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How to control your stress when everything is spiralling out of control

The following exercise is just one way to take back control when you feel that everything is spiraling out of control:

Relax and breathe slowly and deeply.

Allow your shoulders to drop. Allow your whole body to relax.

Mentally give yourself the gift of being peaceful and relaxed now.

Imagine what you really want to achieve.

Imagine what you can see and hear and imagine how you feel.

Turn the colours of the picture up brighter and the sounds you can hear louder, and make the feelings more intense.

Really step inside your picture and enjoy the warm feelings of joy and success, pleasure and pride. See yourself smiling. Feel content and happy knowing that you have done a good job.

Make the sounds louder, the colours brighter and the feelings stronger and bring the pictures and sounds and feelings really close to you, and then clench your fist tightly.

As you clench your fist, remind yourself of this amazing experience. Breathe deeply and slowly, savouring, remembering, and relishing these wonderful feelings, sounds and pictures.

Breathe deeply and become aware of the sounds in the room.

Feel your feet on the ground and your body on your chair. Start to come back to where you are and now and open your eyes.

And finally…

A simple physical change you can make is to just start smiling. This may sound crazy, but merely smiling actually sends a message to your brain that makes you feel better straight away as it releases endorphins which make you feel good. Try it for yourself and see the difference!

So the next time you feel everything is getting on top of you don’t panic or get angry, simply start by pressing your own internal pause button, taking three deep slow breaths in and out and feel yourself getting grounded and centered. And remember to be patient with yourself, learning new ways to cope and breaking old habits takes time.