Every day we’re faced with problems. Most of them are little problems, but when we let each little problem affect us, the pile quickly builds up.
Eventually, it can feel as though you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, and it feels like you can’t get through anything.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, the best thing to do is take a step back from all the things that are bothering you and mindfully try to calm down.
Take the time to rest and regroup. Your problems do not have to weigh you down.
One tool I found in the last week that I absolutely love is a simple mindfulness-based website called Pixel Thoughts.
Pixel Thoughts allows you to put (via typing) whatever issue is bothering you into a “star” and watch the star shrink and float away. Calming music plays and you’re presented with words that tell you to breathe and that let you know everything is okay. As you breathe in and breathe out, you see your problem get smaller and smaller until it fades away with tons of other stars floating around it.
Not only is this whole experience very soothing and aesthetic, but it also reminds you that your problem isn’t the only one out there.
Everyone has problems that they’d like to get rid of – many of them are probably much bigger problems than yours. After all, if you’re reading this blog I’m assuming you have access to the Internet, a mobile device, and likely some kind of regular access to food and water.
There are many people in the world who have none of those things.
When you consider your problems from that perspective, how dreadful are your worries, really?
As I mentioned earlier, PixelThoughts draws on mindfulness meditation principles to achieve its calming effect. Here are a few ways it does that, and that you can use to pursue further mindfulness in the future, if you like.
Write Down Your Problems
One of the best ways to relieve your stress is to write down your problems. Grabbing a journal and putting your thoughts onto paper can help you get your thoughts out of your head, providing a positive and cathartic response to stress. Even writing down one sentence can help you feel a little better.
When we feel overwhelmed, our body’s first reaction is to take short, quick breathes. However, this will only make you feel worse. Taking slow, deep breaths can calm you down and make it easier to tackle your problems.
A good tip — while you’re breathing, count your breath in for five seconds, hold for five seconds and then breathe out for five seconds. This way, you’re focusing on your breathing instead of the other things going on in your life.
Listen to Calming Music
There’s a reason why so many yoga studios have the same musical taste — the type of music playing has an impact on our mood.
In addition, music helps take your mind off of the things that may be bothering you, which can also helps you calm down. If your music selection is lacking in mellow music, a quick google search can provide you with hundreds of free options to listen to while you meditate.
Visualize Your Problems Shrinking
When you watch your problem get smaller and smaller, it can help put your issues in perspective. By imagining your problem becoming a pixel, you can start to take control of it, rather than let it control you.
If you tell yourself you can’t overcome your problems, you’ve already resigned yourself to being unhappy. However, if you are positive and see yourself overcoming your stress, then you’ll be able to achieve so much more.
It can be hard to get into the meditative mindset if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. Pixel Thoughts helps you get you to stop thinking about your problems and gives you that extra boost of positivity you need on a tough day.
Some additional tips for effective meditation include:
- Sit up straight on a comfortable cushion
- Choose a quiet place to meditate
- Only try for five to ten minutes if you’re new to meditation
It’s important to give yourself time to rest and reflect on how manageable your problems really are. Give your brain a break — even if you just take 60 seconds.
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