Quick Tips for Reducing Stress

These quick tips for reducing stress are great for busy people looking for an effective stress management technique.

Take control of stress quickly and easily with these stress relief tips.

All of us experience stress from time to time. Stress is a fact of life but it does not have to be a way of life.

These quick tips for reducing stress are for busy people of people who want to combat stress now.

The 6 second breathing technique

Did you know that one of the simplest and most effective stress reducers is right under our noses.

One of the common symptoms of stress is rapid breathing and there are many deep breathing exercises that are used to counter the effects of stress and calm the mind and body.

I use breathing exercises regularly with athletes and business people to reduce stress and refocus on what they have to do.

One of the breathing exercises I quite like is developed by Dr Charles Stroebel of Yale University.

This quick stress reducer counters the stress response by activating the Quieting Reflex.

  1. Notice what situation is is triggering your signs of stress.
  2. Break into a big, sparkly smile. If you are in a public place then this can be an inward smile. This triggers an endorphin release.
  3. Make a positive affirmation – for example “Body calm Mind alert” or "I can do this". This counters the typical negative thoughts that may accompany stress.
  4. Take an easy deep breath. When doing this diaphragmatic breathing imagine your breath coming up through the soles of your feet and filling your abdomen.
  5. As you exhale, let your jaw go lose, unclench your teeth and allow your shoulders to relax. Imagine a wave of warmth flowing through your body.
  6. Continue with normal activity.

The Quieting Reflex is done with your eyes open.

It only takes 6 seconds so practice at work, practice while you are waiting in line or any other place.

Like any skill, whether it is riding a bike or practicing stress management tips, the more that you practice your stress management skills the better that you will get at them.

Several months of daily practice, up to 100 times a day (that’s only 10 minutes), the Quieting Reflex is argued to counter the stress response.

The Quieting Reflex has been shown to be effective for stress headaches and migraine headache relief, sleep problems, increased blood pressure and for people who have the fight or flight response activated often.

Smell the roses and record highlights

Smell the roses and record highlights is one of those simple yet effective tips for reducing stress.

Life is hectic and too often we can feel like life is simply a long to do list.

Make the time to stop and enjoy life's little pleasures. Notice the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, or the smell of freshly cut grass.

By giving yourself the space you are more likely to be creative and find solutions for problems that cause you stress. This problem solving technique may be a good stress reducer for you.

Benefits of a Positive Mental Attitude

A good stress reducer is to adopt a positive outlook and be mindful of some of the automatic negative thoughts that can increase stress.

A positive mental attitude does wonders for stress relief. Positive thinking can be enhanced by cultivating a network of positive people.

To focus more on the positive things throughout the day try to find these positive highlights each day

Make an effort to write down three highlights each evening.

This is a simple way to bring more positive energy into your day.

Do you want a some simple stress management activity that you can do each day?

Leave your job at work

Don't take your job home and the worries of work home with you. Look for ways that you can create clear boundaries between work and home.

This can be as simple as making a conscious decision to do so and looking for practical strategies that create these boundaries.

For me it is as simple (and sometimes as hard) as not checking email.

Your goal should be to make your home a sanctuary that is free from job stress.

I talk more about time management techniques to reduce stress.

Relaxation techniques

There are a number of relaxation tips for reducing stress.

Listen to relaxing music. Music can have a profound effect on emotions. It can psych you up or relax you, depending on the music that you select.

Relaxing music helps to take our mind off our worries and create the space for tranquility and calmness.

I talk more about music and stress.

Progressive muscle relaxation. If you carry your stress in your shoulders and neck or have other physical symptoms of stress, or feel the effects of anxiety and stress in your body then progressive muscle relaxation may be useful for you.

Usually progressive muscle relaxation takes 20-30 minutes to complete.

However, I have trained athletes to with progressive muscle relaxation so that they can enjoy the same benefits in 10 seconds.

Once you have learned and practiced PMR you can adapt these muscle exercises for most situations.

Whether you are starting to get annoyed or frustrated, or can feel the accumulated tension after a long day hunched over a computer, a quick tense and relaxation of the particular muscle group can be very helpful.

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