Updated: Apr 13, 2021
It’s easy to try to ignore your stress when you have many other things going on. The problem is, that it takes more time to do things when you are stressed.
Here are 9 quick ideas for reducing stress when you do not have time to waste.
1. Change Your Environment.
Take a mini “vacation” by stepping outside for a moment, doing something pleasurable
like reading a book or watching a video, or jumping in the shower.
2. Participate in a Rhythmic Activity.
Walking or running are very pattern oriented. They can help you readjust your focus
and relieve stress. Or, pick up a couple of pens or chopsticks and drum on the table to
also find a similar response.
3. Do Something Creative.
Creativity doesn't have to revolve around a big project. Doing something you enjoy like
photography, coloring, or baking can remove you from the stress you are experiencing.
Creative activities require focus and concentration and can also often have the added
benefit of physical activity, like when drawing or rolling out dough.
4. Be Present and Slow Down.
Take 5 minutes to focus on what is happening right now. Notice the air on your face,
how you are breathing or walking or whatever your hands might be touching. When
you spend time in the present moment, you are less likely to notice the stress.
When you take 2 minutes to focus on breathing in and out, it allows you to separate
from everything else. Take this time to only notice your breath and leave everything else
6. Laugh Out Loud.
Laughing unburdens you from the mental stress of the moment. It lowers cortisol, your
body’s stress hormone, and increases endorphins to lighten your mood. Find that good
belly laugh by watching your favorite comedian, a funny pet or kid video or chat with
someone who makes you smile. Whatever it is, find something to make you laugh.
7. Blast Those Tunes.
Playing some of your favorite music can quickly turn your mood around, especially if you
pick something contrary to what you are currently feeling. If you are anxious, pick
something calm or if you are sad, pick an upbeat tune.
Wrap up in your favorite blanket or use a warm heat wrap around your neck to
Tip: Fill up a long sock with dry, uncooked rice and tie it off. You can warm the rice filled
sock in your microwave (only a few seconds!) and use it as a heat wrap for your neck,
shoulders or back.
Use can also use a foam roller or ball to work out the tension in your muscles. Position
the roller or ball in the spot and apply pressure while rolling it around gently.
9. Teach Your Body to Relax and Your Mind Will Follow.
Use a progressive muscle relaxation technique to get your muscles to relax. When your
physiological state is more relaxed, you have a harder time being stressed.