You can workout, take all the yoga classes in the world, and try to stay calm. However, life will throw you many stressful moments that can be unexpected or hard to handle. When something happens like that and you start to tense up, there are things that can stop the stress in the moment. Here are some of the easiest ways to overcome stress instantly.
Open Your Smartwatch App
The first action you should take is to open your smartwatch app and monitor your stats. Measure your heart rate, and make it a goal to lower it. Then you can go to the Relax app and follow along with one of their sessions. If you don't have a relaxation app already downloaded, what are you waiting for? It can make you feel better in as little as 2 seconds. Do keep in mind everyone is different though, so try out a few and see which one works best for you.
Take Slow, Deep Breaths
You may have already knew this one, but do you know how to do it correctly? The key here is to use your entire lung, and not just the top part. When you take a relaxed breath that expands into the lower part of your lungs, you get good oxygen exchange. This means your heart doesn’t have to work so hard, and your blood pressure and heart rate instantly go down. So try taking a slow deep breath, expanding your chest and stomach, while counting to four. Then as you exhale, count back down to one. Do this three or four times, and you’ll start feeling better.
Get Up And Move
Many of us can't just sit still and 'think' the stress away. You can try to tell yourself to calm down, but your body is still under stress and goes into a fight-or-flight response. To get out of this physically dangerous situation, do something physical! Running around the block or doing your favorite exercise will make it a lot easier to calm down and metabolize the stress response. Find a burst of activity that you enjoy, and the result will be a calmer and happier you.
Have Your Brain Help
If something physical doesn't help you overcome stress instantly, then you may have to do it mentally. There's an easy step-by-step process you can do when you're in freak-out mode. First, visualize an actual stop sign and stop yourself from thinking about anything else. Next, take a few slow, deep breaths as mentioned earlier. Then, reflect on what's going on and ask yourself what is causing you this panic. Finally, ask what you can do for yourself right now in the moment to make yourself feel better. Maybe it's calling a friend or family member, or maybe it's taking a walk by yourself. Your mind tends to go to the worst case scenario, which obviously doesn't help and isn't good. Try this mental process next time, and it can help stop you from panicking.
Put A Smile On
It may take more muscles to frown, but muscle movement is still required to smile as well. Smiling can actually be a quick and effective strategy to overcome stress instantly. This is because several of the muscles in the face are connected to the vagus nerve, which facilitates relaxation. Even if you can't get yourself to grin in the moment, just thinking about smiling on the inside can gently stimulate those muscles to help you relax. You may even cue a real smile, so don't knock it until your try.