Too much stress isn’t pleasant and it can often pop into your life almost unannounced. There are lots of things that can trigger stress but the good news is that there also lots of things that will get rid of it in a few minutes – some as short as 5 minutes, others take a bit longer but none of the methods I’ve listed here should take more than 30 minutes.
Check a few of the ways and, longer term, home in on the one that works best for you most of the time. We all react to things slightly differently so there’s no “one size fits all” answer.
Start by acknowledging you’re stressed
Sometimes the mere act of saying that you’re more stressed than you’d like to be can be enough to at least reduce the level. And, even if it doesn’t, it’s probably the first step in the process.
Take a deep breath
Long, deep, breaths (and out breaths) are a good way to help reduce your stress levels.
They also give your mind a bit of breathing space (literally) to come to terms with whatever you’re coming to terms with.
You can also follow along with a longer guided breathing exercise (just under half an hour) if you need to bring your stress levels down a lot.
Laugh out loud
Laughter often really is the best medicine.
Laughing out loud sends all sorts of signals to your body. Lester Levenson (the founder of the Sedona Method) used it to prolong his life by 42 years after a heart attack.
Find something that you can laugh at and then do just that.
Subscribe to a funny videos channel if you want to make the process of finding them quicker.
Fast food restaurants put their menus high up for a reason – you can’t be gloomy when your head is pointing upwards.
So look up – and maybe punch the air above your head and yell “Yes! Yes! Yes!” as well if you want a nearly instant stress reduction.
Drink a herbal tea
OK, this might take a bit longer than 5 minutes as the tea needs chance to brew. But it’s still pretty quick.
If you’ve got a shelf full of herbal teas then pick one that resonates with you at the time.
It could be a regular green tea or any other one that takes your fancy – my personal favorite is Jasmine green tea as I like the flavor as well as the chill out effect.
Take a 5 minute break
This will literally break your current state. Walk somewhere – even if it’s only into another room (do your best not to pace round things though) but ideally outside so you get the benefit of some fresh air and a change in surroundings.
Whether you choose to interact with other people during this break is up to a combination of you and your stress level. If it would wind you up more to have to deal with others, even if they think they’re trying to help, then don’t. But often talking to other people can help with the de-stressing process.
Tap your stress away
There’s a technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which involves tapping on various acupressure points:
Step away from yourself
If you’ve ever spoken to someone who talks about themself in the third person, you’ll know what this is.
The process of talking about yourself as though you’re someone else is called dissociation and forces your mind to think about you differently.
In the process of doing that, it can rationalise a lot of the things that have been stressing you out.
Obviously only if it’s appropriate, so unless you’re at some kind of new age event it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to hug a perfect stranger. But a friend or maybe even a work colleague – with their permission – should be OK.
Pet an animal
Again, if it’s appropriate. This could be your pet – they can be quite therapeutic but obviously there’s a responsibility with owning an animal – or it could be someone else’s.
If you’re out and about and someone is walking their dog and the dog approaches you, tail wagging, then if the owner approves you could stroke the dog. Obviously this is a bit random – if it’s raining outside, dogs tend to have enough sense to stay indoors, even if their owners have less sense.
Play yourself an MP3
This could be a track you enjoy listening to and that calms you down.
Or it could be one that’s been specially produced to trim down your stress levels.
The one I’d recommend comes in two versions – 15 minutes and 30 minutes – so isn’t a totally quick fix but it’s pretty close.
It uses some special technology (that you don’t need to know much about other than it works) to bring your stress levels down fast and keep them that way for hours after you’ve listened.
You can check it out here – I think you’ll find it an excellent solution to de-stressing “on demand”.