Reduce stress instantly - in 3 simple steps

I know, I know… it's easier said than done.

When you are stressed, it can feel overwhelming. It can reach a level where you want to cry and run away from this world, hide under the table, switch off, and so on.

When I’m stressed, I always feel that I want to move to a small island where I can sit under a coconut tree and chill out.

When I have this image in my mind, then I know – I am stressed.

by Elia Strange

My colleagues (at work) and I have also noticed one peculiar thing: when we are stressed, we loose control over 3 things in our life:

1) our diet becomes … well, bad (chocolate, coffee, pizza, and so on - we use anything to make us happier and relaxed),

2) our house becomes a mess (no motivation to tidy up the house at all), and

3) we cannot get a grip on our finances (shopping to reduce our stress and become a bit happier? Yes, please).

However, there are a few suggestions that I would like to offer you (and which I use myself) for an instant stress relief. They are:

1. Remove the stressor (as soon as you can). Or, if you can, remove yourself from the situation that is stressing you out.

For example: Tell the ‘annoying’ friend that you’ll talk to him/her later. Make yourself busy and avoid your boss at the times you feel you might ‘explode’. Tell others that ‘you’ll think about it later’ when this situation pressures you.

Your health (and well-being) is the priority right now. If you cannot remove the stressor using this method (say, you are at work), then try number 2 below:

2. Change your perception. This helps me every time. Take a different look at the situation. Try to find 3 positive things in this stressful situation (I have been doing this since I was 14, and I swear, you can ALWAYS find 3 positive things in any bad situation). They can be: learning from the experience, knowing what’s more important for you, and so on.

Also, try to reduce the importance of the stressful situation or whatever is happening to you. Think about it on the big scale of things. Imagine you are looking at the planet Earth from above. All the people are tiny and you can hardly see them. See yourself? A little dot with a tiny problem. In 5 years time you will probably forget about the whole thing. See how the problem becomes smaller in your mind when you imagine this picture?

There are lots of other things that are more important to you right now, for example, your family and friends. Your own health and well-being. Your life.

3. Control your stress responses. You can feel when your heart is starting to beat faster and your hands become sweaty. You know that the oncoming headache is caused by how you feel. Pay attention to your physical signs when you are under stress, and try to control them by: a) taking slow breaths, b) focusing on relaxing your muscles, c) closing your eyes (if that’s possible), d) sitting down, or e) removing yourself from the situation. Go for a walk if you can.

Take your time. You don’t have to make excuses if you need to take a break to calm down (well, make a little one if you need). If you feel that you are going to cry, then let yourself, you will feel better after.

Also, try to distract yourself by looking at something from nature. For example, go for a walk and look at the sky and trees, look if you can see any animals (squirrels, someone's pets), look at the greenery (research shows that looking at green may instantly relax us). Or look at pictures of nature on your computer if you cannot leave your office. If you can, also find some humorous pictures or jokes to read, this might reduce your stress levels very quickly.

P.S. Some time ago I've written an article on my other blog about relaxation techniques - "How to relax yourself in 3 minutes". Instead of copying it to this website, just click on the link to read the "original edition" and come back here after :)

Or have a look here at my other suggestions for reducing stress:

What to do when you are stressed

Best ways to manage stress

Manage your stress at work

Mindfulness: Reduce your stress

Other articles you might be interested in:

How to be more assertive

7 Reasons for our unhappiness

How well do you cope with stress? Test yourself

How to be happy in this 'unhappy' world

Depression Test - Are you depressed? (Quiz)

Why am I lonely

Why do I 'always' need to be in a relationship (to be happy)

...or go to the Archives of all articles:


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...or go back to HOME PAGE:

Home Page (Coping with Stress)

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