Wash your face.
“If you feel nervous and anxious, put cold water on your face,” suggests Psychology Today. Doing this “triggers the mammalian diving reflex and immediately slows the heart rate between ten to twenty-five percent.”
Read a book.
“It just slows my mind down. It gives me another outlet,” said NBA star LeBron James about his habit of reading a book before big games. “The reading has given me an opportunity for those couple of hours of the day or those 20, 25 minutes before the game, it just gives me an opportunity to read and think about something else. It’s made me comfortable.” Science agrees with him: A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68 percent.
Take a 10 minute vow of silence.
When disaster strikes, we often want to tell someone, or post about it on social media immediately. This only adds fuel to the fire and/or encourages us to say something we’ll regret later. Instead, pledge to think about the incident silently for at least 10 minutes so you can settle down a little.
Take a deep breath (or 10).
Remind yourself that nothing’s killed you yet.
“Remind yourself of all you’ve done, experienced, and overcome. Take some inventory of your life from the perspective of resilience. Think about all the times you’ve dealt with change, loss, newness, fear, pain, disappointment, failure, etc. — and been able to work through it,” explains Mike Robbins. You’ve survived these things before, and you can do it again.
Go outside (or find a really blue place).
If you feel overwhelmed, confused, stuck, or uninspired, step into nature for a moment. Five minutes outside is all it takes get the mood-boosting effect, according to a 2010 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. You can also surround yourself in colors of green and blue, which have a calming effect.