There comes a point in every person’s life when you feel like you are about to flip out. When all of the kundalini yoga in the world can’t save you and no matter how many times you try to remember what Eckhart Tolle talks about in “The Power of Now,” you just can’t seem to access those zen thoughts.
Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Whether you’re in the midst of planning your dream wedding, preparing for a giant presentation at work, stepping onstage to speak in front of an audience for the first time, or sitting in a waiting room to see a doctor who is your last hope for healing— you find yourself at the edge of keeping it together.
For many of us when this happens, the only thing we think will help is a month-long visit to an ashram in India. Last time I checked, most of us can’t just hop on a plane and drop our lives for 30 days. So in lieu of that (although I’m in agreement that would be ideal), I wanted to share the top five ways to put access your zen and relieve some stress, before you totally lose your cool.
1. Don’t Dive into Food
I find that the only thing I want is an entire pie of gluten-free pizza when I am my most frazzled. I also find that when I indulge in this moment of temporary weakness, it leaves me feeling more frazzled than before. So if you know that you’re on the verge of adding “hangry” to the list of your super attractive qualities right now, take a time out and find something even mildly healthy to fill you up. Assorted nuts, a protein-packed smoothie or an energy bar that isn’t packed with sugar are much better and satisfying choices. In fact, the crunch of almonds can help relieve stress.
2. Have a Centering Survival Mantra
Here are some examples that work for me.
“I’ve got this.”
“They want you to succeed.”
“Just take a deep breath and get ready to win.”
“Having fun is my only priority.”
3. Keep Your Go-To Essential Oil Handy
I recently started learning about essential oils and now use them to anchor me multiple times a day. When you’re feeling particularly tweaked, grab some pure lavender essential oil, put one drop on each wrist, rub them together, and breathe this calming scent in three times. If you’re breaking point has left you feeling blue, combine lemon and frankincense for an instant pick-me-up. I swear by it.
4. Reframe the Situation ASAP
I find that when things really hit the fan, it’s time to get real about what’s actually happening. Although it can seem like everything is a total disaster, the truth is it’s time to embrace what is and just roll with it. When your plan has already gone off track, stressing about it isn’t going to change the circumstances. So this is a great opportunity for you to be like a Disney princess and just let it go!
5. Instead of Calling 911, Call This Person
This is your last resort/emergency contact when you’re in crisis. Whether you need to vent or could use a serious pep talk, make sure the person you call is going to be an uplifting, empowering resource— someone who has your best interests at heart, believes in you to the fullest, and wants to see you win like nobody else. I use this as a last resort if all other methods don’t quite pull me out of my meltdown.
Keep these five tools in your back pocket so the next time you think you’re about to let your stressed out state get the best of you, there’s a chance to have some relief instead!