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Quick and Easy Ways to De-Stress

Breathe

When your body is tense, you hold your breath without realizing it. Focusing on your breathing, this is a common but effective technique for calming the nerves. How are you breathing now, and where is your mind? Bring them together. Take a long, slow and deep breath. Let it out slowly. Do this 3 times. Listen to the movement of your breath. Does your mind wander somewhere else? Call it back. Concentrate only on breathing in and out.

Making it Worse

When you try too hard to control your anxieties, you only heighten them. Try instead, exaggerate them and see what happens. For instance, if you worry all the time about forgetting something at work, walk yourself through that mentally. What would happen in reality if you did forget? How would you handle it? Sometimes having a mental practice session makes you realize it wouldn’t be as bad as you fear, or it helps you prepare and formulate a back-up plan if it were to happen.

Recognize False Alarms

That fear of your house getting flooded because you left the tap running in the bath has never come true. That fast heartbeat doesn’t mean you’re having a heart attack; it’s your body’s natural response to stress. Many thoughts and sensations that we interpret as reasons for worry — even panic — are just background noise. You’ve noticed them; now let them pass by.

Set Aside Worry Time

We often let our worries overtake our everyday lives, even if we are in the middle of an important or fun task. But what if you didn’t respond right away? Try setting aside a few minutes every day, set a ‘worry time’ each day just for your worries. If you are freaking out at 10 a.m., write down the reason and promise to think it through later. By the time your ‘worry time’ comes around, many of your concerns won’t even matter anymore. And you will have spent almost an entire day anxiety-free.

Desensitize Your Worry

If you had a fear of something like riding in the back of a car, you’d get rid of it if you rode in one a thousand times in a row. At first, you would be very anxious, then less so, and eventually it would have no effect.

Try taking the worrying thought that won’t leave you alone and say it over and over, to yourself, slowly, for 15 minutes. It’s hard to keep your mind on a worry if you repeat it that many times. This the “boredom cure” for obvious reasons, but it sure beats feeling overwhelmed by anxiety.

Meditation

Trust me this works, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. Download a few apps from iTunes and see which guided meditation feels right to you and follow its advice. Do this for 20 min a day if you can. If not for 20 minutes, then for whatever amount of time you can carve out of your day.

Don’t Let Your Worries Stop You from Living Your Life

Most of them will never happen, and the consequences of your anxiety―less sleep, high blood pressure, a rapid pulse, a little embarrassment – are just inconveniences when it comes down to it. What can you do even if you feel anxious?

Anything!