Quick Stress Relief
Some of these quick stress relief strategies require a little advanced planning. Most take some practice (You should definitely practice in moments when you are NOT feeling stressed). But these quick stress relief tips are not hard to prepare for or to learn. Soon I'll put some energy into writing information pages to teach you how to do this stuff. But for now this is just a quick overview ....
- Take slow, deep belly breaths... frequently!
rhythms and timing to find the one that works for you, making sure that
the breathing happens from your core, from your belly, not from your throat or the top
half of your chest. One of the key physical symptoms of stress is the
rapid, uncomfortable breathing that this practice can deal with.
- Count your breaths
Count in and out count as one. Try different patterns of breathing; for
example breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, or in
through one nostril and out through the other.
- Do a body scan, simply notice your tension location.
Only notice whether that spot is tight or relaxed. Include your scalp
and eyebrows, your neck and shoulders, even your fingers and toes. Once
you've noticed the tension, it almost miraculously releases!
- Stay in the present, the right here and now.
if and when your mind spinning into the land of worry. Then gently
remind yourself that it isn't necessary or helpful and that you don't
listen to that fear mongering inner dialogue anymore. You have better
things to think about! Oh ... and remember to breath.
- Engage your sense of humor.
may just be the magic pill for quick stress relief. For one thing
laughter causes movement. It makes you shake, move and giggle which
helps relax tension in your body and releases endorphins - the natural
painkillers in the body and when you laugh you take in more oxygen.
Just be sure laughter isn't at someone's expense or done at an
inappropriate time (Seinfeld-kind-of-funny isn't helpful!). Laughing at
yourself and your own mistakes (which are really "learning
opportunities") makes it easy to relieve stress, especially at work.
Especially if you demonstrate to yourself and others that mistakes are
- Thought stopping and conscious channel changing
Catch yourself when you get on the hamster wheel of worry, or futurizing .... and gently notice, then conciously think differently (change the channel) even for a moment. This is a great way quickly reduce stress in your mind, which of course helps with stress reduction of symptoms in your body and emotions as well. Make
conscious choices for your self-talk by using thought-stopping skills to
turn self-talk around. Some coaches and therapists recommend a very
loud and firm internal "Stop!" when you notice the negative or spinning
worry thoughts. I generally find it just as effective, if not more so,
to be gentle with yourself and realize that you always do your best...
and this habit of worry and negative self-talk is just a habit that you
can break, gently.
- Use the Power of the Pause
to ten when you notice the stress! If 10 doesn't do it, count to 28 ...
then maybe do it backward! Just don't let yourself get so relaxed you
fall asleep (unless that's what you want to do! Gently waiting and
giving yourself some time, paradoxically, is a quick stress relief
Prevent the Need for Quick Stress Relief
These next tips quick stress relief tips are actually about planning ahead to help you prevent getting all stressed out in the first place, especially when it comes to dealing with something beyond your control, prevent unnecessary stress.
- Eat Well, Be Physically Active, Drink Water, and Get Plenty of Sleep.
suspect you already know first suggestion ~ the four-part mantra of
healthy living and stress prevention. No need for me to go into detail
about these very basic stress prevention strategies. The thing is, just
having the knowledge isn't enough. We actually need to act on what we
know and this is one place a life coach can come in very handy
- Cultivate a network of friends for supportDevelop
a support system, a group of friends who can talk and laugh with you (I
wonder which is more effective? talk-therapy? or laugh-therapy?) The
network of friends can provide you with resources and support when you
need it most. Having multiple people in your support system helps
prevent any one of you from getting burned out from listening!
- Always carry a paperback or magazine.
mindless novel often helps create a mini-vacation while you hang out
waiting in line, or when you are on a telephone hold (and be conciously grateful for
the time off). Or you can choose a great self-help or parenting book. You
could actually bring your studies if you are student or work-related
reading if you are a business person. Do any of those and you aren't
just waiting around in line, you are accomplishing something and for
many of us, accomplishment is a great stress reducer and stress
- Plan Ahead
Hide a key
to your car, on the outside of your car and one to your house in an
easy for you to remember spot, but hard for someone else to find. Never
let your car get below half-tank and always check the tires while you
are getting gas. Always bring along fantastic, healthy food bars and
water for the kids in case you are delayed past dinner start up. Oh yeah, be
sure your cell phone is charged up!
- Do one thing at a time:
... or three things at the most! Don't buy into the Myth of Multi-tasking
Click here to learn more Ways to Manage Stress
Learn about Different Types of Stress here
Read about Dealing with Change
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