From all of us at GreekRank.com, Happy Halloween! In honor of the spooky holiday, we’re offering you 10 ways to calm your nerves when you’ve binged too many episodes of The Haunting of Hill House and can’t fall asleep because you think you see the bent-neck lady in your corner. We’ve all been there. “Netflix and Chills” is a wildly popular thing for a reason.
So if you’re not going out tonight dressed like Rick, Morty, or a sexy cop, instead having opted to stay in and watch scary movies, you likely have a bout of acute stress to look forward to. Acute stress is unlike the looming dread you get for finals -- it’s the type of stress that occurs and then it’s over just as quickly, leaving little damage. It’s the stuff of scary movie jolts.
Here are ten tips to make sure you make it to bed after.
Practice breathing exercises. Breathing has become quite fashionable these days. When you start paying attention to your breath, you begin to control your body’s physiological response to external stimuli. Deliberate breathing also dramatically calms your brain down. Just ask Wim Hof.
Use Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). They’ve given it a fancy acronym, but PMR is essentially where you tense and release each of your muscle groups. Laying flat, move from the head down to the toes, clenching each muscle and then fully relaxing before moving on. You’ll feel like a feather after.
Say a mantra. Some call it transcendental meditation, or affirmations, but either way -- repeating a mantra is a fast way to get into a zen-like state, and a great way to remind yourself of anything that’s worth repeating: I accept myself, I love myself, I’m not afraid of the dark.
Try a visualization. Imagine yourself in your favorite place in the world -- whether that’s you on an island beach or in a mountain cabin -- and then imagine the experiences you’d receive in each of your five senses if you were actually there. Put yourself as fully into this relaxed scenario with all of your senses and you’ll come out feeling as if you did indeed travel there.
Change your focus. Shift your surroundings, go into the next room, watch a romantic comedy. Do a 180 in your external environment, and you’ll experience a shift in your internal.
Count your blessings. Use this as an opportunity to make a gratitude list in your head of everything you were grateful for that day. You’ll come out of the exercise so positive you’ll forgot what you watched.
Challenge your thoughts. When you’re in bed, and the lights are out, and you’re certain you see a shadow in the corner -- test your mindpower. Use this as an opportunity to reframe the situation and convince yourself otherwise. It’s always a good idea to challenge beliefs, and no better time than when your eyes are playing tricks on you.
Do a 5-minute workout. Nothing so intense it gets your heart rate up for hours after -- just a bit of movement to get your blood circulating to your brain to encourage distraction. Exercise itself is a great natural stress reliever, and will leave you feeling more positive.
Use acupressure. You don’t have to have a doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to relax yourself naturally. Press lightly on acupressure spots on the middle of the forehead or meaty party of your hands, all of which are bundled with nerves and help relax the nervous system.
Listen to rap. Seriously, try it. You can’t be anxious when you’re focused on getting money and drinking Hennessy.