6 Ways You Can Get Rid of Stress Right Now
Do you feel like you’re at your breaking point? Here are some things you can do right now to get rid of stress.
Wish you had a fool-proof plan to deal with stress? Check it!
I used to have a bad habit of leaving all of my apps open on my iPhone. Any time my husband would use my phone, he’d be like, “Do you know what having all of these programs running is doing to your phone?”
Apparently, leaving 25 apps open on your phone means that you’re running 25 programs that you aren’t even using. Which can run down your battery super fast and can even make your phone crash. Oops!
We know that iPhones and our brains are basically computers. So I think it’s safe to say that this problem applies to us too. If you’re juggling 25 problems at once, that’s just like leaving a bunch of apps open on your phone. So it’s really no surprise that we get tired and overwhelmed, and yes, eventually crash.
If this sounds familiar, you’re gonna need to start closing out some of those “programs”. So, how do you do that? Glad you asked. Here are 6 things that you can do to reduce stress right now.
1. Get Rid of Stress with Distraction
Have you ever noticed that you don’t feel as stressed when you keep yourself busy or when you’re out with your friends? That’s because your brain can only focus on so many things at once. If you need a break from the pressure, try doing something fun for a little while. You’ll feel so refreshed that you’ll be even more productive when you get back. It’s definitely worth it!
2. Get Rid of Stress with Emotional Release
Okay, nobody is a fan of crying. But have you ever noticed that you feel a lot better afterward? Think about it. There is nothing that your body does that doesn’t have a purpose. So crying must have some kind of benefit, right?! Holding all those feelings in takes up a lot of energy and leaves you feeling drained. So if you’re overwhelmed, just let it out! Cry, scream, write an angsty 90’s style emo song. (You might just want to do it somewhere private so you don’t scare people!)
Related: 6 Creative Ways to Beat a Bad Mood
3. Get Rid of Stress with Self Care
I want you to think for a minute: What would you do if your best friend had a really terrible day? Would you take her out for the biggest, nasiest, dessert you could find? Would you maybe surprise her with that cute T-shirt she had her eye on last weekend?
That’s what I’m talking about here. If you’re having a genuinely horrible day, it really is okay to call it sometimes. Take a nap already. Order a ginormous Frappuccino and reread Harry Potter in the big chair at Starbucks. You might be surprised how quickly you feel better when you’re nice to yourself.
4. Get Rid of Stress with Thought Challenging
Do you have that obnoxious voice in your head reminding you of all the bad things that will happen if you don’t get everything done? Well, I have learned a great trick to shut that crap down: Thought challenging. Thought challenging basically means catching upsetting thoughts when they happen and changing them to make them more accurate.
Let me give you an example. If you catch a dramatic thought like, “If I don’t get my ACT score up by 3 points, my life is over!”, try changing it to something more accurate like, “I really want to get a higher score on my ACT, but if I don’t, I will come up with another plan and everything will be fine.” The truth feels a lot better, right?
Related: How to Beat the Bully in Your Head
5. Get Rid of Stress with Mindfulness
When we get overwhelmed, it’s usually because we’re beating ourselves up over something that already happened or we’re worrying about something that might happen. But, if you think about it, there isn’t usually anything bad going on right now. Unless you’re sick or in pain, what’s going on right now is usually pretty manageable.
So how do we keep ourselves in this moment right here? Mindfulness can be as simple as getting into an adult coloring book or starting a gratitude journal. There are some great relaxation exercises that help with mindfulness. Or you can overachiever it by doing something like yoga or guided meditation.
6. Access Your Higher Self
Another great way to get rid of stress is to zoom out. When we’re all up in our heads, our problems can seem really overwhelming. But when you think big picture, the stuff that stresses us out starts to look less significant. Being late to school won’t cause an earthquake. Pandas won’t go extinct if you get a C on a quiz. Those kinds of things are stressful in the moment, but don’t affect the world in a significant way.
Putting things in perspective is really helpful. If you’re the religious type, prayer can really bring your stress level down. So can turning your focus outward and doing things to help others. It can be something small like sending your mom a sweet text or it can be something more involved like volunteering for an animal shelter. Adding things to your to-do list might sound counterintuitive, but focusing on helping others feels amazing.
So there you go. If you want to get rid of stress right now, try distracting yourself, letting your feelings out, being nice to yourself, challenging your thoughts, getting in the present moment, and looking at the big picture. Any of these techniques work really well, especially if you try more than one.