the ultimate weapon for sustaining wellness is knowing how to calm ourselves down. Stress makes us stick, anxiety dulls our shine. These simple, but empowering exercises from reiki healer and meditation practitioner, Kelsey Patel are just what’s needed when our minds and emotions are under fire.
Getting back to center is not always easy, but having a couple of tools at the ready for intense situations can make all the difference. Read through Kelsey’s emotional toolkit for stress and find a few exercises that resonate with you…
Often when people are stressed out or feel emotional intensity of any kind, they impair the body and mind further by shortening the breath and forgetting to breathe full, deep breaths. It causes a tremendous amount of stress on the body, which keeps the mind focused on the ‘fact’ that something is not right.
It may seem too simple, and for some too hard, to believe that this is true but when you take a few moments or even minutes to breathe deeply when your mind and emotions feel deep stress, you naturally allow the body to start to calm itself down and bring about a feeling of relaxation.
Give this exercise a try next time you feel yourself at a breaking point. No matter what it’s from or what caused it, just let that go for a moment, pause with yourself and try this:
Close your eyes and take a few huge deep breaths. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
As you take the first few rounds, expand the stomach on your inhale and fully retract the stomach on an exhale. + After a few of these, close your lips and begin to breathe in and out of the nose for about 3 minutes.
You can also try alternate nostril breathing for these 3 minutes if it’s too much to do full deep breaths.
Upon completion of the breathing, place your hands on your heart and remind yourself that you are safe to feel whatever you’re feeling and to take the time for your health and wellbeing.
EFT, aka tapping
This is one of my favorite go-to hacks for any and all of life’s drama, stresses and challenges. We all have good days and bad days and that’s a perfect part of life. It’s not about escaping the feelings you have, but about giving yourself permission to feel them, allowing them to live and then helping them to shift when you’re ready. There are tons of easy ways to start tapping on yourself. You can decide, change and edit the statements as you tap to fit your needs and the feelings that come up.
Here’s how to start:
Use your right hand (pointer, middle, ring and pinky) to tap the outside of your left palm. Begin by saying, “Even though I am so stressed out right now, I deeply and profoundly choose to love and accept myself.”
Repeat it three times on the side of the hand, then tap with your right pointer and middle finger at the beginning of the eyebrows with, “I am so stressed out right now.”
Keep that statement going as you tap the right temple, underneath the right eye, underneath the nose, on the chin, just below the left collarbone, the top of the head and then release and take a deep breath. Notice how you feel and then continue to tap with the same statements or new ones, as needed.
Take a “hike”
Move the body, mind and spirit’s energies and do wonders. It can mean different things to different people or you may need something different every time, but the idea is to turn off all of your work, technology and gadgets so you can turn on your true light. This can be anything from journaling, taking a walk in nature, a fun exercise class, yoga, spa or home spa time or a meditation practice. Many times, the things and people that cause you the most stress or drama are the ones you choose not to take a break from.
Newsflash: When you disconnect, you get to self-connect. That’s where the good stuff is inside of you. Many times, after even 30 minutes of self-care, you will notice a shift in how you’re feeling. Give it a try, any of the things above, and be willing to try new remedies to see what fits you best.
Dance it out
Recently, I had just come home from a weekend away and was feeling so happy and high on life. That afternoon, I received an email from someone that shocked me and felt completely out of left field. I felt sad, angry and deeply hurt. It completely pushed out every good feeling I had been having and immediately made me feel like a failure and that everything I did was wrong. It wasn’t true, but my mind ran wild and told me lots of false truths, and I knew that I had so many emotions I was spinning.
If I just sat there with it, I truly felt like I would burst or perhaps say something I didn’t really mean to the person who sent the email or worse my husband, who just happened to be the innocent victim in our home. So instead, I took to the dance floor in our master bedroom; aka the only room with a big enough space for me to get down. I put my headphones on, changed clothes and let my hair down. I danced like a maniac for about 20 minutes and physically let go of all the energy I was feeling. I felt incredible at the end. It was a release and just what I needed.
This is an incredible old Hawaiian prayer of reconciliation and forgiveness. In the Hawaiian dictionary it translates to mean mental cleansing. There are family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance and mutual restitution and forgiveness utilizing this prayer. I have used it for many years and always find it to be an incredibly helpful internal practice.
It goes like is: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
This is an incredible tool to use silently and in your own way, especially when you’re feeling a lot of emotions about a person or even a stranger who may have caused stress in your day or made you feel challenged. You can simply say the prayer or even insert people’s names and/or add other details about the feelings into the sequence. For example: I’m sorry, friend, for being short with you. Please forgive me for getting so frustrated with you because of the stress I am having in my life right now. I love you. Thank you for understanding and allowing me to be human. It’s not a prayer you need to speak directly to someone, but simply by utilizing it to reconcile within your own heart, you are spreading that energy out to them.
Remember who you really are
It can be so easy to get caught up in the daily stresses of life, especially in our fast-paced modern world with tons of technology, a constant bombardment of information and too little time spent in a more passive, relaxed and connected state of being. Once you feel yourself connected back into your breath and your body, go inside your heart. Feel the aliveness of your beating heart. Take a few moments to remind yourself and feel the true you. Let yourself feel your feelings, but then also take time to acknowledge that you can make new choices to start creating a life that has less stress, less challenges and more love. You always have choice. The life you are living, including the drama and stress and challenges, is your life. Remember how capable you are, the good that you are and the value of yourself. Recognize why these perhaps undesired aspects are in your life.
Be aware of where you are now, good or bad, and write it down.
Take an inventory of who is in your life and how they make you feel.
Connect to your life’s work and how it makes you feel.
Then, write out what you desire to see and feel in your life in the future.
The simple act of acknowledging what is now and where you want to be in the future is the right path to releasing any unnecessary drama, stress or challenges today.