We all have had to deal with stress at work, at home, and even among friends and family.  In most cases you can walk away and recover, but sometimes you are forced to stay in the stressful situation, such as meetings or holiday dinners.  Here are some tips on how you can reduce your stress in the moment without just bottling it up for later.

  • Control Your Breathing – Taking deep, controlled breaths can make a world of difference when you are stressed out.  This is my number one relaxation technique when I am trying to calm down, whether facing extreme anxiety or just preparing for bed.  Focusing on your breathing helps keep your brain from overanalyzing all the issues and problems running rampant in your mind.
  • Picture yourself Stress Free – It might sound a little silly, but picture your “happy place.”  Somewhere you are comfortable and relaxed, perhaps a spa getaway, or a porch swing at the ranch house.  Replacing your stress filled thoughts with images of relaxing locations and feelings will help you stay relaxed.
  • Count Your Blessings – Try to remember at least a few things you are grateful for that have happened recently.  Focus on the good things, like that great parking spot you got this morning, or that you are going to a nice dinner tonight.  Viewing the positives helps train your brain to look for the good things first and block out the negatives.
  • Move around – If the situation allows, get up and move around.  Walking around, even in the room, will help your body de-stress.  Exercise is a great way to rid you of anxiety and overall increase your happiness levels.  Use the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away, or jog on your lunch.
  • Listen to some Music – Sneak an ear bud in your ear if you can, and listen to some tunes.  Music of your choosing can help you relax and forget about your woes.  If you aren’t a big music fan, try listening to nature sounds, like heavy rainfall or ocean waves, as they are useful in helping your mind reach a state of bliss.
  • Journal – Writing in a journal can make you less tense and less likely to snap at your coworkers.  Journaling isn’t just something teenage girls do about boys; it is a healthy emotional stabilizer.  Don’t just use it for the bad though.  Try to journal about one positive experience every day.  This will allow your mind to relive the experience, giving you a boost of good energy.  Bonus – you can do this while in a meeting and most people will think you are taking notes.