way to relieve stress and reduce loneliness. John Hopkins reported that the act of just petting a dog reduces cortisol levels and that social interactions with dogs increase oxytocin, the feel-good hormone.
Try Calming Activities to Relax the Body for Good Health
Learning to relax may feel like a foreign concept, but taking baby steps — like the short calming activities above — can help you get a better handle on it.
The benefits of exploring relaxation and continuously using those techniques can help keep your body and mind calm when life inevitably throws a curveball your way. Staying calm can help you in very tense situations, stressful moments, and even during life-or-death decision points.
Whenever you may feel yourself getting overwhelmed, consider trying out one of the above techniques. If you’re not feeling calm and collected after one, try a few until you’re able to reset. Once you get the hang of it, you may find that it comes naturally to take a deep breath or mentally count to 10 before responding to a frustrating or overwhelming situation.
Here’s to learning how to keep calm and carry on about your day!
What are some of your favorite techniques to stay calm? Share in the comments below!