Are you looking for ways to reduce stress fast? You are not alone! 2020 has been a crazy year on steroids. It is understandable to be overwhelmed. Hopefully, these 14 tips can bring you some relief.
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Ways to Reduce Stress Fast
Deep breathing is an immediate fix!
It works by causing your body to send out neurohormones to block stress hormones. And without those stress hormones, you won’t feel as overwhelmed.
There are a couple breathing techniques you can try.
Measured breathing is one. To do it, sit upright and breathe in deeply through the nose, counting:
Breathe out with the same counts:
Repeat for a few minutes.
Another technique is pranayama breathing (it’s from yoga).
To do it, use your thumb to block one side of your nose. Breathe in slowly through the other side. Then, use your first finger to block the other side. Hold for a few counts before removing your thumb. Breathe out.
Try breathing in with four counts, holding the breath for sixteen counts and breathing out for eight counts.
One last technique to try is abdominal breathing. I really like this one.
To do it, sit upright, placing one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe in through your nose so the hand on your stomach rises but the one on your chest does not.
Breathe out through your mouth, tightening your stomach muscles as you push the air out. Repeat for a few minutes.
These truly work to reduce stress fast.
2. Get some sun
A 2008 paper found a link between getting more sunlight and higher levels of serotonin and endorphins in the body.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood.
Endorphins are those feel-good hormones that block pain.
So, if you want to feel better, get some sun!
Sit next to a window when the sunlight is coming in. Step out onto your patio or balcony. Take a walk around the neighborhood. It’ll get you and keep you in a good mood.
3. Take a walk
Exercising also releases endorphins to make you feel good. Go for it! Take that walk. Or do a couple squats or leg raises.
Bonus points if you get some sunlight in.
4. Try aromatherapy
Pleasant smells have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Lavender oil certainly calms me. The wonderful, floral smell is so relaxing. I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect or the compounds in the oil; but it works for me.
Bergamot, clary sage, orange and ylang ylang oils also have similar relaxing benefits.
This 2006 study tested bergamot, lavender and ylang ylang oils on hypertensive patients. It found the oils lowered blood pressure, pulse, blood cortisol, stress and anxiety levels.
Get lavender oil:
5. Listen to music
Music is always relaxing and there are a couple songs that are proven to reduce anxiety and stress.
This wonderful article from Inc.com found this song can work wonders to relax you:
Sounds are also great too. I’m a huge fan of ASMR videos on Youtube. They help me to relax fast.
This isn’t from that creepy co-worker that says you should smile more.
It is from psychologists from the University of Kansas. They found smiling can lower heart rates after doing stressful tasks. Oh, and bigger smiles had better results.
Laughing is also instant stress relief! It reduces the stress response and makes you feel happier and lighter. So, watch a comedy special or a few funny animal videos. Memes are great too!
8. Drink water or tea
So have some water or rehydrating drinks to ease your stress levels.
Tea is also great too. In fact, green tea may have anti-stress, anti-anxiety and attention boosting benefits (source: 2017 study).
9. Have a healthy snack
Studies show Vitamin C can reduce stress hormone levels in the blood. It can ease anxiety too. So, grab healthy snacks rich in the Vitamin.
Check out the top 50 food sources of Vitamin C here.
I can rave about how bullet journaling has helped me to relax, de-stress and get all my thoughts, fears and ideas down on paper and out of my brain. It works!
Paper, post it notes, whiteboards, or a simple notebook works the same way. Use them to organize your thoughts, express your feelings and create a solid plan for reducing your stress.
11. Doodle & color
Doodling and coloring are more ways to reduce stress. I’ve talked about the benefits of adult coloring before. They tend to relax you… and doodling works in the same way. There are even studies like this one that prove it.
12. Clear the clutter
Clutter has been a source of stress for me. So, organizing my space helps me to relax fast. Cleaning also keeps my mind busy, away from the craziness that is 2020.
Consider de-cluttering your inbox and social media accounts too.
13. Have a chat
Discussing what’s causing your stress or venting to friends can also be helpful. You can sort out your thoughts and ideas while discussing everything. Also, don’t underestimate a friendly ear and words of comfort.
Besides relieving stress, sleep can restore your body and balance the mind. Afternoon naps are common in many parts of the world. It is believed they help with work performance too. A good rest helps with everything in my opinion. So, if you have the time, take a nap.
What are your stress relief tips? Do these work for you too?
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