The Secret to Being Calm When Stressed With High Cortisol

Your brain develops “automatic reactivity” patterns to stimuli such as stressors. These are basically habits that your brain triggers. Whenever it encounters a particular stimulus, such as a fight with a person, it activates a particular set of pathways.
Studies show that breaking this “habit” of reaction by re-focusing your senses on what’s actually going on can help your brain develop new, healthier habitual reactions.[4]
Do a quick body scan, but don’t judge anything you’re feeling as “good” or “bad.” Try to stick to the facts. For example, if you’re angry, your heartbeat is probably pumping and you may even feel queasy. Simply acknowledge these sensory experiences.[5] For example: “Right now I feel nauseated. My breathing is very quick. My face feels hot and flushed.” By identifying these physical experiences, you can separate them from the emotional reaction.few deep breaths can help you feel calmer almost immediately.[7]Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, beneath your ribcage. As you inhale, you should feel the hand on your belly rise. If you don’t, you’re only breathing from your chest.[8]
Inhale slowly through your nose. Aim to inhale for a count of 5. Focus on your lungs and abdomen expanding and filling with air.It relieves your inner self.[9]
Hold this breath for a few seconds. Ideally, you would hold it for a count of 5, but if you can’t do that immediately, hold it for at least 1-2 seconds.
Slowly release your breath through your mouth for a count of 5. Try to release your breath in an even fashion, rather than letting it all whoosh out at once.
Take two normal breaths, then repeat the breath cycle.Progressive Muscle Relaxation, or PMR, can help you consciously release the tension in your body that can build up when you’re stressed or angry. With PMR you tense and then release your muscles in groups from your head to your toes, signaling your body to relax. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a fast way to calm down.[10]If you can, find a quiet place free of distractions. You can even do PMR at your desk if you need to, though.
Loosen tight clothing. Take a few deep breaths.
Start with the muscles in your forehead. Raise your eyebrows as high as they’ll go and hold this position for 5 seconds. Release the tension. Then, furrow your brow as hard as you can for 5 seconds. Release the tension.
After you release the first muscle group, notice the difference in that area for 15 seconds before moving on. You want to learn how to tell what “relaxed” and “tense” feel like so that you can consciously release tension when you need to.
Move to your lips. Purse them tightly for 5 seconds, then release the tension. Then, smile as widely as you can for 5 seconds, then release the tension. Enjoy the sensation for 15 seconds.
Continue this pattern of holding tension for 5 seconds, releasing, and relaxing for 15 seconds with the remaining muscle groups: neck, shoulders, arms, chest, stomach, buttocks, thighs, lower legs, feet, and toes.