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Wedding planning really can bring out the worst in people, you included! There's so much to get done, and on top of that, so many different opinions to take into consideration that it is almost impossible not to crack underneath all the pressure. You can't control the weather or the bad behavior of relatives, but you can minimize the stress they induce on the spot with these surprising tactics.
1. Let your eyes go into periphery
Did you know that it's literally impossible to experience a negative emotion when you're using your peripheral vision? According to life management expert and certified master hypnotist, Kimberly Friedmutter, it's true. To instantly chill out, she suggests focusing on a single spot (preferably above eye level), letting your eyes slowly drift back and forth to the left and right of that spot. "You should feel a massive sense of relaxation and 'okay-ness," she explains. This tool is not only foolproof, but it's also easy to do in front of your friends and family!
2. Try tactical (AKA combat) breathing
Wedding planning definitely isn't a life or death situation, however, you can still take a tip or two from the soldiers and learn to keep calm by controlling your breathing. Tactical breathing, also know as combat breathing, slows down your heart rate and suppresses that rush of adrenaline that gets you all revved up and out of control when you're stressed. Here's how to do it: Breathe in slowly through your nose, counting to four. Hold for four seconds. Then slowly breathe out through your mouth, counting to four. Hold your breath for another four seconds and repeat the entire process over again until you're relaxed.
3. Use thought diffusion
Similar to mindfulness meditation, thought diffusion is a great way to get rid of all that bad stuff buzzing around in your head simply by visualizing a peaceful stream and letting each negative thought be a leaf floating down it, notes New York-based clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Olivo, PhD, author of the new book, Wise Mind Living: Master Your Emotions, Transform Your Life. She recommends trying this technique when you need to relax your body and brain enough for you to be able to move on and switch strategies (often a must-do for any bride at some point or another during wedding planning).