Practicing mindfulness is as much physical as it is mental. Paying attention to your body can help you stay calm in stressful moments. This is called anchoring — noticing your physical experience rather than avoiding it. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and focus on how it feels to have your lungs fill and then empty of air. This gives your body a break from your mind’s chatter and a chance to regulate after amping up in response to a perceived threat. When we’re in distress — for example, thinking we’re going to mess up a big presentation — we psych ourselves out. Taking a breath can make you more aware of your surroundings and less gullible to these falsehoods. A brief moment is all you need to remind yourself that you can handle what is thrown at you.
Adapted from “A Simple Way to Stay Grounded in Stressful Moments,” by Leah Weiss