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10 Quick and Easy Stress Busters

10 Quick and Easy Stress Busters

Life is busy. These days it seems we are all on the run to jobs, to school, to family events, to work events, to the airport, from the airport! It can be hard to take a second and slow down, particularly if we always have things to check off on our list. The thing we should be checking in with though, is stress. If things go on for too long, or suddenly build up, we can quickly and easily find ourselves in stressful situations. We need to find the time to care for ourselves and de-stress. “Compassion for ourselves means compassion for others.” – Brené Brown.

So even if you are strapped for time each day, when you feel those heat levels rising inside you, take a crack at one of the suggestions below and see if it doesn’t improve your day.

10 Quick Stress Busters

1. Negative Ions

Ions are molecules that seep into your blood stream and help create serotonin. The ions gain electrical charge from nature (negative ions, as opposed to flat charged ions, registered as positive). This is why we feel so amazing when we get a breathe of fresh air, or walk by a lake or the ocean. Get outside. Sometimes in order to get positive you need to find the negatives!

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2. Quick sprint

Get your endorphins going. If all you have is five minutes, jog around the block. It will release the negative or anxious energy that has been building up inside your body.

3. Kiss

Studies have shown that a lot of good feelings are released through human contact – particularly a good kiss. If you can get a quick hug and cheek kiss from a friend, great; If you can find someone to have a pash with, even better. The “love” hormone oxytocin can dramatically reduce stress levels when released through kissing. Love is the answer.

4. Tidy

Clean up. Tidy. An organized space means an organized mind. If there is clutter or anything dirty surrounding your day it can mean added and unnecessary anxiety. Cleaning is the easiest stress buster there is. You can do a lot or a little. It’s in your hands.

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5. Scream

This might seem crazy but to let your frustration out with a good old scream can be just the ticket. Being in close proximity to others we are often kept at a relatively inoffensive level of noise. So if you can’t let out a blood-curdler without alerting the police, find somewhere underwater. Go for a quick dip in the pool, or the beach, or even just dunk your head in a sink of water. No one will hear you!

6. Sing

Bust out a tune! Like screaming, singing is a total release. It is much more emotionally rewarding than people realise. Forget anyone is around and just sing your heart out, wherever you are.

7. Act the opposite

If you are stressed to the point where you are having negative emotions, hard as it might seem, try to do the opposite of what you are feeling. Feel like kicking and screaming? Breathe, shake hands, and smile. Feel like yelling at your kids? Take a breath and then talk to them warmly. The more you practice this the easier it will become. It will also bring your stress levels down, and you will feel proud of yourself.

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8. Step back

Just literally take a step back. Step out. Step off. Step anywhere but toward the situation that is fuelling your stress. Take five. Remember your purpose. And try again.

9. Say “Stop” to your emotions

Our thoughts can take us on a spiral train to crazy town. They move like lightning, and we often arrive somewhere miserable before we know it. When you feel this happening, when you realize your thoughts are swirling dangerously, put your hand up and literally just say “STOP”. It will jolt the process and give you time to reassess. The train will stop in its tracks.

10. Chill out

Literally chill out. If your temperature levels are rising and you are feeling the burn of stress, step into a freezer or fridge for five minutes and take some deep breaths. If you don’t have one large enough, a cold shower will suffice. Just don’t stay in too long — you wanna be cool, but not icy!

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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