Feeling stressed out? Here’s how to keep calm so you can carry on

We’ve spent quite a bit of time getting into our heads recently, so today we are going to talk about three skills that focus on the body. We’re going to break down the TIP skills—and yes, it is an acronym!

TIP skills target our body chemistry to reduce the feeling of overwhelm and other forms of high emotional arousal. The skills work quickly, often within seconds to minutes, for those of you looking for more instant gratification.

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The TIP skills are designed to activate your body’s physiological nervous system for decreasing arousal. Your nervous system is composed of two parts: the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.

T is for Temperature

The first TIP skill is tipping the temperature. You do this by submerging your face in cold water or placing cold packs on your face while holding your breath.

I is for Intense Exercise

Intense exercise of any kind for 20 to 30 minutes or so can have a rapid effect on mood, decreasing negative moods and ruminative thoughts and increasing positive moods after completing the exercise.

P is for Paced Breathing and Progressive Muscle Relaxation

By slowing down your breathing to five to six breaths per minute, it can reduce emotional arousal by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.