Next Time You Start To Feel Overwhelmed, Do This

Feelings of being overwhelmed — particularly right now — are common. Nonetheless, anxiety can be extremely uncomfortable, and it's important to empower yourself with tools to move through these moments.

Unsurprisingly, one of the most effective antidotes to being overwhelmed comes from your ability to breathe. According to VeryWellMind, when you're experiencing feelings of anxiety, you're likely exacerbating the issue by taking breaths into your chest. Taking shallow breaths can disrupt oxygen and carbon dioxide levels within the body which increases muscle tension, heart rate, and other uncomfortable physical symptoms. Furthermore, your blood can't fully oxygenate when you're chest breathing, which can make things worse.

Instead, be careful to take long, slow breaths into the stomach; it can make a huge difference in how you're feeling. Relax your shoulders and simply breathe in and out through your nose, pulling the oxygen into your belly. The next time you start to feel out of control or worried, breathe from your diaphragm (the muscle underneath the lungs, near the stomach) to expand your stomach on the inhale and contract on the exhale. This reduces the amount of work your body needs to do to breathe (via Healthline).

From here, ensure that your exhales are longer than your inhales. Since taking in too much oxygen can cause you to hyperventilate while stimulating the sympathetic nervous system — a.k.a. the stress response — focus on your exhale to help calm you down.

To calm down, try a few pressure points

Another easy strategy for being overwhelmed is acupressure. Acupressure is an eastern medicine practice that involves pressing different points throughout the body to help increase blood flow (via VeryWellHealth). Said to remove blockages throughout the system and improve mental and physical health, acupressure can help you calm down when intense feelings arise. Stick with your deep belly breathing while you press these points for best results.

When your emotions start spiraling, slow down your breathing and press on the pressure point called Heart 7. You can find this point at the crease where your wrist meets your hand, in between your pinky and your ring finger (via MindBodyGreen). Hold down for at least 60 seconds while breathing deeply to relieve muscle tension and chest tightness. This pressure point also helps to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and depression (via Healthline).

Another pressure point that can quickly offset overwhelming feelings is known as the yintang. Press where the bridge of your nose meets your forehead and start to massage up and down with your index and middle finger. Pressing the yintang point can relieve anxiety, insomnia and more, and will have you relaxed in no time. No matter if overwhelming feelings come from work, a relationship, or the state of the world, having simple practices like these can make a huge difference when it comes to finding peace.