This publication uses cookies

We use functional and analytical cookies to improve our website. In addition, third parties place tracking cookies to display personalised advertisements on social media. By clicking accept you consent to the placement of these cookies.

The internalization and expression of stress are two factors of daily life that move us away from our goals and vision unless we build positive habits to counter them. Here, I share with you seven easy habits that I practice daily to relieve the pressure I often experience.

JAY SHETTY ON

Discover 7 Habits
of Successful People

Under Extreme Stress

We are all going through unprecedented change and stress right now. The whole world is feeling an extreme sense of pressure together. This is why it is so important to remember those habits that we may have neglected or forgotten about as we face the “new normal.”

Falling back into bad habits is an easy thing to do in the face of difficulty. In the beginning of lockdown, many of us found ourselves overeating, for instance, finding comfort and energy in the consumption of sugar and carbohydrates, and eating more times a day than usual because of boredom. Some of us turned to addictions, like alcohol, to try and escape the stress. For me, it was video games.

So, today, I want to share with you some of the habits that really helped me deal with the sense of extreme pressure that I have experienced. Even if you can follow one or two of these exercises right now, I know it will change your life! Remember that if you fall into bad habits, even when your external situation normalizes, your mind often continues to cling to what you have become accustomed to do when you felt anxious or stuck.

This way, you don’t wait for the pace of the world to determine your progress, but you take charge and move to your own potential! 

#2 Journaling

My next tip to reduce stress is through journaling. Writing your thoughts, feelings, experiences, self-reflections, and insights into a journal is an activity that science has proven to be effective in dealing with stress.


The first question you ask yourself when journaling is, “How do I feel?” 

Hiding your feelings allows them to build up and become unbearable. Writing down your feelings helps you notice that they are most often situational and, therefore, temporary.  


The second question is, “Why do I feel this way?” 

When you take time to write down and review feelings, you understand their origin, and gain awareness and acceptance, which puts you in a powerful position to lower their negative impact.


The third (and fourth!) question you want to ask is, “How do I want to feel and what do I need to do to feel this way?” 

Whether you choose to write in a journal or use voice notes, starting this conversation with yourself automatically makes it more real as you start focusing more on understanding your feelings and thoughts. Reviewing patterns in your experiences and monitoring your progress give you a motivation and a purpose to become more attuned.

So, these are my seven favorite habits that are reliable and consistent in lowering my stress and making my life more balanced, fun, and productive. Try them for yourself and you will be amazed at how effective they are.

Falling back into bad habits is an easy thing to do in the face of difficulty. Many of us found ourselves overeating, some of us turned to addictions, like alcohol to try and escape the stress. For me, it was video games.


#1 Breathing

The first habit you can get into is breathing. Learning to breathe deeply and mindfully is an incredible skill to develop when you face extreme pressure. Slowing down your breath gives you more mental clarity. Clearing your mind gives you direction. 

Observing your breath brings you back into the present moment. Your regrets and worries only keep you stuck in the past or future and feed a vicious cycle of stress, which takes away your power in the “now.” Intentional controlled breathing prevents those thoughts from taking hold and creates space for you to be proactive. As your breath is right here, right now, focusing on it aligns the body and mind so that your combined energy is maximized by decreasing the friction and pressure caused by imbalances.

Abdominal Breathing

So, whenever you notice stress, put your left palm on your stomach. As you breathe in, feel your stomach expand. As you breathe out, feel your stomach contract. Breathe in. And breathe out. Repeat a couple of times. Take a few moments every day to breathe in this way and it will soon become second nature.

4-2-4 Breathing Exercise

The next technique I want to share with you is this popular 4-2-4 breathing exercise. Place your left palm on your stomach again, breathe in for a count of four, hold for two, and out for four. Repeat a couple of times.

Whenever you become aware that you experience pressure or your stress level is rising, I want you to do these breathing techniques. Allow it to become an instinctive action that you go back to when you need to return to normal.

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Method

One of my other favorite grounding techniques, adapted and popularized by therapist Tom Bunn, is called the 5-4-3-2-1 method. This is another way to get reconnected with the present if your mind gets lost in the past or future. All you do is notice five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.


These are a few of my favorite ways to use breathing as a habit to reduce extreme pressure and stress.

#3 Ask the right people for advice

Rather than asking anyone in your circle for advice, you must consider a person’s competence and credibility in the area for which you need an answer. It is important to look to the right places and sources and speak to a person who has had experience with a similar issue before.

