9 Things You Can Do Anytime to Relieve Stress Quickly

how to relieve stress

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

And another.

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.

2. Meditate

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.

 

Tell me…

What stresses you out and how have you gotten over it?

 

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  • Hi Lea,

    Thanks for putting up another great, really helpful post on managing stress. Your “Hug it out” made me smile–imagine going for a walk outside, because you’re stressed out, and hugging that poor thing.

    I agree that deep breathing is a powerful resort, but would you believe that sometimes I forget to do this? Talk about stress, right?

    I’m also an afternoon-napper. In many many cases, naps/enough sleep do save the day. I struggle with this a bit, though, for I used to sleep late–I took my sleeping hours for granted, and I wondered why I got so tired so easily. I used to contend that sleeping late isn’t a biggie as long as you complete your six to eight hours, but I’m starting to believe in the “natural progression” of the day–I sleep and get up earlier now, and it feels great … but maybe that’s just me πŸ™‚

    • Lea

      Hi Ethan,

      Ha! Funny how the first thing stress can attack is your memory. Now, taking deep breaths is the only thing I do. Sometimes I even stop listening at that point.

      I’m also a night owl who believed the same thing. What does it matter when you do it as long as its done, right? It’s not just you, since I’ve started going to bed at a reasonable time and getting up earlier not only am I more productive but I don’t tire easily. We’re in the same boat πŸ™‚

      ~Lea

  • Those are all great tips. I usually work out whenever I’m stressed. It usually does the trick.

    • Lea

      A living example! Thanks for sharing Jason.

      ~Lea

  • Great tips Lea…I remember the first time I realised that so much of the stress in my life was caused by…you guessed it…the way I thought about things. That simple awareness eliminated much of the stress I brought on myself. πŸ™‚

    • Lea

      Thanks Elle! Isn’t it incredible how easy it ends up being to lift that weight. I used to overcomplicate things myself. Now it’s simple pimple πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Lea

  • Stella Chiu

    Hi, Lea

    Nobody likes “stress” which affects our health. Some of them I have already use.
    The best way for managing “stress” is to walk outside.The fresh air clears my head and new revelation suddenly appear.

    – Thanks

    • Lea

      Hi Stella,

      No one likes stress but we have a funny way of making a home for it. It’s like we don’t want it but let it stay aroud anyway.

      Amazing! My fave is to take a deep breath, getting control of myself before anything helps a lot.

      Enjoy the weekend!

      ~Lea

  • Great advice Lea, and I love your point about making a home for stress, so true! I’ve used each of your tips at one time or another but the one that always seems to work best for me is taking a walk. It seems no matter what is bugging me some quality time in the park with my dog really clears my head and helps me to put things into perspective.

    • Lea

      Thanks Marquita! That’s awesome. Isn’t it funny how just getting away can help you solve what you’re escaping from.

      I tend to do that as well here and there. I just need the break before it becomes too much.

      Thanks for sharing, appreciated as always.

      ~Lea

  • Mark Newsome

    Thanks for the excellent advice Lea!

    And I can definitely afford a pack or two
    of juicy fruit!LOL!

    For sure old stress has one far too many win able
    battles with me!

    And who knew, there nine proven, low cost, extremely
    effective ways of tipping the scales in my favor.

    Isn’t it funny, how in far too many cases, there are extremely simple,
    practical solutions, right under our noises!

    Thanks for pointing out some really practical, do it yourself
    solutions!

    • Lea

      All my pleasure Mark!

      You may never have know otherwise cause when stress hits you you don’t have time to google things. You just have to know what to do and put it to work. And now you do.

      Yes! I’m really starting to think we overcomplicate life for no reason. I don’t know why we torture ourselves so.

      Thanks for shopping by. Enjoy the evening.

      ~Lea

  • Hey Lea,

    You make some great points about stress. I did not know gum helped reduce stress levels. I am really good at managing stress, especially in the face of it. I might react differently when I am by myself but I generally do well with stress. Sometimes it can be the very thing that makes me focus in on what I am doing far better.

    I used to let my mind think over things and take things out of proportion and worry over nothing. For many years I have reined my thoughts in. A wondering mind is never any good when stress is upon us. So having full control over what one thinks about is very important. Thanks for the steps.

    Rachel.

    • Lea

      Hey Rachel,

      Yeah, isn’t that funny. It’s probably also serves as a good distraction.

      No it sure isn’t. In fact the only thing its good for is distorting and making worse what is already there. Yes, it all starts with the mind.

      Have a good one!

      ~Lea

  • Hi Lea,

    Great list but you forgot to add drink wine…only kidding lol.

    Actually, I’ve done some of them and found it useful, especially gaining focus whereby I do a lot of self talk. I kind of mix it with meditation…relaxing each part of my body and then focusing on what’s bugging me, then self talk myself out of it.

    When all else fails, I do have a little punching bag in my office. I just gently punch it for momentum, but it does get me out of that stress space.

    -Donna

    • Lea

      Hi Donna,

      Lol, good one.

      Oooooooo, the little punching bag is an interesting concept. I used to have the little squeeze things in my desk draw but I think some of them were too soft. It just left like I was straining my hand.

      Thanks for sharing your process. I’m sure it’ll help many.

      ~Lea

  • Hi Lea, Those are great tips – some of which I already use – and some that I can now add to my repertoire.

    I actually seem to spend most of my life in what I call “overwhelm mode”, so it’s a constant battle! I go to yoga and it’s helping but I have to confess it still takes me ages to turn off that busy voice inside my head.

    The biggest tip that has helped me is learning to say “No” or “Later” to taking on extra projects that will increase my stress levels.

    I also use a system of task prioritisation recommended by Steven Covey, categorising tasks my importance vs urgency etc. Badly described and I can’t remember its name, but you’ll know the one I mean. I see it in my head and when deciding which task to do next I just slot them into each of his 4 boxes and it’s more obvious which is the next one to tackle.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    • Lea

      Hi Joy,

      Glad to be of service πŸ™‚

      I find that meditating can help to gain mental control. Maybe you should try that when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

      I know what you mean. I had to say no also. I would try to be everything for everyone and it was just too much and too stressful. It’s tough but you have to do it for yourself.

      Sounds like a good plan. I’d have to write them down after that or risk for getting what I have to do until the last minute.

      ~Lea

  • Hi Lea
    Very effective tips you mentioned and each one could be followed by just a little effort and no time is required for doing this.
    Stress if taken consistently could bring chronic diseases in addition to massively hitting the productivity of its victim.
    Stress for a while could be negligible but one should not make it habit to take it for granted and should follow above tips to get rid of it before it stays permanently.
    Many thanks for sharing this very useful info

    • Lea

      Hi Mi,

      You’re exactly right. Stress only get worse if you don’t find a good way to address it, which is why these tips are so important.

      Thanks so much.

      ~Lea