Tuesday, January 31, 2023

How To Lower Stress Quickly

Make Time For Leisure Activities

How to Reduce Stress and Lower Cortisol Quickly- Thomas DeLauer

Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Yet, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for hobbies, games, or extra fun.

But building time for leisure into your schedule could be key to helping you feel your best. And when you feel better, you’ll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient.

Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.

Exercise But Not Too Much

Depending on the intensity of exercise, it can increase or decrease cortisol.

Intense exercise increases cortisol shortly afterward but will decrease a few hours later. This short-term increase helps coordinate growth of the body to meet the challenge. Additionally, the size of the cortisol response lessens with routine training .

Regular exercise has been shown in numerous studies to help improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and improve overall health, which can help lower cortisol over time .

Interestingly, regular exercise has also been associated with greater resilience to acute stress and may lower negative health effects associated with stress, such as high cortisol .

That said, overdoing it can have the opposite effect. Therefore, aim for around 150200 minutes of mostly low- to moderate-intensity exercise each week and allow yourself time to rest between workouts.


Exercising regularly can help you better manage stress and promote good health, which may help lower cortisol levels. That said, avoid overdoing it and aim for around 150200 minutes of low- to moderate- intensity exercise each week.

Distract Yourself With Strong Sensations Or Mental Games

When we are very stressed or anxious, our attention narrows and only focuses on the negatives. If you are having a hard time objectively looking at a situation and making decisions, or if you feel mentally stuck or paralyzed, a quick distraction can allow you to reset.

Although repeatedly avoiding your negative feelings and escaping through Netflix, video games or alcohol can lead to more distress in the long run, occasionally distracting yourself by using strong sensory input or engaging in mental games can offer a respite from acute stress.

This gives you a chance to take a psychological break, widen the lens to see the big picture and gain courage for the next step, said Kelly Koerner, clinical psychologist, chief executive of Jaspr Health and author of Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A Practical Guide.

Chew on a hot pepper, listen to loud music, hold ice cubes in your hands or smell a pungent cheese to briefly shift your attention away from stress. Alternatively, you can make an alphabetical list of car models, flowers, colors, or create a mental top 10 list of your favorite movies, novels or places, Taitz said.

One of my favorite tips is to suck on a lemon, or imagine doing it. Youll start to salivate, engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, which leads to relaxation, Van Dijk said.

You May Like: Can Stress Cause Body Aches

Ways To Relieve Stress In 10 Minutes Or Less

Below, youll find a list of simple and quick ways to relieve stress. These are particularly helpful for acute stress and arent intended to be the solution to chronic or intense stress.

  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Get some fresh air
  • Look at photos that make you smile
  • Squeeze a stress ball
  • Walk, bike, or skateboard around the block
  • Count to 10 slowly and repeat
  • Dance
  • Write down 10 things youre grateful for
  • Doodle, draw, color, or Zentangle
  • Chew a piece of gum
  • Watch a funny video on YouTube
  • Punch a pillow
  • Slow, deep breathing
  • Read an inspirational quote
  • Spend time with your pets
  • Do 20 jumping jacks
  • Do something nice for someone else
  • Sit in the sun
  • Visualize a safe, comforting place
  • Pick some flowers
  • Give yourself a neck massage
  • Take a shower
  • Kick a soccer ball
  • Diffuse essential oilsor use scented lotions or candles
  • Tend your garden water and talk to your plants
  • Hug a loved one
  • Savor a cup of decaffeinated tea or coffee
  • Repeat a mantra
  • Make a list of your worries and identify which you can do something about
  • Accept The Things You Can’t Change

    How To Relieve Stress Quickly (just 2 minutes!)

    Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.

    “If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.

    “In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”

    Don’t Miss: What Pills Are Good For Stress

    The Benefits Of Focused Meditation

    In this style of meditation, what youre really doing is exercising your mental muscles. Your brain is highly affected by dedicated and concentrated meditation practice.

    Scientists have performed countless studies on focused meditation and have found that active meditators have more gray matter volume in their brain and, therefore, offsetting the cognitive decline that comes with aging. So, not only does practicing focused meditation help you learn how to focus better on certain tasks, but it also improves similar functions, such as memory.

    Likewise, it helps in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, which our society is currently crippled with. By settling your attention on an object, you are essentially building your ability to observe your thoughts and sensations from a place of objectivity. This allows you to detach from negative self-talk that is often the breeding ground for depression and other mental illnesses.

