Feeling stressed out, frustrated and overwhelmed? This is a common experience for anxiety sufferers, but it can happen to anyone. The best treatment for stress is to minimize the stress as much as possible, but that isn’t always an option. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, there are some tricks you can use to calm your mind and restore your focus. Use the stress relief techniques below to get rid of stress fast.
Control Your Breathing
In a stressful situation, your heart starts to race. You may also feel out of breath. Both of these issues can be controlled with breathing techniques. Slowly breathe in for four seconds. Hold your breath for two seconds, then release for another four seconds. Repeat these steps until you feel your heart rate slow down. This takes care of the physical side effects of stress so you can focus on the mental side.
Loosen Tight Clothing
If you are wearing a tie, belt, stockings, or something else that constricts the body, you may need to loosen/remove those clothing items. Constriction can intensify stress because you feel like you cannot escape from the current situation. If you are at home, you can remove whatever articles of clothing you need to. In a public environment, you may only be able to loosen your tie or take off your shoes for a moment. Get as comfortable as possible based on your situation.
Move to an Open or Safe Space
Claustrophobia makes stress worse. Get into an open environment with fresh air, such as a balcony or your back yard. If your stress is caused by heavy anxiety, you may need to a move to a place you feel safe. This could be a specific room in your house, your car, a family home, etc. Even if this space is not open, the fact that you feel safe there will ease your stress. This is something your counselor will talk to you about during your anxiety treatment.
Take a Technology Break
Absorbing information from technology can be overwhelming on its own. When you’re in a panic attack or high-stress situation, the screens can seem even more overwhelming. Take a moment to get away from your phone, computer, TV, and other electronics. If possible, turn off the lights or close your eyes. This prevents more information from trying to enter your brain, allowing you to process your current thoughts and feelings.
Talk to Someone You Trust
When you’re feeling stressed, it helps to talk to someone you trust. This “venting” process lets you get out all your thoughts at once, and it gives you valuable feedback. You could talk to your spouse, a close friend, a family member, or someone else that will help put matters into perspective. This is a fast-acting stress relief technique to use in the moment.
Ideally, you should also discuss your feelings with an anxiety counselor. Your counselor can help you pinpoint the source of your stress so you know how to handle it in the future. The next time you are in a stressful situation, you will be equipped to take control of your thoughts and move forward with the day.
Heron Ridge Associates provides anxiety treatment in Ann Arbor, MI and surrounding areas. Contact our office at (734) 913-1093 to schedule an appointment with an anxiety therapist near you.