What are some simple steps to calm a racing mind? How can one stay focused when there are a million thoughts running through the mind?

Your nervous system can be regulated through controlling your breath. Take deep, slow breaths – count slowly as you breathe evenly in and out to 4-8 counts, lengthening your exhale longer than your inhale when you feel especially stressed. Place your hand on your belly, feel the breath. Create a simple affirmation that calms you, for example: I am calm, I am at ease.  It’s important to make your affirmation in present tense and to speak it as if you know it and believe it. Also, try to do things that ground you whether that is art, writing, gardening, taking walks. You want to literally stop and smell the roses sometimes – your senses are your best friend.

Answered by Ashley Cooper, licensed yoga instructor, nature lover and creative writer. To connect with Ashley, click here.

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