Ever wish a stress superhero could save you from the tension of traffic jams, chaotic meetings, arguments with your spouse, or a toddler’s tantrums? Well, you can be your own stress-busting superhero. Using your senses, you can tap into the power to reduce the impact of stress as it’s happening and stay in control when the pressure builds.
Like any skill, learning how to ease stress in the moment takes time, experimentation, and practice, but the payoff is huge. When you know how to quickly relieve stress, you can stay calm, productive, and focused—no matter what life throws at you.
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. But in the heat of the moment—during a high-pressure job interview, for example, or a disagreement with your spouse—you can’t just excuse yourself to meditate or take a long walk. For these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible.
One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is by engaging one or more of your senses—sight, sound, taste, smell, touch—or through movement. But since everyone is different, you’ll need to do some experimenting to discover which technique works best for you.
It might seem obvious that you’d know when you’re stressed, but many of us spend so much time in a frazzled state that we’ve forgotten what it feels like when our nervous systems are in balance—when we’re calm yet still alert and focused. If this is you, you can recognize when you’re stressed by listening to your body.
When you’re tired, your eyes feel heavy and you might rest your head on your hand. When you’re happy, you laugh easily. And when you’re stressed, your body lets you know that, too. Get in the habit of paying attention to your body’s clues.