Life can be stressful, and sometimes there is no way around it. What matters is how you deal with the situations thrown your way. This is why it’s so important to know how to stay calm and maintain a state of tranquility, no matter what storm is raging around you.
Because the body and mind are so interconnected, staying calm and relaxed involves tending to them both.
In this article, we’ll share several tips for how to find calm when you need it most. We’ll also share herbal supplements that can help you maintain a sense of peace and well-being.*
A combination of herbs and calming practices might be exactly what you need.
6 Things to Do When You Feel Stressed
1) Make Time
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to truly find calm while you’re busy and on the go, with a racing mind that’s full to the brim.
No matter what relaxation practice or technique works best for you, you’ll need to make time for it. This could be five seconds to take a couple of deep breaths, or it may be setting aside 30 minutes or an hour for yoga or a walk in the woods.
It might take a while to get used to carving out dedicated calming moments, but making this investment in your health and well-being will be well worth it in the end.
2) Practice Mindfulness
If you’ve heard of mindfulness but aren’t sure exactly what it means or how to work it into your life, here’s the short story: The goal of mindfulness is to focus on the moment you’re in—instead of the past or future.
You’ll want to take note of the thoughts that come into your mind as if you were observing yourself from the outside. Make sure that you are in the moment rather than letting your thoughts take over.
But mindfulness isn’t just about tuning into your thoughts, it’s also about tuning into your body.
As described in one study, “Being mindful includes increasing this awareness through becoming more connected with the sensations in the body. This might include experiencing the legs moving when walking, or feeling the ground under the feet or the natural way of the body whilst standing.”1
3) Do Yoga
Yoga might be one of the first things that come to mind when you think of ways to destress, and this is with good reason.
Yoga typically involves movement, but “initially, the focus was on awareness of breathing and breathing exercises ‘pranayama’ to calm the mind and body, ultimately reaching a higher state of consciousness.”1
So, one aspect of yoga is addressing emotions and thoughts, which is an essential part of learning how to stay calm. But another aspect of yoga that makes it a powerful tool to help you find calm is the integration of bodily movement with breathing.
Yoga helps you connect your body and mind and become aware of your movement. For example, vinyasa flow “involves using the inhale and exhale of the breathing pattern to move through a variety of yoga postures; this leads to the movement becoming meditative.”1
Because of this, yoga helps you take care of your mind and body at the same time.
4) Breathe Deeply
Inhale. Exhale. You breathe every day without even realizing it. But stopping to take stock of your breath and practice different types of controlled breathing can help you calm your body and quiet your mind.
For example, “box breathing” is one type of breathing exercise that you can try anywhere and at any time. It can help with relaxation and stress management before, during, or after stressful situations.2
It’s quite easy to remember how to do it: Picture a box with four equal sides. All you have to do is inhale for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, and hold your breath again for four counts.2
You’ll repeat the pattern as time allows and as you need. Keep in mind that you can adapt this exercise. If four seconds seems long for you, try two or three.2
5) Visualize Calming Situations
You don’t have to go to the beach or the mountains to benefit from them. How is that, you may ask? Your mind is a powerful tool.
Guided imagery is an exercise that involves visualizing calming places and situations as a way to help distract yourself from any intrusive thoughts you’re having and help you manage your emotions.2
You can walk yourself through this exercise, or someone can narrate it for you. If you prefer to try it with a narrator, check out online options to get started.
In guided imagery, you tap into all of your senses as you visualize a relaxing environment. For many people, this is a place like the beach or the lake, but it can be anywhere that is especially calming and comforting to you.
How does it work? First, make yourself comfortable by sitting or lying down and removing distractions. Then, picture the relaxing situation in your mind and take stock of what you experience in it through all five of your senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch).2
Enjoy the moment and breathe slowly and deeply while you are visualizing.2
6) Contract and Relax Your Muscles
Another relaxation technique that you can try with a guide or by yourself is progressive muscle relaxation. University of Michigan Health notes that progressive muscle relaxation can help you find calm and ease muscle tension, which can also help you get a good night of rest.3
It’s easier than it sounds. All you have to do is tense (or contract) your muscles and then mindfully release them, focusing on the feeling of your muscles relaxing.2
The “progressive” aspect of its name is because you’ll start with your toes and work your way upward, tensing and relaxing each part of your body separately.
For example, start by contracting and curling your toes. Hold this for five seconds, and then release slowly for 10 seconds.2 After, you’ll move on to your calves, then your thighs, and continue up your body, one body part at a time, remembering to breathe deeply as you go.
As you seek calm in the midst of stressful situations, try the tips we mentioned above. Keep in mind that learning what works for your body and mind may be a process. Be patient and kind with yourself as you learn.
That said, we’d like to mention a few herbs that can help you stay calm naturally as well.* Adding these herbal supplements to your daily routine is a great way to tap into the power of plants to help you maintain tranquility.*
Herbs to Help You Stay Calm*
With calming herbs including Passionflower, Chamomile, Holy Basil, and Vervain, Gaia Herbs Calm A.S.A.P. is designed to help with occasional anxiousness and support a calm response to life’s stressful moments.*
As with all of the formulas mentioned here and all Gaia supplements, you can trust that this product is assured for purity, potency, and integrity. At Gaia Herbs, we are firm believers that the quality of an herbal supplement can only be as good as the quality of the herbs that go into it.
That’s why many of the herbs in our products are grown on our farm, where we can cultivate them exactly the way we want.
For plants used in our supplements that we cannot grow on our own farm or in the quantity that we need, our network of organic and sustainable communities allows us to source herbs from where they grow best.
To learn more about this and our other herbal supplements, visit meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability platform. By simply entering the Herb ID number on your Gaia Herbs product, you’ll discover the origin of your herbs; learn how they were grown, harvested, and extracted; and find validation of your product’s purity and potency.
GaiaKidsⓇ Calm Support
GaiaKids® Calm Support offers great-tasting support in a doctor-developed formula you can trust to help your children maintain a peaceful day.*
Stress can take a toll on your body. That’s why we created Stress Response, an adaptogenic formula designed to help the body better cope with stress.*
Our new Relax Gummies contain a specially formulated blend of herbs traditionally used for sustaining emotional well-being and promoting a sense of calm and relaxation—Passionflower, Holy Basil, and Lemon Balm—in a delicious, convenient format.* They're Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and 100% plant-powered, made without any artificial colors, preservatives, flavors, or sweeteners. In fact, they're sweetened only with real fruit, apple and blueberry, and flavored with pure lemon oil.
Keep Your Calm When Life Gets Crazy*
There’s no doubt that life can be chaotic and stressful. But you don’t have to be: You can have a calm, positive reaction to what’s in front of you. Use the tips we mentioned in this article to stay calm, and turn to herbs to support your mind and body through the ups and downs.*
Combine this with practices like yoga, mindfulness, breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation, and both your body and mind will thank you.
1 Can et al., “How to Relax in Stressful Situations: A Smart Stress Reduction System,” Healthcare 8, 2 (2020): 100, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7349817.
2 Samantha K. Norelli, Ashley Long, and Jeffrey M. Krepps, “Relaxation Techniques,” in StatPearls [Internet] (Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing, 2021), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513238.
3 University of Michigan Health, “Stress Management: Relaxing Your Mind and Body,” University of Michigan Health, August 31, 2020, https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2209.