Ocean It’s amazing. I write about stress and healing and spiritual wellbeing for a living. I have all sorts tips in my head–I can instantly offer suggestions to calm down, rev up, clear your energy, enliven your life. And yet, the moment I’m overwhelmed by intense stress myself, I forget every last thing. I turn into a cookie-eating, non-exercising, non-meditating, validation-seeking, under-sleeping, dehydrated, uncreative, whiny, kvetchy stress bomb.

So, let’s help each other remember, shall we? I’m going to jog my memory with a list. Please add to it if you will. And if it’s “obvious,” all the better–somehow simple is the first thing to go when the cortisol takes over.

10 Ways to De-Stress Now

1) Breathe. Inhale, exhale. Now. Three times slow. Sign up for “Breathe Text“–a free test service that reminds you to breathe once a day. Brilliant!

2) Drink water. Hydrated brains and bodies work better. Stress is dehydrating. So keep that BPA-free water bottle extra close.

3) Sleep. Make your bedroom calm and cozy and try to get eight full hours. Study upon study shows the essentialness of sleep. And if you can’t sleep, just relax about it. Calmly lying in the dark with your eyes closed, resting, is better than staying awake, reading or worrying.

4) Ask for support. Call that buddy who will listen and understand. Mainly just listen, sans advice. Better yet, meet for tea and a hug with your chat.

5) Move your body. Stress gets stuck in our actual flesh. Gentle stretches, easy walking, self-massaging, yoga, and dancing will all keep the energy moving through and out of you.

6) Skip the sugar. Feeling stress-snacky? Think twice before cookie-diving. Keep apples, carrots, almonds, and other balancing snacks nearby. When your blood sugar is not zig-zagging you have a much better chance of managing what life tosses your way.

7) Look at pretty pictures. Even if you’re stuck behind a desk you can check out photos of things that calm you–pretty landscapes, adorable animals, beautiful homes. It can bring you down a notch and sometimes that’s all you need. (I love these blogs for that purpose: Color Me Katie, Design Sponge, Cute Overload.)

8) Get out in nature. Leafy green goodness lowers blood pressure. Go walk down a quiet road, sit in a tree-lined park, take a hike, hug a tree, lie on a lawn–anything that will get you contact with the earth mama in a gentle, easy way.

9) Sniff something lovely. I suggest essential oils. Even carrying around a bottle of simple pure lavender oil (your local health food store should have some) and taking a noseful can remind your system to chill, now.

10) Make a “What’s Bothering Me” list. See this article here on that, but somehow getting it all down on paper can free your brain to drain.

K,, I already feel better! Now you! What’s your favorite quick de-stress tip?

Like what you see? Click here to subscribe and get Fresh Living in your in-box every day!

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

This is the post in which we say goodbye.  We’re both leaving our respective jobs at Beliefnet, and so it’s time to step away from the blog. So, this is the post in which we say goodbye…by saying thank you.  Thank you to you, the readers, for clicking and visiting and sharing the myriad ways […]

Are you a frustrated dreamer? I know I am. I often wake up with fragments of scenes echoing in my mind that seem really meaningful–but then I leap out of bed, start my morning routine, and in seconds they’re gone. I want to linger in that realm and tap into the guidance and insight rising […]

Because I lack an engineering degree and don’t understand why we can’t just stop this thing NOW with a 10-ton wad of gum or giant boulder or massive Q-tip, I’ll share more spiritual wisdom from elders. This is from the beautiful, amazing International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers–they each represent a continent and a native […]

“Worry is a prayer for something you don’t want.” – Sharon Gannon I love that. The other day someone expressed concern about my excessive worrying habit, and I’ve been contemplating on it ever since. Doing my best to actually contemplate, rather than worry. I’ve been on a renewed Gilmore Girls binge lately and last night as Lorelai, […]