The majority of people avoid reading the newspaper in the morning because they don’t want to be confronted with the bad deeds and injustices that other people are going through. It’s difficult to read about human trafficking or the latest scams and feel peaceful and at ease.
The conflicts seem more immediate when you are a recipient of the injustice or witness it firsthand. You need to be calm to respond to other people’s non-virtuous deeds effectively. However, being calm at the moment is not the easiest thing to do. That’s why you need a few guided practices that will help you find calm and equanimity when you are feeling angry or anxious. Here are five guided practices plus additional tips that you can try to feel calm, peaceful, and at ease.
1. Body scan practice
The body scan meditation is a practice that enables you to tune out distractions and focus on different areas of your body. Body scanning is an amazing technique that helps you become aware and connect with your emotions at any given moment. It relieves muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, and prevents the buildup of pressure. You can do a quick scan or an extended scan to release tension.
- Sit comfortably or lie down
- Close your eyes to minimize distractions
- Feel your feet and toes and pay attention to sensations that you feel. It could be something like aching, stinging, tingling, or throbbing
- Take a deep breath and exhale to release uncomfortable feelings. Loosen up your body and relax
- Pay attention to other parts of your body as you work your way up. Focus on your hips, legs, stomach, shoulders, chest, arms, and face
- Focus on one muscle group at a time as you move progressively
2. Progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is one of the simplest exercises that will help you release tension in your body as you work your way up from your feet to your head. This exercise is designed to help you relax and calm down.
According to Jason, one of the professional essay writers at the service called Best Dissertation that provides dissertation writing services, this technique decreases fatigue, muscle tension, back pain, and muscle spasms. This practice also relieves psychological tension caused by anxious thoughts. While doing this practice, you should tense and relax large muscle groups in your body. This should happen systematically working your way up from your head to toes.
- Sit or lie down comfortably
- Tense and release each muscle group for about five seconds and relax
- Start by taking a few deep breaths from your abdomen. Tense and relax every muscle group as you work your way down or up your body
- Notice the contrast between a relaxed and a tense state. Inhale as you tense the muscle group and exhale as you relax
- After mastering this technique, you can do the quick version by tensing and relaxing different muscle groups simultaneously
3. Visualization practice
Visualization is one of the best ways to relax and calm your body. Plus, it can also improve the quality of your sleep. Anytime you imagine, you are visualizing or daydreaming. The visualization practice utilizes imagination to make your mind calm and the body relaxed. Visualization calms the body and mind by getting rid of clutter. Visualizing allows you to see anything you want using your senses.
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
- See yourself in a beautiful and peaceful place like a park or beach.
- Use your imagination to see and feel everything using your senses. Feel the warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze on your face, watch the waves of the ocean, or listen to the birds.
- I start having stressful thoughts, acknowledge, and dismiss them.
4. Affectionate Breathing
- Find a chair a sit comfortably.
- Be aware of the different body parts and muscles.
- Notice any discomfort or tension in your body and relax.
- Become aware of your breath. As you do this, feel the love from within and connect it to your breathing.
- Notice that you are nourishing the body with every breath.
5. The Hand Over Heart Practice
- Place your hand on your chest and feel its warmth against your chest
- Breathe deeply and gently while being aware of the warmth on your chest
- Breath in as you welcome a sense of safety, ease, and positivity
- At this time, remember a moment when you felt loved and safe with a partner, friend, or pet
- Allow the warm positive feelings to spread throughout your body
Other techniques to find calm and equanimity
There are other simple ways that you can use to find calm and equanimity. The best thing about these techniques is you don’t have to sit or lie in a specific position to feel the effects.
1. Challenge negative thoughts
Part of being angry or anxious is having thoughts that don’t make any sense. These thoughts are often linked to worse-case scenarios. It’s easy to find yourself caught up in the what-if cycle which can lead to doubt and self-sabotage. When you start having such thoughts, you need to stop and ask yourself:
- What is likely to happen?
- Has this happened before to me?
- What’s the worst thing that can happen? Can I handle it?
After going through these questions, you should reframe your thinking. Instead of thinking of the things that you cannot do, focus on the number of people who have done it.
2. Listen to music
The next time you start feeling anxious or fearful, grab your headphones, and start listening to your favorite tunes. Listening to music will not only help you calm down but also motivate you to try out new things. As the popular saying goes, music is medicine to the soul.
3. Put it down on paper
If you are too anxious, fearful, or angry, you should grab your journal and write down your thoughts and emotions. Don’t worry about punctuation and vocabulary – just write how you feel. Writing will help you connect with yourself and get rid of the negative thoughts in your mind. You can take a step further by creating an action plan once you finish writing your thoughts.
4. Change your environment
Staying in a room for hours can make you feel anxious and angry. If you start feeling tense, it’s important to remove yourself from that environment immediately even if it’s only for a few minutes. Not only will the new environment calm you down but also eliminate anxious or angry thoughts.
Using these five guided practices will allow you to connect with your inner self and expand to experience this world uniquely. You are responsible for your thoughts and emotions. Now is the time to take charge of them.
About Quinn Paulson
Quinn is a professional journalist and writer who runs an essay service and enjoys traveling. You can connect with Quinn on Twitter.