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Being stressed out can cause your behavior to change and make you feel easily overwhelmed, irritated, and anxious.
What’s even worse is once stress starts to take over, other areas of your life like your relationships and work start to suffer.
According to research, 77% of people in the US regularly experience symptoms related to stress.
48% of those people say that stress has a huge impact on their personal and professional lives.
We all feel stressed at one time or another, and it’s a pretty normal part of life. Just like with anything else, stress is OK in moderation and it can sometimes push us to do better.
But, when things like school or work become overwhelming or you have money issues, stress quickly turns into a much more serious problem.
Reducing stress is important and you’ll want to first figure out what causes it for you. What might keep you up at night is a small worry to someone else. That’s why knowing
your triggers can help you recognize when you’re starting to feel stressed.
That’s when you can start to learn how to reduce stress in your life and feel better.
Are you ready to reduce the stress in your life and feel more calm?
Great! Let’s get started.
What Triggers Stress?
You’ll want to first figure out what is causing stress in your life before you know how to reduce it.
The top 6 causes of stress are:
1. Job Pressure
2. Money Issues
3. Health Problems
4. Bad Diet
5. Being Influenced By Social Media
6. Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you work 40 hours a week at a job that puts a lot of pressure on you, that’s a good amount of time that you feel pressure. And if you have money issues that you can’t stop thinking about on a daily basis, that’s an example of chronic stress too.
The next thing you have to do is determine what is triggering stress to you? On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed out do you feel right now?
15 Ways To Reduce Stress Fast and Feel More Calm
1. Focus your attention
The main reason we feel stressed and how it gets out of hand is because we go into panic mode. Our minds tell us to freak out, so we get scared and it’s difficult to think clearly.
Focus on one thing that calms you down. Don’t make it worse by worrying and producing bad thoughts over and over again.
What you’re worried about right now is out of your control, and you have to quickly get to a state of mind where you are in control.
This doesn’t have to be complicated! Actually, the less complicated the better when you’re trying to calm down and relieve stress.
Close your eyes and think about something that makes you happy, that always calms you down when you’re there.
For me, that’s sitting outside on a sunny day with a good book and smelling some veggie burgers getting cooked out on the grill.
Or the sound of the ocean. If you can’t imagine these things, try to work on the grounding technique.
Grounding techniques help put you in the present moment and regain your focus, when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Some things you can try are closing your eyes and listening to what is going on right now. If you’re at work, listen to the keyboards typing in the background.
Listen to people chatting down the hallway. What do you smell? What do you see? And just sit in silence, being fully aware of the things around you.
When you feel like you need to relieve stress right now, but aren’t in a calm zone to do it, practicing grounding techniques can help put you back in the present.
Instead of thinking “this is the end of the world, and I’m going to freak out right now.” you can calm yourself down and believe you will figure things out.
2. Take a break
Whether you’re at work, school, or home if you’re feeling overwhelmed you need to take a break. The unfortunate part about what happens to the inside of us is that nobody else can see it.
If you were to break your leg or started throwing up, people would instantly know something is wrong with you. They give you more of a break because they can visually see what’s wrong.
What goes on in your brain is a different story. It’s why some people don’t think depression is a valid reason to skip work. Some people just don’t get it.
You can’t rely on someone to say “you don’t look so good, maybe you should go outside for a bit.” You have to do it yourself.
If the pressure at work is getting to you so bad that you can’t focus, then get up from your desk and go take a walk.
And if you’re at home, take a long walk to really clear your mind. A long walk to yourself is such a great way to practice self-care and to listen to what you need right now.
Stress is caused because we are pulled in a million different directions. When our lives are hectic, we beat ourselves up because we can’t always keep up.
Sometimes, we just can’t take the hustle and the bustle every single day. But, instead of beating yourself up over it, listen to your body. Take a break!
What’s surprising is what we consider acceptable. Working into your fingers fall off. Hustling to get what you want. This creates a strong sense of urgency and huge amounts of pressure.
When don’t live up to these crazy standards, we feel terrible about ourselves. But, the only way to feel good about yourself is by letting go of what you should do and listening to what you need.
Knowing when to take a break and when to take time for yourself will benefit you so much in the long run. You’ll feel happier, be more confident and you’ll know what your limits are to avoid stress.
3. Talk to someone
Ok, so you know what happens when you add Mentos to Coke right? If not, you can get an idea here.
Bear with me for a second while I explain why this relates to stress.
Humans are the Coke in this instant and outside factors (or stressors) are the Mentos. Once the Mentos get put into the Coke, pressure just builds and builds and builds.
