Three techniques that can help you relax even when you feel highly stressed:
Take slow, deep breaths → Controlling your breathing is an excellent way to control your physiology.
When you’re stressed, your breath becomes rapid and shallow. Slow, deep breaths oxygenate your blood, remove carbon dioxide, and change the pH of your blood.
Smile → The mere act of smiling has been shown to improve one’s mood. It also makes you more attractive to others.
Relax your body → Start at one end of your body and focus on relaxing each muscle. Continue until you’ve relaxed every muscle in your body.
Now assess your body for any tension. Go back to those spots and relax them again.
It’s important to use the technique as soon as you start to feel stressed. It is far more challenging to relax when you’re highly stressed than when you’re just mildly stressed. Practice noticing when you’re beginning to feel stressed and then apply the technique immediately.
Perfect your technique in lower stress situations first. Then you can move on to higher stress situations and expect success. It’s no different than learning to play piano. At first, you might be able to play when you’re all alone, but it’s far more difficult to play while 100 people are watching and listening.
Over time, you’ll notice that your ability to relax is almost a reflex. If you use the technique every time you’re stressed, your mind and body will start to do it automatically.