Reducing Stress Quickly is Easy with These Tips

By Stepy Kamei

If there's one health issue we can all relate to, it's the effects that stress can have on the body. Some people (such as myself) have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, but plenty of others are able to feel the impact a long day at work can have on their body and mind. Anxiety has many different triggers, which really all depend on the person's life experiences. This can sometimes make it difficult to sense a bout of anxiety coming on, let alone allow you time to calm yourself down so it doesn't escalate to high levels. If you know even just a few ways in which you can fight off anxiety before it gets too unbearable, you can feel more empowered and comfortable in your everyday life. Keep some of these simple mental tricks in your back pocket to pull out in times of great stress and anxiety for better mental health. 

Embrace the Stress and Breathe Into It

This sounds like the last possible thing you'd want to do in the midst of high stress. Why would you possibly want to accept and embrace anxiety when it makes you feel so uncomfortable? Studies have shown that when people acknowledge their feelings of stress, this can actually cause it to recede almost immediately. Stress is constantly trying to get your attention to "alert" you to something bad. Even though in this day and age you hardly need to take a stress response seriously, your primitive mind still responds to it. Taking a moment to accept your stress, rather than trying to suppress it, may be enough to shut it down.

Perform a Simple Body Scan

Often, the physical body will respond to stress in a way which causes discomfort. If, for example, after a fight with a loved one you're feeling stressed, notice how your body feels physically. Start from the top of your head and slowly work your way down, noticing any areas of tension. Is your chest tight? Are your fists clenched? Focus on these areas to release tension in order to help your mind relax.

Practice Forgiveness and Gratitude

Sometimes, stress can be the result of self-criticism. Learning to be compassionate and forgiving with yourself in the face of mistakes can be helpful in remaining calm every day. It may also help to start up a gratitude journal, in which you record just three things you're grateful for every day. They can be simple things, such as your new coffeemaker, or the fact that you have a warm bed to sleep in every night. Learning to appreciate what you have may help you gain the perspective needed to reduce stress.