Until the bottle explodes. When you’re stressed, it build ups until you can’t take it anymore.
Some people resort to alcohol or drugs to numb it. Others resort to exercising like crazy to try and release it.
But, I truly believe that getting all the crap that’s been building up in your head out into the open is the best way to get rid of stress fast.
What’s difficult is that you might not want to let anyone know you’re struggling. A good way to build onto that pressure is by pretending everything is fine.
But, the best way you can quickly relieve stress and feel a WHOLE lot better is by calling up your closest friend and just saying “hey, I need to vent.”
Some people hate talking. They don’t see a purpose in it if they can just handle things themselves. But, being open about things that are stressing you out is a great way to build up close relationships.
Nobody can relate to the perfect “Pinterest” girl who has it all together. People can relate and connect with people who go through some crazy crap and who aren’t afraid to admit it.
There’s a fine line between venting out your problems and complaining about everything. It’s why some people who NEED to vent avoid talking at all, since they don’t want to come across as a complainer.
The difference is, a complainer loves to make a comment about everything all throughout the day, every day. A venter keeps it together until it’s just impossible to hold in anymore. They try to see if they can solve the problem on their own before talking to someone about it.
I think it takes a while to be lables as a complainer. Most complainers don’t admit they have a problem. They just want to get a reaction out of people.
4. Blast Some Music
Sometimes, music is the greatest thing in the world and other times it adds onto the stress. Like listening to the radio during traffic at 5pm with the same songs on repeat.
Instead, you need to create a Spotify playlist with all of your go-to songs. The ones that instantly make you feel better. With lyrics that relate to what you’re going through right now.
When we’re stressed and overwhelmed, it’s all too easy to believe we’re all alone. Nobody is going through the pain you’re in right now. But, music is the best evidence in stating you’re NOT alone.
There’s always someone else out there who has been in your shoes. They also most likely wrote a song about it.
My favorite band is Paramore (you might love me or hate me for saying that). Ever since I was 15, they have been my rock as far as music goes. Whenever I am stressed out, I love to drive around listening to them.
You have to find what songs work best for you. And really tune into the lyrics and try to focus in the moment. Ignore the other crap going on, and blast a good song that helps you focus on the moment right now.
Singing your heart out can also help relieve some of that stress. It’s similar to talking it out, because you are releasing something.
5. Punch A Pillow
This isn’t the most common suggestion you’ll get. Some might think punching a pillow brings out aggression problems.
But, there are just some days when it is necessary.
Imagine you have a day where everything goes wrong. From not getting enough sleep, to Starbucks getting your coffee order wrong, to your boss calling you out about not getting your work done on time.
When you’re finally off work, you spend 45 minutes in traffic trying to get home, with about 10 people cutting you off during the process.
Then you get home and your dog got into the trash and you realize there isn’t any food in the house for dinner.
It’s just one of those days. Where you just want to scream.
I’ve been there.
Something that seems to help is punching a pillow. And it might sound really weird.
But, all you have to do is try it to see if it works for you or not. And sometimes, just punching the crap out of a pillow can really relieve built up stress.
Especially if you just want to scream.
The way I see it, is it’s very similar to a punching bag (and if you have one of those, use that!). It’s just like an intense workout.
Instead of having to do a 30 minute instense workout, you can just go punch a pillow for a few minutes until you feel a sense of relief.
Weird? Yes. Effective? Also, yes.
6. Do A High Intensity Workout
If punching a pillow is not your cup of tea, an intense workout is a great option.
When you’re stressed, most people think you need to learn how to stay calm and relaxed. This is definitely true (which is why yoga is on this list), but there are other ways to effectively release stress.
Sometimes, staying calm and trying to have a relaxing evening isn’t what you need. Some people can’t bring themselves to practice mindfulness and enjoy a hot bath.
Relaxing methods are for long-term stress relief. I believe in these methods, but I also know what it’s like to just need to release the tension.
During really stressful moments in my life, I do have to say I became the most fit I’ve ever been. High intensity workouts were my go-to after a stressful day at my toxic job.
And the thing that’s great about HIIT? You only need to do it for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill out and get a great workout in.
7. Get Organized
Chaos breeds chaos. If you have paperwork everywhere and emails that need to be answered, focus on getting organized.
Organization is all about focusing on your priorities. You most likely don’t have a whole lot of time to go through your emails and reply to them.
Instead you can come up with a system that works based off your priorities. When you are sorting through your emails, make a new folder for the top priority ones that need a response.
Leave the rest for another day when you have more time and are less stressed.
Cleaning can help reduce stress because it gives you something to focus on and is a decent workout.
