While we often wish that we could wave our hands in front of someone’s face and have our way (These are not the droids you’re looking for), there are other, more practical techniques that we can use now, without the need for rigorous Jedi training. Check them out, they will improve your day-to-day life!


Feeling anxiety or stress comes from an evolutionary survival instinct, but the modern human needs more options than ‘fight or flight’ to make something of themselves in this world.

By taking a few slow, deep breaths, you are triggering a biological response that literally forces you to calm down.

Talk To Yourself

Woman-talking-with-alphabet-letters-coming-out-of-her-mouthWe have internal dialogue going on constantly. It is known that what you say to yourself and how you say it can improve performance

There are three methods that we can help ourselves to complete difficult tasks: motivational, instructive and evaluative inner dialogue. By positively encouraging yourself, you can get the task done (‘You can do it!’). In addition, by going through steps in your head, you will stay focused and learn more efficiently (First, this. Then, this…).

Lastly, by evaluating our performance, we can encourage ourselves to do better next time by exploring objectively how well we did on any given assignment (You did well, but next time…).

Talk About Yourself In The Third Person

Research has shown that when you speak to yourself as ‘You’ or ‘(Insert Name Here),’ you can have more objectivity regarding your emotions, particularly when faced with tasks that are difficult, helping you achieve what you set out to do. Finish the article, Ezra, you can do it!


We know from science that physical touch stimulates the release of oxytocin, which allows us to emotionally connect, but it would seem that it doesn’t matter if it’s yourself or someone else doing the touching. Simply placing your hand over your heart or belly (or really any part of the body) and taking a few deep breaths will comfort you in times of anxiety or pain.

Express Gratitudegratitude

Being thankful engages parts of the brainrelated to stress reduction, pleasure and reward.

Therefore making lists of things you are grateful for is known to make you happier.

Also, expressing gratitude in the face of surliness or insecurity can increase another’s self-worth and decrease their grumpiness. Kill them with kindness.

Be Honest With Yourself About How You Feel

Anger and fear are knee-jerk responses from the sub-cortical brain, not regulated by logical thought. When we name those emotions, it allows us to move those to a location of the brain where they can be dealt with logically. According to scientists, this naming also releases neurotransmitters, calming sub-cortical activity. So the next time you are feeling ‘dark’ with anger, note that you are feeling anger and bring yourself back out into the light. This is much healthier than dwelling on it.

Harness The Vast Amount Of Cuteness Online

nyan-cat-stars-in-ios-adventure-game-video-e6a4e2ba4cStudies have shown that looking at really cute, heartwarming images produces positive emotions, helping us to focus and improve our performance on especially difficult tasks.

We think this is because we are innately wired to take care of cute things (i.e. babies) that also tend to be especially fragile and difficult.

So if you’re trying to achieve a personal best on that obstacle course, take a look at some kitty videos first.