3 self-regulating exercises to calm down quickly

the has the holidays here, and with it more opportunities to spend time with your closest and loved ones. And that is a gift unto itself. Strong social relationships are great for our mental health, reducing feelings of anxiety and depression, feelings that tend to spike this time of year, as well as symptoms. of seasonal affective disorder. Not to mention the added stressors that the holidays themselves can bring. (Think: travel, packed schedules, extra spending.)

But on the one hand, spending quality time with loved ones has its benefits, but on the other, it can be a challenge—and not just for those who are navigating tangled family dynamics. dysfunction. Even in healthy relationships, it can be hard to maintain your emotional balance with so much going on. Suddenly, ordinary things that don’t bother you—like your sister borrowing your sweater (without asking) or your mom commenting on your hair (again)—are enough to make you feel uncomfortable… or debunked immediately.

This is super common. Luckily, there are ways to help calm your nervous system when the holiday frenzy takes its toll. Take for example breathing exercises.

But in the heat of the moment, one of the best ways to reset is to apply what Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT, a board-certified dance/motion therapist and professional counselor for licensed clinical practice, called the “bottom-up” approach through self-regulating exercise to calm down. “When our nervous system gets stuck in a stress response, we can’t reason out of it — we have to feel our way,” she previously told Well. Good.

Finally, here are three simple self-regulation exercises that Hornthal uses to calm down when she’s feeling frustrated. And now, you can too.

1. Walk

“It was really important to me to have personal space, to breathe, to think and to be,” says Hornthal. “This requires me to spend a few minutes in my bedroom, office, closet or even bathroom alone without interruption.”

2. Find your feet

Instead of sticking to the old adage of “put your feet up” when she’s feeling stressed, Hornthal does the opposite to solve the problem. “I make sure to put my feet firmly on the floor or a firm surface to stay connected to myself, especially when others are demanding or expecting something from me,” she says. “It’s important to ‘stand firm’ and ‘stand firmly on your feet’.”

3. Stretch out

As much as it is fun to be surrounded by loved ones, being around so many people can also make your body feel overwhelmed. In that case, it’s important that you allow yourself to take up space.

“When I am surrounded by many people, my body becomes more constrained and constrained,” says Hornthal. “Strawling, yawning and stretching allows me to maintain an expansion in my body, which means keeping my mind open. It also helps me to respond instead of reacting to my family.”

Try this stretching routine, as Well+Good author says it feels like drinking a cup of chamomile tea:


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