    From a guided meditation for focus to practicing it yourself, daily meditation for focus comes with several benefits:

    • Itll reduce stress
    • Helps you to focus on the present moment
    • Increase your creativity and imagination
    • And boost your patience and tolerance for things.

    Quick Stress Relief At Home

    Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.

    Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.

    Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.

    Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.

    Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.

    Also Check: How To Lower Stress And Anxiety

    Whats Causing So Much Stress

    Lets face it: work demands are getting worse. Youre expected to do more and work harder with even tighter deadlines.

    And if youre anything like my ambitious clients, you set high standards for yourself .

    Additionally, your life is jam-packed with personal obligations that constantly pull at you. This always-on-the-go lifestyle leaves little time for personal renewal.

    So, how can you juggle it all yet stay positive and relatively stress-free? What you need are simple, effective strategies that work quickly to naturally reduce stress, get you back on track and keep stress levels low.

    Or Embrace Your Anxiety And Put It To Work For You Instead Of Against You

    How to Reduce Chronic Stress (Quickly)

    Time: Zero seconds

    That nervous energy you get before a stressful event is natural, and once upon a time it was crucial for survival. The fight or flight response gave our ancestors the heightened awareness and responsiveness they needed in the face of danger. It’s the same thing that prompts you to evade a car speeding through the crosswalk. But it’s also the thing that makes you feel like your heart is going to jump out of your freaking chest before an important meeting. Rather than shrink away from your jitters, summon them, harness them, and walk into that board room like a boxer stepping into the ring.

    SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

    Read Also: What To Drink For Stress And Anxiety

    Relaxing Exercises And Activities

    Opening up to possibilities leads to the practice of other hobbies, exercises and relaxing activities.

    It is proven that they help disconnect from reality as a method to put aside problems.

    Additionally, they serve as a banner to clear the mind and get out of the tension vacuum caused by stress. It allows the release of endorphins which is highly comforting and, in the long run, increases productivity together with performance.

    Types Of Relaxation Techniques

    However, a whole range of relaxation practices can help you power down and de-stress.

    There’s no one shoe that fits all, Smith says. He points to five or six approaches based on scientific observation and experience that really do work for stress reduction. There are other therapies, too, that you might find helpful. You can do one at a time or you can practice some together.

    You May Like: What Health Issues Can Stress Cause

    How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways

    Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.

  • Eat and drink to optimize your health. Some people try to reduce stress by drinking alcohol or eating too much. These actions may seem to help in the moment, but actually may add to stress in the long run. Caffeine also can compound the effects of stress. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet can help to combat stress.
  • Exercise regularly. In addition to having physical health benefits, exercise has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever. Consider non-competitive aerobic exercise, strengthening with weights, or movement activities like yoga or Tai Chi, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphinsnatural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude.
  • Stop using tobacco and nicotine products. People who use nicotine often refer to it as a stress reliever. However, nicotine actually places more stress on the body by increasing physical arousal and reducing blood flow and breathing.
  • There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:

    Change What You Drink

    38 Ways to Relieve Stress Quickly in 2020

    What you drink can have both a positive and negative effect on you. And sometimes its more about how much of something you drink.

    For example, moderate caffeine intake increases attention and cognitive function. Its even associated with mood elevation. But high doses of caffeine can induce and exacerbate anxiety.

    And unfortunately, I need to burst the bubble around alcohol. Its time to STOP using it as your go-to form coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. Im not saying that you cant drink, just that its not a healthy way to de-stress. Abstinence from alcohol is actually associated with a lower risk of depression and anxiety.

    Luckily, you can naturally reduce stress and anxiety by drinking certain types of decaffeinated teas. For example:

    Recommended Reading: How To Relax Your Mind When Stressed

    Turn On Some Ariana Grande

    Many people use music as a means of dealing with emotionsthey listen when they’re sad, when they’re angry, or when they want to get energizedso it makes sense to use music as a way to chill the eff out.

    While some will claim that certain types of music are better than others for stress-relief, its most important that youre specifically listening to music in order to relax, according to a 2015 study from the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. Think about it: If youre turning on the radio because you are deliberately attempting to chill out, youre likely paying more attention and really trying to de-stress. Do it with intention.

    Do Progressive Muscle Relaxation

    Years of research have found PMR helps reduce anxiety and calm breathing. Lie down and relax, and then tighten, hold and then release each muscle in your body, one at a time, starting with your toes and moving up to the crown of your head. Do this slowly and methodically, and dont forget the muscles of your face. It may be more relaxing to listen to someone else walk you through the exercise. Visit this link to find audio, video, and scripts that you can record and then playback to yourself.

