4 Immediate Things to Do When You’re Feeling Stressed

You might usually deal with stress once you get home from work by taking a yoga class, going on a run, painting, eating, or crying to your boyfriend. But sometimes you just can’t wait until the day is over, and seriously need an immediate solution. There are some simple things you can do to stop you from losing your mind in the moment.

Stop whatever you are doing

Stopping whatever you are doing is one of the most effective ways distress immediately.  This means to stop having anything to do with the thing that is upsetting you. For example, if the person you’re talking to is stressing you out, then as a short term solution, you are probably best off to give yourself a break from them. In a work environment, you can ask your boss to be excused for a few minutes. Find a quiet spot alone and try to think positive, relaxing thoughts.

Shift your senses

Another immediate solution when you’re feeling stressed is re-focusing your senses. When we are feeling stressed or aggravated, our bodies goes into flight or flight mode, in which our sympathetic nervous system takes our bodies into high gears and shoots up our adrenaline levels. These hormones push our heart rate up and breathing, tense our muscles and constrict our blood vessels. If you take a break from the stress causer and focus on what is going on in your body, it can help you be more in the present and assist you to lessen this reaction. You do not have to make judgements about your experiences as wrong or right, but merely be aware of them, and how they are affecting you.


Breathing is something so simple, yet something that we often forget its importance and benefits. When stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, the best way to handle it is to rely on your breathing. By focusing a deep breathing it can restore oxygen in your body and regulate your brain’s brainwaves. It also decreases the level of lactate in your blood. All of these bodily changes will make you feel more relaxed. In order to properly breathe, it should be come from within the diaphragm, rather than the upper chest. Breathing should also be done while sitting upright, standing or lying straight on your back, in order to allow your chest to remain open. Try to also focus on your breathing patterns and avoid outside distractions.

Relax your muscles

When you become stressed, your muscles both tighten and tense up. Your body will probably will feel as though it’s actually completely wound up.  Progressive Muscle Relaxation can assist you in getting rid of this tension, by first tensing muscles and then  relaxing certain muscles. There are many online videos available that explain how to practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation. You will need to find a quiet and dark place, lie down and be comfortable, loosen your clothing and aim to focus on a specific muscle group. Tense those muscles as hard as possible, and then release, and repeat this several times. Move through the muscle groups and try to smile throughout the process.