You know the feeling of stress.
Suddenly you can’t think straight, your mind is racing. Your heart seems like it’s about to beat out of your chest.
The room instantly becomes a thousand degrees hotter and your palms and forehead are already sweating.
Now you’re entering panic mode. You don’t know what to do, you’re not sure if there’s anything that can be done.
You can’t think about anything else but the stress and what’s causing it.
You’re paralyzed in this state.
This is how you become stuck in the same place and unable to move past it, most importantly, the stress.
Eventually your clothes will dry but you mentally, and physically, stay on edge.
Your Focus Is Gone
How can you even process what’s happening after you feel like you’ve been relocated to the driest desert and lost all of your cognitive functions?
You’re a pretty smart cookie. Usually when simple problems arise you handle them like a champ. But when things stress you out you get knocked down.
Your ability to process anything else is demolished.
It’s like when Charlie Brown’s teacher speaks, wah waaah wah wah. It’s all just noise you can’t make sense it from that point on.
The stress from the whole situation has annihilated your ability to focus on a solution, or anything else for that matter.
How to Relieve Stress
The problem continues and the stress never goes away because you cannot focus on a solution.
Instead of finding a way to get rid of it, you’re making a home for it so it never has to leave.
But in order to get on with your life and your dreams you have to get over the stress brought on by the problem and the problem itself.
The only way to do that is to relieve the stress so you can get your focus back.
And if you can do that anytime and anywhere stress hits, you’ll constantly be moving forward without getting stuck in place.
Here are some simple tricks to combat stress quickly and get on with your life:
1. Take a deep breath
I use this method a lot. I usually take a few breaths.
This is a staple in my stress management toolkit because you can do it anywhere, anytime without it really taking you away from whatever you’re doing.
Breathing in and out deeply allows you to relax and gain control. You instantly feel calmer.
It’s a life saver for me, getting me through a lot quickly and easily.
This is especially helpful when things feel like they’re moving at a rapid rate. I can’t really explain it but it makes you feel like you’re at the same pace with things. All of a sudden you can handle it, and you do.
When I first heard about mediating I couldn’t even imagine how sitting in silence with my eyes closed could help me so much.
And yeah, that’s basically what you do, from a third person’s perspective, but it works.
I’m not just talking about a 30 minute mediating session to start or end your day either.
Just taking a few minutes during the height of your stress to collect your thoughts and get a handle of your emotions is life changing.
It may sound a little weird to just stop what you are doing to mediate just so you can continue, but I’m not saying you need to jump on top of the conference table during a stressful business meeting and get in your yoga pose to calm yourself.
Just take a moment, you don’t even have to close your eyes if you don’t want to, look at something neutral and breathe. Just focus on breathing for the moment, nothing else but that.
It will seem like a quick tease in the moment, but it’ll get you through the stressful situation without raising your blood pressure.
3. Relax your body
The most stressful situations can have your body tense in minutes.
It’s hard to try to approach any situation when your body is physically in knots. When this happens, instead of dealing with one problem, you now have two on your hands.
You can’t get anything done if your body is as stiff as a board. So you have to loosen up.
Starting with your feet and moving your way up, stretch and relax your muscles. Once you get up to your back you’ll be ready to go.
Not only will you be more able to do just about anything, you’ll be reenergized and feel capable.
4. Walk it off
Getting out and away from the stress is a great way to handle it.
No, it doesn’t make it go away, but it allows you a little breather before you go haywire.
A nice walk around the block, or jog on the treadmill, releases stress. Whether you’re reconnecting with nature or burning calories, the physical activity allows you to purge the tension.
Additionally, exercising releases endorphins that make you feel good, which is a 180 from the stress you had before.
5. Laugh it up
You know laughing is a damn good time. So why not use it when things are getting uncomfortable?
It’s been shown that laughter relieves stress and exhaustion.
Laughing makes you feel great, and when you’re feeling better it’s easier to focus and get back to business.
However you have to get a laugh in, do it. You can make light of the situation, watch a funny video or listen to someone else’s jokes.
Once you laugh you’ll instantly feel like a load was lifted.
6. Chew gum
This one is probably the simplest one of them all. Chewing gum, I’m sure you’re smacking yourself on the forehead with the news of that one.
Yes, it does more than just freshen your breath. But there’s probably no way you would have known this can be a stress reliever.
Studies have shown that chewing gum lowers your cortisol levels. This is a hormone associated with stress.
So grab a pack when you feel your stress levels climbing.
Make it fun, chew bubble gum and pop some bubbles. This will surely switch things up in minutes.
7. Sleep it off
You know how you feel every morning when you wake up, anew and fresh. Each morning you wake up it’s like a fresh start.
But just because it isn’t bedtime doesn’t mean you can’t get those same results. Taking a short, power nap can be just the thing to reset your brain and start again.
In fact, you can wake up with the simple solution you’ve been dying for. Something that takes away all the stress of the situation for good.
Just don’t nap for too long. You want to be refreshed, not become nocturnal or use this to avoid the situation completely.
8. Hug it out
If you’re at work or get some stressful news while running errands this probably isn’t going to work.
By no means am I suggesting that you grab the nearest stranger and give them the tightest hug you can possibly give. That could cause a whole slew of other problems.
But when you’re venting about your frustrations to a friend or loved one and the offer a hug, take it.
Just think about how you felt the last time someone gave you a hug when you were going through something. It does help.
9. Be mindful
Sounds simple enough, right? Just focus on what you’re doing at the moment.
Paying attention to the present and not letting anything else distract you seems like a no brainer but you’re still not doing it.
This reminds me of when I was renewing my passport. I put everything in the envelope, sealed it and dropped in the mail.
It wasn’t until later when someone questioned me on whether I included all the necessary documents that I started to worry. But at that point what was I going to do?
The Post Office was already closed and processing the mail for the day. It’s not like I could go back in and swan dive into a pile of letters looking for mine to make sure.
I was confident that I included everything when I sealed it and had to just let it go at that point. I couldn’t stress myself out continuing to worry anymore, it was beyond my control. I just had to wait and see.
And guess what, it turned out fine.
Don’t stress yourself out worrying about something that you can’t take care of in the moment. Instead focus on what you have to do now, and deal with that when the time comes… if it ever does.
Most of the time, you’ll find you were worried and stressed for nothing.
Regaining Focus and Releasing Stress
Being able to do anything other than panic when you’re stressed seems impossible but you can get over it quickly. Stress doesn’t not have to settle in before you’re able to get rid of it.
By relieving the stress early on you save yourself a lot of time and a cheap thrill of the rollercoaster it takes you on.
Quickly eliminating stress and keeping your focus means maintaining your progress and ability to achieve the bigger picture.
You’re a champ, even in the face of the most stressful situation you can come out victorious. Knock stress down before it knocks you out.
You can do it! I know you’ve got it in you.
What stresses you out and how have you gotten over it?