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BE GRATEFUL

Sometimes we get so caught up in the difficult or negative stuff, that we lose sight of all the good things in our lives…and all the opportunities that lie ahead. When we lose an opportunity or don’t do as well as we hoped on a project for school or work, it can feel really defeating. Taking a few minutes to be grateful and adjust our perspective can really help.

These are a few ways you can “PRESS PAUSE” and use gratitude exercises whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or severely bummed out:

Gratitude Journal:
You can use an actual journal or writing pad to keep a list of the things you’re grateful for, or you can use the notes app in your phone or tablet. Try to spend a few minutes every day writing down the people or things that are special or important to you. In moments when you are feeling overwhelmed or pessimistic, pull our your list to remind yourself that there are still lots of things to be thankful for.

Photo Album:
Create a photo album on your phone to capture reminders of the good things in your life. Anytime you get or take a picture that makes you feel good about yourself and your world, put it in that album. You can even screenshot things like emails or quotes you find on the web. Add anything that makes you feel good and grateful. Pull up the album and scroll through it whenever you need a reminder that everything isn’t usually as bad as it seems. 

Sticky Notes:
Keep a pad of sticky notes by your bed. Before you go to sleep, write a few things you are grateful for on sheets of the notepad and stick them where you’ll see them when you first wake up (on your nightstand, on the wall behind your bed, or on the bathroom mirror). It’s always nice to start the morning on a positive note before tackling the day ahead.

 

MORE WAYS TO PRESS PAUSE…

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

 
Science has shown that slowing our breathing helps us calm down. Research also shows that taking a few minutes to do breathing exercises can help relax our brains and make it easier for us to cope with stress and make thoughtful decisions.

Start by simply stepping aside and taking a deep breath whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious. First, take a normal breath. Then try a deep breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand fully. Now breathe out slowly through your mouth (or your nose, if that feels more natural).

Click through for more breathing exercises.
 

GET MOVING

 
The simple acts of getting up, getting out and moving our bodies are scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve our perspective. When we’re feeling so much anxiety, stress or anger in the moment, it can be hard to think clearly or to decide how to react or what to do next. If the situation allows you to step away for a minute, talk a walk around the block to let yourself breathe and calm down.

If you can incorporate it into your school or work day, try to get up and move around every hour or two. It does amazing things for your body and for your mind.

Click through for more tips and videos to get you moving.
 

MAKE A LIST

 
We all have those days when everything seems to come crashing down on us at one time. There’s that moment of panic when our brains hit overload and the only thing we can think is….this is impossible. When that happens, we have to remember two things:

We can’t make our best decisions or be productive when we’re in total panic mode. We have to take a deep breath and a moment to regroup.

And, we can only do one task at a time. So instead of obsessing over the impossibility of getting everything done…we have to prioritize. 

Click through for more tips on prioritizing and making lists.
 

MEDITATE

 
Here’s a super simple 5-step meditation you can do anywhere, anytime:

1. Find a spot to sit (or lie) comfortably.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Breathe naturally. Don’t try and control it.
4. Spend 3 to 5 minutes focusing on your breath and how your body moves as you inhale and exhale.
5. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath/body movements.

Click through more meditation info and techniques.
 

PHONE A FRIEND

 
Talking to a friend or family member can really help us calm down and get perspective when we’re feeling overwhelmed. It might seem easier in the moment to send a text or email, but actually talking to someone you trust and hearing a familiar voice can be comforting and calming.

In a moment of panic, we might shut down the idea of calling friends because they’re busy or we don’t have time to go into all the details. It can still be so calming just to call and say hi, and then make plans to get together later to talk about what’s going on. 

Click through for more tips.
 

Need help now? Text START to 741-741 or call (800) 273-TALK (8255)

 Click here for more info and resources.

Need help now? Text START to 741-741 or call
(800) 273TALK (8255)

 

 Click here for more info and resources.