For most of us stress is unfortunately a part of our daily lives. 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 stress instigators in our life, what we do always have control over is our reaction to those seeming "fire starters" -and even more so, how long we allow ourselves to be affected by them.
I've always considered myself relatively strong at being able to metaphorically nip 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 prior relationship, I've found myself teetering with stress on a seemingly weekly basis.
But there is undoubtedly a silver lining in this experience, and it's that silver lining that I'd like to share with you through this article. Here are the 6 ways that I've personally found the most effective at immediately de-stressing and regaining either relaxation or productivity 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 that whatever it is that we are stressing about truly isn't the end of the world. If it were, you wouldn't be able to.
Rather than allowing your mind to continue to compromise your body's functionality, 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 allowing my mind to have even more time to further fabricate how terrifying this upcoming situation is, 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.
3. Get Excited
I understand that the idea of shifting stress into excitement seems non-sensical, but it truly is possible. How so? By reminding yourself that everything that you've accomplished in life, and everything that 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 resume.
4. One Thing Only
Back in June of this year I wrote an article on why I believe multitasking is complete BS. And while some of you may disagree with that stance, I strongly encourage you to at least apply 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 more optimal 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 fully focus on one task at a time. You'll be amazed by how much more effectively you can accomplish a task when it is given all of 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 is depending 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 lives 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 re-gain "control".
Not only were those experiences awesome to initially go through, but they are also incredibly powerful tools to break yourself out of a stressful state. When you find yourself freaking out, think back and re-visualize the circumstances of that funniest moment. While you may not be able to re-live it to the same degree, it will remind you that life isn't as serious as your stress is currently trying to convince you that it is.
Do you enjoy uplifting self-help content like this? Sign up to be a part of my mission to make personal development more interesting for both us! As a thank you gift for doing so, I'll personally send 3 tools to help you conquer anxiety to your inbox within 48 hours.