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5 Ways to Kill Off Stress in Any Situation

5 Ways to Kill Off Stress in Any Situation

Regardless of your life circumstance, stress probably plays a role in some shape or form in your everyday life. Some days are worse than others, but rarely can any of us truly say, “I’m 100 percent stress-free.”

Everyone, from homeless people to billionaires, is susceptible to stress; there’s simply no way to avoid it. However, there are ways to reduce the amount of stress you suffer from.

Here are five powerful tips for ways to kill stress in almost any situation.

1. Eat Healthier

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    (Photo by Alex Ranaldi)

    Though a lot of stress is psychological, there are also plenty of physical factors that contribute to this natural human response to perceived danger. In order to mitigate stress, make sure you’re treating your body right. A big part of this is eating healthier.

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    “There are no magic ‘anti-stress’ foods,” says Gilles Barbot, founder and director of Esprit de Corps, a leadership coaching program. “Nevertheless, adopting an alkaline diet instead of an acidic one is recommended.”

    Foods that are highly alkaline include baking soda, lemons, lentils, onion, pineapple, pumpkin seed, raspberry, sweet potato, vegetable juices, and watermelon. For a full list of alkaline foods, check out this chart.

    2. Wake Up Earlier

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      (Photo by faungg’s photos)

      It’s certainly true that the more sleep you get, the less prone to stress you’ll be. However, waking up 15 or 20 minutes earlier each morning may have more benefits than sleeping in.

      By giving yourself some extra time, you won’t feel quite as rushed or frazzled in the morning. This enables you to avoid having to rush out the door, which leads to better preparation and more confidence.

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      “Take time in the morning to center yourself,” San Francisco-based psychologist Leslie Carr advises. “A lot of people shoot out into their days like a rocket ship and it never gets better from there.”

      3. Let Stress Motivate You

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        (Photo by Andrew Imanaka)

        Since you’re never going to eliminate 100 percent of the stress in your life, one of the best things you can do is let it motivate you. This is what stress is designed to do, after all. The psychological and physical reactions brought on by stress are supposed to heighten our senses and empower us to fight off or escape a threat.

        Next time you feel stress creeping in, take action. Stressed about the amount of work you have to do this week? Stay three hours late tonight and get a head start on tomorrow.

        Stressed about your lack of income? Pick up a side job to earn more money. Taking action is one of the most effective ways to kill stress.

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        4. Watch a Funny Video Clip

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          (Photo by Nolan Williamson)

          Here’s a simple and practical tip: Watch a funny video clip on YouTube. Research shows that seeing something amusing activates the part of the brain that produces calm physiological responses and tranquility. This can lead to less anxiety and more happiness.

          5. Take a Walk Outside

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            (Photo by Dave Walker)

            A walk a day keeps the doctor away … literally. Just as any other cardiovascular activity does, walking boosts endorphins in the body, which alleviates mild depression and improves mood. As a result, you’ll feel less stressed and more alert.

            Whenever possible, make sure you take your walk outdoors. A number of studies show that spending time outside is a great way to relieve stress. It can improve energy levels and memory by as much as 20 percent.

            One UK study even suggests walks in green spaces put the brain into a “meditative state.”

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            Learn How to Manage Your Stress

            It’s impossible to be stress-free. You simply can’t eliminate all of the triggers in your life. As soon as one goes away, another one will quickly emerge.

            But having acknowledged that, you need to learn how to manage stress by stopping it in its tracks. Keep the powerful tips above in mind and never underestimate the rewards of remaining calm.

            Featured photo credit: Andrew Imanaka via flic.kr

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            Anna Johansson

            Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant.

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            Last Updated on September 20, 2018

            How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

            How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

            Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

            If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

            1. Breathe

            The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

            • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
            • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
            • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

            Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

            2. Loosen up

            After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

            Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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            3. Chew slowly

            Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

            Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

            Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

            4. Let go

            Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

            The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

            It’s not. Promise.

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            Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

            Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

            21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

            5. Enjoy the journey

            Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

            Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

            6. Look at the big picture

            The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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            Will this matter to me…

            • Next week?
            • Next month?
            • Next year?
            • In 10 years?

            Hint: No, it won’t.

            I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

            Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

            7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

            You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

            Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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            8. Practice patience every day

            Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

            • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
            • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
            • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

            Final thoughts

            Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

            Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

            Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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