This does not imply that you have to follow their advice, do exactly what they have done, or pursue what they have achieved. However, getting substantiated advice can relieve a lot of unnecessary pressure. This is why coaches are powerful in the sense that they help you figure out where you are, where you want to go, and empower you to figure out the solutions in between.

#4 Strengthening your mind

The fourth habit is to strengthen your mind by choosing and taking cues from a role model. When I lived as a monk, I learned to follow the following three steps when getting inspiration from a role model. The first step is understanding what this person went through. This is the first “P.”

The second step is to look at what principle you can learn from this person’s journey, which is the second “P.” For instance, in their time of hardship, did they find their passion, opportunity, or their potential?

The third “P” is to find the practical step. What did they do in order to get there? Did they ask a mentor? Did they use a coach to move forward? What did they do to resolve their issue?

So, these are the three “P’s” to strengthen your mind through someone’s inspirational story. First, find a person by whose story you are inspired by and then find their principles and actions that moved them forward.

#5 Movement 
& exercise

There is no substitute for any physical activity within your ability. Get out of your head by doing one physical activity a day, such as dance, walking, yoga, or anything that appeals to you. Movement is powerful to reduce your stress and pressure. As with me, I promise you will feel the benefits and the change in your life and stress levels within days. 

#6 Add more laughter to your life

Whenever you have the opportunity, tell jokes, watch comedies, and start to see the lighter side of life. As has been said since ancient times, “laughter is powerful medicine,” and, somewhere in every joke, is a solution to a problem.

#7 Organize 
& diarize

Getting back to your routines and schedules often works because, to quote one of my favorite sayings, “if it is in the calendar, it will have so much more chance of happening.” Organizing your professional and personal life in your calendar also means that the balancing will be looked after. Also, remember to plan space. By spreading your activities out, you will find that you achieve more over time.

References:  Bunn, Tom. Panic Free: The 10-Day Program to End Panic, Anxiety, and Claustrophobia. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2019.

Tams, Lisa. “Journaling to Reduce Stress.” MSU Extension, Michigan State University Extension, 20 Sept. 2018.

The internalization and expression of stress are two factors of daily life that move us away from our goals and vision unless we build positive habits to counter them. Here, I share with you seven easy habits that I practice daily to relieve the pressure I often experience.

Discover 7 Habits
of Successful People

Under Extreme Stress

JAY SHETTY ON

We are all going through unprecedented change and stress right now. The whole world is feeling an extreme sense of pressure together. This is why it is so important to remember those habits that we may have neglected or forgotten about as we face the “new normal.”

Falling back into bad habits is an easy thing to do in the face of difficulty. In the beginning of lockdown, many of us found ourselves overeating, for instance, finding comfort and energy in the consumption of sugar and carbohydrates, and eating more times a day than usual because of boredom. Some of us turned to addictions, like alcohol, to try and escape the stress. For me, it was video games.

So, today, I want to share with you some of the habits that really helped me deal with the sense of extreme pressure that I have experienced. Even if you can follow one or two of these exercises right now, I know it will change your life! Remember that if you fall into bad habits, even when your external situation normalizes, your mind often continues to cling to what you have become accustomed to do when you felt anxious or stuck.

This way, you don’t wait for the pace of the world to determine your progress, but you take charge and move to your own potential! 

So, these are my seven favorite habits that are reliable and consistent in lowering my stress and making my life more balanced, fun, and productive. Try them for yourself and you will be amazed at how effective they are.

#1 Breathing

The first habit you can get into is breathing. Learning to breathe deeply and mindfully is an incredible skill to develop when you face extreme pressure. Slowing down your breath gives you more mental clarity. Clearing your mind gives you direction. 

Observing your breath brings you back into the present moment. Your regrets and worries only keep you stuck in the past or future and feed a vicious cycle of stress, which takes away your power in the “now.” Intentional controlled breathing prevents those thoughts from taking hold and creates space for you to be proactive. As your breath is right here, right now, focusing on it aligns the body and mind so that your combined energy is maximized by decreasing the friction and pressure caused by imbalances.

#2 Journaling

My next tip to reduce stress is through journaling. Writing your thoughts, feelings, experiences, self-reflections, and insights into a journal is an activity that science has proven to be effective in dealing with stress.


The first question you ask yourself when journaling is, “How do I feel?” 

Hiding your feelings allows them to build up and become unbearable. Writing down your feelings helps you notice that they are most often situational and, therefore, temporary.  


The second question is, “Why do I feel this way?” 

