I’m actively trying to cut down the amount of stress in my life. As you may guess, it’s easier said than done, but there are definitely some things you can do each day to ease your mind and release tension.

So today, I’m sharing some tricks I’ve used to stay calm when I feel my stress levels rising. I’ve found that if I take time to plan for stressful situations ahead of time, I’m able to stop the stress from hitting all together.

1. Positive Self-Talk
Even without all the external factors that lead to stress - like work, family, or daily things that are out of your control (traffic!) there’s a major stress inducer you may not be aware of: The voice in your head. How many times a day does that little voice tell you you’re messing up, not good enough, or falling behind? Probably a lot! The next time it happens, acknowledge it – then turn it into a positive version of the same statement. For example, if your first thought is, “Everything is going wrong today,” put a positive spin on it: “I can handle everything if I take it one step at a time.”
2. Stop Stress Build-up On The Spot

Some days, the stress keeps piling up and there just doesn’t seem to be a way out the other side, but there are actually a lot of small ways to prevent stress from taking control. The key is identifying the things that regularly stress you out and plan ahead so you have a solution before stress takes hold. For example, if you’re constantly running late and that stresses you out, set your watch 10
minutes early, or if you always feel overwhelmed at work, try breaking big tasks down into smaller ones so they’re more manageable. It will take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you personally, but once you have a plan, you’ll be able to stop stress before it even starts.
3. Avert your Attention
If you feel your heart beating faster and your stress levels rising, take a few minutes to figure out what might make you feel better about the situation. Would physically walking outside for 5 minutes help you to calm down and see things more clearly? Or maybe taking your lunch break to do something you love, like writing in your journal, strolling through a garden, or calling a dear friend. Doing something you enjoy will alleviate some stress by giving you something positive to focus on. Taking a short break to shift your mindset from a stressful trigger can sometimes help you to see that what you’re stressing about isn’t so stressful after all, and there are more positive things to focus your energy on.
4. Get Moving
Studies prove that moderate exercise helps relieve and prevent stress. Taking a walk is my favorite way to stop stress in its tracks, especially before an important meeting or something I’m anxious about. Getting out for some fresh air clears my mind and relaxes my entire body. One thing I often do is listen to a portion of a light-hearted audiobook that’s currently on my Audible playlist. Right now, I’m listening to comedian Kevin Hart’s book, I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons, which is hilarious! Laughter is an immediate stress-buster, so I’ve been really enjoying my daily strolls while listening to it. Hart has been a favorite entertainer of Dave and I’s for a while, and his charm and humor really come through in this memoir, in which he shares how he overcame his rough beginning to become the successful performer he is today. Audible has a free 30-day trial happening now and this book is one of the featured titles you can get as part of it, so definitely check it out if you want to counter stress with some belly laughs or listen while you get some physical activity in, like I do!
5. Practice Relaxation
When a stressful situation arises, our first instinct is to hold our breath and tense up our bodies. Instead, try taking a few deep breaths before speaking or making a decision about what to do next, and actively remember to release the muscles in your face, neck, hands, and shoulders. A key factor in your level of daytime stress is the quality of sleep you get the night before, so make sure you have a healthy bedtime routine in place that fully clears your mind and relaxes your body (see my bedtime routine here). Daily meditation and yoga are also great for creating a daily relaxation practice – even a few minutes of can work wonders for combatting stress during the day and help you get better sleep.
5 Ways to Stop Stress In Its Tracks via @GirlWithCurves
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