Develop your stress busting skills by working through the following three steps:
1. Realize when you’re stressed – The first step to reducing stress is recognizing what stress feels like. How does your body feel when you’re stressed? Are your muscles or stomach tight or sore? Are your hands clenched? Is your breath shallow? Being aware of your physical response to stress will help regulate tension when it occurs.
2. Identify your stress response – Everyone reacts differently to stress. If you tend to become angry or agitated under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down. If you tend to become depressed or withdrawn, you will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating. If you tend to freeze—speeding up in some ways while slowing down in others—you need stress relief activities that provide both comfort and stimulation.
3. Discover the stress-busting techniques that work for you – The best way to reduce stress quickly is by engaging one or more of your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing and/or energizing to you. For example, if you’re a visual person you can relieve stress by surrounding yourself with uplifting images. If you respond more to sound, you may find a wind chime, a favorite piece of music, or the sound of a water fountain helps to quickly reduce your stress levels.