    Read Also: How Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosed

    Festivals Fairs & Special Events

    Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events. Find one youre interested in. If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals. Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever youre into. If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

    Try Aromatherapy For Stress Relief

    How to Reduce Stress and Stop Anxiety Quickly?

    Research suggests that the scent of some essential oils may help promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure. Lavender oil has been found to help people perform better while under stress. If you need a quick stress reliever, try bergamot, lemongrass, neroli, yuzu, lavender or orange scents. Buy them as pure oils, candles or scent packets.

    Mix a couple of drops of essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut, almond or olive oil before applying it to your skin. Alternatively, keep a scent packet on your desk and smell it whenever you feel tense.

    Read Also: What Is Stress B Complex

    How To Relieve Stress: Say Thank You

    When stress attacks, it can feel like your whole world is crashing down. Remind yourself whats good in your life with a quick gratitude round-up. Studies show gratitude techniques like counting your blessings can be a significant stress reducer, Serani says. Gratitude research reports that those who utilize daily gratitude reflections have higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism, and lower levels of depression and stress.

    Reminding yourself of the good things in life can put stress in perspective. Studies show that cultivating an optimistic mindset can help you maintain a positive mood, Whitaker says. When you are positive and grateful, you are able to handle difficult situations better. Just look out for these stress relievers that actually backfire.

    Tip : Identify Your Stress Response

    Internally, we all respond the same way to the fight-or-flight stress response: your blood pressure rises, your heart pumps faster, and your muscles constrict. Your body works hard and drains your immune system. Externally, however, people respond to stress in different ways.

    The best way to quickly relieve stress often relates to your specific stress response:

    Overexcited stress response: If you tend to become angry, agitated, overly emotional, or keyed up under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down.

    Underexcited stress response: If you tend to become depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating and energizing.

    The immobilization or frozen stress response

    Recommended Reading: Can Stress Cause Migraine Aura

    How To Reset Your Stress In 5 Minutes

    How to Reset Your Stress in 5 Minutes

    How to Reset Your Stress in 5 Minutes

    This year has already proved to be the emotional equivalent of an ultramarathon. To help you hit the reset button, its key to know some quick, efficient stress-reducing strategies.

    Here are a few ideas from an assistant clinical professor in psychiatry

    How to Reset Your Stress in 5 Minutes

    Try music medicine: Focusing on relaxing sounds reduces stress. Explore different music options and create a playlist that you find comforting when you need a break. And try a more uplifting soundtrack, which research has shown can improve your mood.

    How to Reset Your Stress in 5 Minutes

    Cool off: Fill a large bowl with ice water and set a timer for 15 to 30 seconds. Then take a deep breath and hold it, dipping your face into the water. This activates your bodys dive response: Your heart rate slows and blood can flow more easily to your brain.

    How to Reset Your Stress in 5 Minutes

    Pace your breathing: Slow your breathing down to six breaths a minute by consciously inhaling and exhaling. Paced breathing offers a host of physiological benefits, like reducing your blood pressure, which helps promote a sense of tranquillity.

    How to Reset Your Stress in 5 Minutes

    How to Reset Your Stress in 5 Minutes

    Avoid Bad Habits That Will Not Reduce Stress

    How to Deal with Stress: 3 Tips that Will Help You

    There are certain habits that can be developed in the process of attempting to cope with stress. Granted, these habits are not healthy. For instance, excessive drinking of liquor, undereating, overeating, excessively watching television, excessive computer use, withdrawing from family or friends, and smoking are all examples of unhealthy activities that individuals sometimes do in the attempt to cope with stress.

    Additional examples of unhealthy coping strategies include substance abuse, excessive sleeping, refusal to acknowledge the stress, lashing out at others, or procrastinating. These are habits which do not contribute to ones physical and emotional health. In order to overcome these habits, one must decide to change ones life circumstances and change ones self, know more.

    Recommended Reading: How To Help People With Stress

    Take A Closer Look At Your Stress

    Invisible stress is real, and it can build up into chronic stress. Sometimes we dont notice it because its been there the whole time, like a freckle or mole. However, changing freckles or moles are something you want to take the time to check out, right? Stress is the same.

    If you notice a change in your patience or find yourself more easily triggered by slight noises or simple mistakes, consider whether you need to take a break and calm your mind, or if theres something bigger at play. Chronic stress can increase your risk for other mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety.

    If these strategies arent giving you tools to cope, try seeking help from a professional.

    - Advertisement - spot_img
    Popular Articles
    Related news