For most of us, stress is just another part of daily life. Whether it’s triggered by a circumstance we feel trapped within, a relationship dynamic that just isn’t working, or the sheer quantity of things we need to do, it’s an experience we’re all-too familiar with.
While we may not be able to directly change a number of stressors in our life, we can change our reaction to those seeming “fire starters” and, more importantly, how long we allow ourselves to be affected by them.
I’ve always considered myself relatively good at nipping stress in the bud, but my ability to do so has been tested this year more than ever before. Whether it was the start of my own business or the tumultuous end to a relationship, I’ve found myself teetering from stress on a seemingly weekly basis.
But these experiences hold a silver lining, which I’d like to share with you. These are the six best ways I’ve discovered to de-stress and regain your composure instantly, in both video and written form:
I know this is likely the thing you’re tired of hearing the most when you find yourself on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but it has been suggested to you as many times at it has for a reason.
Our breath is the most powerful reminder we have that, regardless of what we’re stressing about, it truly isn’t the end of the world. If it were, you wouldn’t be able to breathe at all.
Rather than allowing your mind to continue hijacking your body’s natural functions, use your breath to bring yourself back into the driver seat and as a reminder that this too shall pass.
2. Just Do It
While this certainly won’t apply to all forms of stress, it will apply to one of the most common instigators: the fear of something on the horizon.
Rather than giving my mind even more time to fabricate how terrifying an upcoming situation will be and envision all its many terrible outcomes, I’ve found one of the best ways to de-stress is to literally just do it now.
Get it out of the way, deal with the experience, and even if it goes terribly, you’ll be on your way to moving beyond it, a state of being that is far healthier for you than perpetual fear-triggered stress. Things are rarely turn out as badly as we worry they will, after all, and we do ourselves an injustice by letting an imagined future ruin a current present.
3. Get Excited
I understand the idea of shifting stress into excitement seems implausible, but it truly is possible.
How so? By reminding yourself that everything you’ve accomplished in life, and everything you now love to brag about, was once outside of your comfort zone.
Each of those experiences are living proof of circumstances in which you did not let stress stop you from doing something that you now eternally have on your life’s resume.
4. One Thing Only
Back in June of this year I wrote an article on why I believe multitasking is complete B.S. And while some of you may disagree with that stance, I strongly encourage you to at least consider it when you find yourself stressed out by the number of things that you need to do.
While accomplishing several things at once may seem like the better use of your time, it’s something that so few of us are truly capable of doing effectively (read the article linked above to find out why). One of the best tactics I’ve found to shift my stress into productivity is to focus fully on one task at a time. You’ll be amazed by how much more effectively you can accomplish a task when you give it all your conscious attention — which includes tucking away those addictive distractions!
5. Tap Into Gratitude
If you’re a regular reader of my content you’ll know that gratitude is a recurring theme within it, so of course I’m going to list it as one of my top ways to de-stress.
Rather than allowing yourself to fizzle out in frustration, harness that energy in a more positive direction by challenging yourself to list off at least 10 things you’re grateful for in life.
This not only reminds you that things as a whole aren’t as bad as they currently seem, but it also breaks up the cycle of thoughts your stress depends upon to thrive.
6. Funniest Moment
I don’t care how challenging your life has been thus far; we’ve all experienced several moments in our life where we could not control our laughter. I’m talking about the times where you collapsed to the ground, your eyes started watering, and your cheeks or stomach ended up hurting before you could regain “control.”
Not only were those experiences fun to live through the first time around, but they can also be powerful tools now to break yourself out of a stressful state. When you find yourself freaking out, think back and recall the circumstances of that funniest moment. While you may not be able to relive it to the same degree, the recollection may remind you that life isn’t as serious as your stress is currently trying to convince you that it is.