When you take time to write down and review feelings, you understand their origin, and gain awareness and acceptance, which puts you in a powerful position to lower their negative impact.


The third (and fourth!) question you want to ask is, “How do I want to feel and what do I need to do to feel this way?” 

Whether you choose to write in a journal or use voice notes, starting this conversation with yourself automatically makes it more real as you start focusing more on understanding your feelings and thoughts. Reviewing patterns in your experiences and monitoring your progress give you a motivation and a purpose to become more attuned.

JAY'S BESTSELLING
NEW BOOK

 Jay's first book Think like a Monk has already reached bestseller lists worldwide in it's first week of release.

In this inspiring and empowering book, Jay draws on his time as a monk in the Vedic tradition to show us how we can clear the roadblocks to our potential and power. Applying ancient wisdom and his own rich experiences in the ashram, Think Like a Monk reveals how to overcome negative thoughts and habits, and access the calm and purpose that lie within all of us. 

Don't miss out. Order your copy now!

Falling back into bad habits is an easy thing to do in the face of difficulty. Many of us found ourselves overeating, some of us turned to addictions, like alcohol to try and escape the stress. For me, it was video games.


Abdominal Breathing

So, whenever you notice stress, put your left palm on your stomach. As you breathe in, feel your stomach expand. As you breathe out, feel your stomach contract. Breathe in. And breathe out. Repeat a couple of times. Take a few moments every day to breathe in this way and it will soon become second nature.

4-2-4 Breathing Exercise

The next technique I want to share with you is this popular 4-2-4 breathing exercise. Place your left palm on your stomach again, breathe in for a count of four, hold for two, and out for four. Repeat a couple of times.

Whenever you become aware that you experience pressure or your stress level is rising, I want you to do these breathing techniques. Allow it to become an instinctive action that you go back to when you need to return to normal.

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Method

One of my other favorite grounding techniques, adapted and popularized by therapist Tom Bunn, is called the 5-4-3-2-1 method. This is another way to get reconnected with the present if your mind gets lost in the past or future. All you do is notice five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.


These are a few of my favorite ways to use breathing as a habit to reduce extreme pressure and stress.

#3 Ask the right people for advice

Rather than asking anyone in your circle for advice, you must consider a person’s competence and credibility in the area for which you need an answer. It is important to look to the right places and sources and speak to a person who has had experience with a similar issue before.

This does not imply that you have to follow their advice, do exactly what they have done, or pursue what they have achieved. However, getting substantiated advice can relieve a lot of unnecessary pressure. This is why coaches are powerful in the sense that they help you figure out where you are, where you want to go, and empower you to figure out the solutions in between.

#4 Strengthening your mind

The fourth habit is to strengthen your mind by choosing and taking cues from a role model. When I lived as a monk, I learned to follow the following three steps when getting inspiration from a role model. The first step is understanding what this person went through. This is the first “P.”

The second step is to look at what principle you can learn from this person’s journey, which is the second “P.” For instance, in their time of hardship, did they find their passion, opportunity, or their potential?

The third “P” is to find the practical step. What did they do in order to get there? Did they ask a mentor? Did they use a coach to move forward? What did they do to resolve their issue?

So, these are the three “P’s” to strengthen your mind through someone’s inspirational story. First, find a person by whose story you are inspired by and then find their principles and actions that moved them forward.

#5 Movement 
& exercise

There is no substitute for any physical activity within your ability. Get out of your head by doing one physical activity a day, such as dance, walking, yoga, or anything that appeals to you. Movement is powerful to reduce your stress and pressure. As with me, I promise you will feel the benefits and the change in your life and stress levels within days. 

#6 Add more laughter to your life

Whenever you have the opportunity, tell jokes, watch comedies, and start to see the lighter side of life. As has been said since ancient times, “laughter is powerful medicine,” and, somewhere in every joke, is a solution to a problem.

#7 Organize 
& diarize

Getting back to your routines and schedules often works because, to quote one of my favorite sayings, “if it is in the calendar, it will have so much more chance of happening.” Organizing your professional and personal life in your calendar also means that the balancing will be looked after. Also, remember to plan space. By spreading your activities out, you will find that you achieve more over time.

References:  Bunn, Tom. Panic Free: The 10-Day Program to End Panic, Anxiety, and Claustrophobia. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2019.

Tams, Lisa. “Journaling to Reduce Stress.” MSU Extension, Michigan State University Extension, 20 Sept. 2018.

Jay Shetty Courses

Dedicated to helping you live your purpose through education.
Fullscreen