Anxiety and stress can strike at any given moment, so it’s a good idea to have some quick ways to ease your stress. Here are a few of my favorite go-to ways to ease your stress. Most of these anxiety busters can be done anywhere and work almost instantly.
1. Take a Break
In most instances, your work or an important project is the cause of your stress, so taking a break from your task is probably one of the easiest ways to ease your stress. Simply removing yourself from your work, by literally walking away from it, can instantly help. My husband is an artist and one thing I’ve learned from his craft is that sometimes you have to remove yourself in order to see your progress. This is especially true for those long and tedious tasks. So take a break, kick back with a cup of tea and rest your brain for a few minutes. If you’re stressing about wasting time, then set a timer to avoid watching the clock and actually take a break.
2. Take Deep Breaths
Paced breathing oxygenates your body and brain allowing clarity and relaxation. Studies show that deep breathing also decreases feelings of anxiety. I personally like to use the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4. Hold the breath for a count of 7. Breathe out strongly through your mouth (engaging your diaphragm as if you’re blowing up a balloon) for a count of 8. Repeat the cycle 3-4 times. It’s also a good idea to find a quiet area for practicing your deep breathing, to avoid distractions as well as some crazy looks.
3. Have a Healthy Snack
Sometimes our bodies just need the proper fuel to eliminate or even avoid stress and anxiety some quick and easy snacks that boost your mood while busting stress are, bananas, peanut butter, kiwi fruit, oats, nuts, berries, or basically anything that is not processed and full of sugar. A smoothie or fresh pressed juice are great options because they are packed with good for you stuff and can be enjoyed while you’re on the go or while taking a quick break.
4. Take a Shower
This may not be the most convenient option during the middle of the day. But if you can, definitely go for it. This stress buster is a great way to relax and clear the mind. Standing under a shower of warm water can be the most relaxing time of my day, even if it’s only for about 90 seconds before the little ones are knocking on the door. My mid-day showers give me a chance to be with myself, clear my mind, relax and sometimes even break through a mental block. Hey there nothing wrong with being extra clean.
Take a minute for a quick sun salutation or a simple toe touch, to get your blood pumping and remove those negative vibes. It’s so easy to get caught up in your work and before you know it you’ve been sitting at the compute for 3 hours straight getting all tense and stuff. It’s no wonder you’re feeling stressed. Speaking of, hold on a sec… okay that’s better, had to do a quick toe touch and relax those muscles. Now it’s your turn. Take a minute to get a good stretch in and loosen up a bit.
6. Go outside
Fresh air and sunlight are the most natural forms of happy pills you can get! Soaking up some natural vitamin D from the warm sunrays can instantly make you feel happier and boost your mood. By the way, did you know that fluorescent lighting can actually cause negative feelings, such as eye strain and headaches? So step outdoors for a whiff of fresh air and soak up some of those warm rays.
Increasing your heart rate with a quick workout is one of the healthiest ways to combat anxiety and stress. Several studies show that exercise also boosts serotonin levels, which leaves you feeling like a happier you. So a quick aerobic workout or a short run can boosts your mood and rid you of stress.
8. Listen to Some Tunes
Cranking up the volume of your favorite happy tune leaves you no choice but to kick anxieties butt to the curb and get HAPPY! Happy by Pharrell Williams is my go-to mood boosting song. Hey while you’re at it, bust out some cool moves and get your happy dance on too. It’s okay if you have two left feet - I won’t laugh.
9. Wash Your Hands
For real y’all, this one really works, I promise! Okay so when you have about a million things running through your mind, grab your favorite scented hand soap, an exfoliating hand scrub, and a good hand cream then get to washing, scrubbing and moisturizing your stress away. The warm water, the smell, the skin-to-skin contact all boosts your mood and calms your mind. I like to think out my daily tasks or dinner ideas while I’m pampering my hands. Give it a try y’all!
10. Call a Friend
Sometimes we just need to get out of our own heads and talk things out with our BFF. Just talking about what’s got you all anxious and stressed out can help you feel better and sometimes even help you solve the problem. Hey, what are BFF’s for right? Call 'em up and chat for few and see how much better it makes you feel.
11. Browse through Pics
As a work-at-home mother of two preschoolers there’s not much spontaneity in our day-to-day activities. Everything is planned out all the way down to what time I start the load of laundry for the day. So some mornings are more difficult than others to find my mojo, but I have found that looking through my phone at old pics of the kiddos gets me excited about spending the day with them (even during the ever predictable afternoon meltdown). I especially like looking at those really old pics, ya know the ones when they were little itty bitties… sigh, those sweet baby faces.
12. Keep a Gratitude Journal
During those anxiety attacks that take away all the motivation to do anything productive at all, a gratitude journal is a great way to get your mojo back. Writing about the things you are most grateful for can be an encouraging motivator for getting through those mental blocks. Even reading past entries is a great way to escape anxiety and stress.
13. Take a Selfie
Snap a quick selfie to lighten your mood. Now ya know, if you want a good selfie you have to flash that great smile or make that signature silly face right? Hey you’ve instantly boosted your mood. And posting your cute pic to your favorite social network for a few laughs or likes = #stressbuster
14. Positive Quotes and Affirmations
Keep your favorite quotes and sayings handy as a reminder to keep on pushing on. Have them in your phone or write them on paper, or even type them up really pretty and frame them. It could be a famous quote or just a simple word, whatever works for you. I keep a printout of «Be Patient» on my desk to remind myself to be patient with my kids as well as with myself.
15. Take a Nap
If you have tried everything but you just can’t shake the stress, then sleep it off. Cut the lights, close the blinds, clear your mind, close your eyes, and catch some Z’s. Most times the things we are stressed about are not worth the stress and at times will work themselves out in the end. Sleeping it off is much healthier than enduring the anxiety attack and stressing over…well, nothing.