7 easy ways to calm your mind and body when stressed

Stress is a normal part of life, but it doesn't have to control you.

How to calm your mind when stressed [Guideposts]

During stressful moments, our minds can go into overdrive, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

But before you let stress hijack your day, take a deep breath! There are simple and effective ways to calm your mind and regain control in the face of stressful situations.

When stress hits, our bodies naturally go into "fight-or-flight" mode. But before you run away screaming (not recommended!), engage your built-in calming mechanism – your breath.


Deep breathing activates the relaxation response, slowing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and helping you feel calm.

Here's a simple breathing exercise:

  • Find a quiet spot and sit comfortably.
  • Close your eyes gently and take a slow, deep breath through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of two.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of six.
  • Repeat for several minutes, focusing on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body.

Feeling overwhelmed by racing thoughts? Ground yourself in the present moment by engaging your senses. Notice five things you can see around you, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

This simple exercise can shift your focus away from worries and anxieties, giving you a sense of calm and presence.

Stress shows up as physical tension in our bodies. Progressive muscle relaxation can help release this tension.

Here's how to do it:

  • Tense and relax different muscle groups throughout your body, starting with your toes and working your way up.
  • Tense a muscle group for five seconds, then release completely and focus on the feeling of relaxation.
  • Repeat with each muscle group, paying attention to how the tension melts away.

Negative self-talk can fuel stress and anxiety. Instead, become your own cheerleader! Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. For example, instead of thinking "I can't handle this," tell yourself "I can take this step by step." Positive self-talk can shift your perspective and boost your resilience in stressful situations.

A calming mantra is a short phrase or word you can repeat silently to yourself during stressful moments. It can be something simple like "calm," "peace," or "I am okay." Repeating your mantra can centre your thoughts and help you relax.


Physical activity is a fantastic stress reliever. Even a short burst of exercise can help release endorphins, improve your mood, and clear your head. Go for a quick walk, do some jumping jacks, or stretch it out. Getting your body moving can help reduce tension and shift your focus away from stress.

Sometimes, the best way to calm a racing mind is to distract it with a creative activity. Try colouring, doodling, writing in a journal, listening to calming music, or spending time in nature. Engaging in activities you enjoy can take your mind off stress and help you relax.


The key is to find what works best for you. Experiment with different techniques and find the ones that bring you the most calm and clarity in stressful situations.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.


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