Here are four tools and all-natural ways to feel better and chill out

Before giving a presentation, try this concentration method.

Before giving a presentation, try this concentration method.

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A lot of life’s metaphorical breaks and leaky pipes can’t be fixed, per se: Stuff doesn’t work out. Loss is real. Pain is real. Sometimes things can’t be put back together, and we need big tools — things like friends, faith, modern medicine, you name it — to even attempt to restabilize and rebuild.

But it’s good to have little tools, too.

Sometimes we just need to loosen a few rigid bolts, make small tweaks for better support, rebalance. The tools I’m about to share are good for that kind of stuff. Here are four resources you can pick up when you feel slightly off and need a minor adjustment to get back on track.

Relaxing and/or improving digestion

Each nostril does something different. This is actually super cool.

Breathing through the left nostril activates our parasympathetic nervous system, or “rest and digest” mode.

So, when you’re worked up and need help settling, or you need to get your blood pressure down, or you want to encourage better digestion (even sleep), spend a few minutes breathing exclusively through your left nostril. Lightly press into your right nostril to block it, and let your left side do the work. Notice how this can help take the edge off.

Time to reenergize

On the flipside, breathing through the right nostril is activating and energizing.

Keep this one in mind when you’re struggling to get going. Just a few minutes of breathing through the right side only can give you a helpful buzz — the kind that picks you up, sans jitters.

Brightening your spirits

Certain body positions are associated with certain feelings and inner states. This is how body language experts can read other people.

It’s also possible to elicit specific feelings by taking the corresponding postures.

For lifting your spirit and confidence, any or all of these moves can help:

Take up more space with your body. Not by splaying out or puffing chest, but by standing tall, with feet just wider than the width of your hips. Let your arms defy gravity. You could reach them out, let them swing, or even put hands on your hips (“power pose”).

Loosen the lines on your forehead and the muscles around your mouth. Stick your chin out slightly and hold your nose high. Shoulders back and down. Straighten through your spine.

Finally, smile, laugh! You may have to force it a bit off the bat, but then it starts to change how you feel.

Get grounded and centered

One of my friends recently gave a presentation. She felt a little nervous and on edge beforehand, so she went into a private room and used this technique to get out of her head, into the moment and more relaxed. It’s called “54321.” It’s a simple concept. Just slow down, look at the space around you and take note of:

5 things you can see

4 things you can feel

3 things you can hear

2 things you can smell

1 thing you can taste

This is a useful way to get your bearings and become more present.

I hope you keep all these tools in your back pocket. Little tweaks can keep things (us) running smoothly.

Marci Izard Sharif is an author, yoga teacher, meditation facilitator and mother. In Feeling Matters, she writes about self-love, sharing self-care tools, stories and resources to know and be kind to yourself.