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Quick Stress Relief

  • Realize when you're stressed and need to take a moment for yourself. Being aware is the first step to change.

  • Figure out if you get over-excited or under-excited when stressed. Your reaction should depend on how you react.

  • Swear if you feel it would help. Blow off your steam somewhere private if you're out in public.

  • Hold a comforting object. It might be a well-loved memento, or just a smooth stone that you can focus on.

  • Find a smell that comforts you. Whether it's a cup of coffee or a lavender-scented cloth, breathe it in and relax.

  • Ask a friend, family member or pet for a hug. Sometimes there's no better stress reliever than loving touch.

  • Organize something-- your desk, your notes, your music-- try to think about only the task at hand for a few moments.

  • Meditate. Sit up straight with your feet flat and close your eyes. Repeat on a positive phrase in your mind.

  • Get a stress ball or something else you can squeeze. Work out your aggression or frustration safely.

  • Work on a crossword for a while. Keep one onhand and pull it out whenever you need a moment.

  • Force your muscles to loosen. If you feel your jaw lock or your back tighten, focus on making them relax.

  • Excuse yourself to the washroom and wash your face. Give yourself a pep-talk too, if needed.

  • Laugh out your stress. Keep a good video, image or song on standby and use it whenever you need it.

  • Brew a cup of green or black tea. Studies show that they lower stress and help relieve anger if enjoyed regularly.

  • Lose yourself in a daydream for a few minutes. Think of a scenario that makes you happy and play it out.

  • Ask for help if you need it. Stress can keep building up, and sometimes you need someone to help guide you out.

  • Eat a small piece of dark chocolate. Focus on the taste, the smell and the feel of it in your hands.

  • Take a break to play a game for a few minutes. Whether it's Temple Run or Solitaire, shift your focus for a few minutes.

  • Breathe slowly and deeply. Put a hand on your stomach and feel it move through your body. Get lost in the rhythm.

  • Wiggle your toes. Focus on the sensation and not on your stress for a minute or two.

  • Get up and move. Find an excuse to get a cup of tea or head to the washroom and pace if you need to!

  • Doodle on a page. Make a flowing design that calms you rather than one that matches your emotions.

  • Be present in the moment. Don't think about what's coming next-- take the time to enjoy the here and now.

  • Moisturize your hands and focus on the movement and smell. Take your time and do it twice if necessary.

  • Rub each of your fingers, one at a time. Relax your thumbs and pop your joints if you feel so inclined.

  • Get yourself a glass of ice-cold water and drink it slowly. Feel it flow through your body.

  • Rub your feet on a golf or tennis ball against the floor. A little foot massage can do wonders.

  • Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. Think about that and use the power you have to react well.

  • Count backwards. Turns out this childhood trick works! Mix up what you count by (1s, 3s, 6s) and concentrate.

  • Be open to new stress relief ideas, but focus on what works for you. If it doesn't work, move on and try again.