Having a clean and organized work space, plus home, will remove that chaos from your life. And it’ll give you more time to focus on how to relieve stress in other areas of your life.
8. Eat a whole meal
Running on coffee until lunch time and then only eating a salad won’t do much for your stress levels.
Same thing if you decide to go through the drive-thru every day. There’s a fine balance with eating the right food to reduce stress.
Certain foods will help with low blood sugar (which causes stress!). Cortisol levels.
9. Practice Yoga
Yoga has so many benefits, a top one being it relieves stress. The combination of exercise, deep breathing, mediation, and relaxation, it’s one of the best options for relieving stress.
If you’re at work, there are some yoga poses you can do right at your desk!
If you have an open work environment, it might not be possible. But, practicing yoga a few times a week, after work, is enough to help lower stress levels.
Yoga requires a lot of focus on your part and it takes practice.
10. Drink Water
Dehydration leads to higher cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone.
Since our bodies are made up of about 55% of water, it makes sense that a lack of water causes tension.
Drinking enough water during the day isn’t that hard, especially if you can find a water bottle that’s 32 ounces.
The recommended drinking amount is 64 ounces. You’d just need to drink 2 bottles and you’re done for the day!
Sometimes it’s the simplest things we take for granted and the simplest things that can quickly help.
11. Have Some Fun + Laugh
Getting caught up in being an adult means things get serious fast. We work so hard to make enough money and be successful at work.
Letting loose and having fun is only something we reserve occasionally for Friday nights if we aren’t completely exhausted from the week.
Having fun is something you should do on a daily basis, and it’s such a good way to relieve some stress.
What happens is we get scared to have fun, because we feel we have to do all the stuff we hate first. We don’t think we deserve to have fun.
Which makes life a lot less colorful. Having fun every day doesn’t mean you’re a wreckless adult. Especially if you spend most of your day working hard.
Don’t forget to laugh often and enjoy yourself. Even on your most stressful day. There are no rules that say you can’t enjoy yourself at leasr part of the time.
Laughing is one way you can relax and realize what you’re worried about isn’t all that serious. If you’re laughing, things aren’t too serious right?
12. Cut Back on Caffeine
This is a tough one. I pretty much need coffee to function at all in the mornings. You don’t have to completely get rid of caffeine, just minimize your intake.
If you find you need a third cup of coffee most days in the afternoon to get energy, you’ll probably want to work on cutting back.
Caffeine causes dehydration. The more you drink it, the more you crave it but eventually it stops doing the job correctly.
You get used to it, and instead of a caffeine boost you’re just hit with an afternoon headache. But, in the evening is when it stays in your system.
Too much caffeine can affect your sleep and your cortisone levels will easily get out of control. Try to swap out a large glass of iced water instead of coffee in the afternoons. And chug it to quickly get a burst of energy.
13. Relax With A Bath
At the end of a long and stressful day, finish it off with a relaxing bubble bath.
Try out some essential oils and use epsom salts.
A bath can help relieve tension in your muscles and the smells will help relax you.
14. Get some rest
Sleep is so important. More than most people realize. In our society, we think we can get away with very little sleep.
It backfires and we end up reaching for that third cup of coffee and it’s difficult to focus throughout the day.
Instead of staying up late finishing last minute work, leave it for the next day. The energy you’ll have with enough sleep will be well worth it.
15. Evaluate what’s causing stress in your life + work on fixing it
You might get plenty of rest and don’t have issues with caffeine intake.
Something is causing you stress, and what you have to do is recognize what that is.
Most people can’t recognize when they are stressed. They get emotional and feel the side effects of stress, but sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint what it is.
And what’s causing it. Once you learn to recognize the signs of stress, and what is effecting you, you can learn to relieve it properly.
All of these tips will help you relieve stress, but of the keys to reducing stress in your life is understanding what is the cause in the first place.
Use this page for anytime you’re feeling stressed out and decide which one works best for you.
If you’re looking for more help with building a stronger mindset, reducing stress, and creating your dream life, make sure to check out Natalie Bacon’s Design Your Dream Life Academy.
Design Your Dream Life Academy talks all about:
- Emotions and feelings
- Overwhelm, burnout, and busyness
- Time management
- Goal setting
- Bonus lessons on skills to get good at.
The course is packed full of information that begins with changing your mindset to push through obstacles and ends with giving you important life skills that everyone needs to know.
You can check out the course here: https://courses.nataliebacon.com/courses/design-your-dream-life-academy?affcode=207359_vtiafq4e
If you enjoyed this article or have any questions, leave a comment below!
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