When stress hits, it can be tough to know how to deal with it. Especially when the pressure is coming from all directions, it can be hard to keep your head on straight. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 11 ways to deal with stress in the moment, so you can get back to being your best self.
(1) Stop and take a breath.
When you feel that surge of stress running through your blood, stop for a moment and take a deep breath in and then breathe out slowly. This will help slow down your heart rate and allow you to think more clearly.
(2) Find support from friends or family—and let them support you.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, confide in someone who is close to you about how you feel. Sometimes it helps to have a second person in the mix when things are stressful!
(3) Leave the situation.
If possible, get out of whatever situation is causing your stress (and go somewhere quiet if needed). Even a few minutes away from the source of your stress can help you feel better.
(4) Do something nice for someone else.
When we’re stressed, it’s easy to focus only on ourselves and our problems—so turn that frown upside down by doing something nice for somebody else! Doing acts of kindness as a way to cope with stress is a great idea, and research shows it can actually make you happier in the long run.
(5) Practice deep breathing exercises.
When we’re stressed, our muscles tense up as part of the fight-or-flight response—and those muscle contractions can lead to headaches or even muscle pain. Deep breathing exercises are a simple way to relax your muscles and get rid of some of that tension.
(6) Write down your feelings.
When you’re feeling really stressed, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what you are feeling or how you are reacting. When writing about your emotions surrounding the stressor, try to put all your thoughts and reactions on paper, even if it seems silly or irrational. This can help you process your feelings—and get rid of some of the stress!
(7) Take time for yourself.
No matter how busy you are, taking some time each day to do something that makes you feel refreshed is important. It could be listening to your favorite song or watching a movie, taking a walk around the block, stretching, meditating—whatever makes you feel good.
There is no better mood booster than laughter. Take some time out of your day and watch a funny video that will make you laugh (even if it’s just for a minute).
(9) Do something active.
At least 30 minutes of physical activity each day is important for your overall wellness. It can help you boost your immune system, release endorphins, and get rid of stress. Some great ways to deal with stress are taking a walk around the block or doing pushups while watching TV commercials.
(10) Listen to some music.
Listening to your favorite tunes can boost your mood and take some of the edge off an otherwise stressful day. Just make sure that the music you listen to isn’t something that will put you into a worse mood (like listening to your “angry” playlist when you’re trying to relax).
(11) Remember that stress is a natural part of life.
It’s OK to feel stressed—but it’s not OK to let the stress take over your whole life. The important thing is to remember that what you are feeling will pass and won’t stay with you forever.
Stress is a normal, natural part of life—but it doesn’t make those tough times any easier. Learning how to deal with stress in healthy ways can help you feel happier and more fulfilled as you go through your daily activities. Try these eleven tricks the next time you start to feel overwhelmed by what life throws at you!