How can I relieve stress quickly?

Here are a few great strategies to de-stress quickly:

1.  Take 5 minutes and write down 3 things you're greatful for.  Gratitude generates positive emotions which lower your heart rate and reduce stress.

2.  Breathe in for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 5.  Repeat.

3.  Read funny quote or a good joke.  I'm a recovering lawyer and used to keep a book of lawyer jokes by my desk for stressful moments. (It came it quite handy A LOT!)

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
In the heat of the moment, at peak periods of high intensity, you should be able to pull a quick stress-busting behavior out of your bag of tricks. Our suggestions:
  • Scrunch your face tightly for fifteen seconds, then release. Repeat several times. This repetitive contraction and relaxation helps release tension you’re holding above the neck.
  • Breathe in, lick your lips, then blow out slowly. The cool air helps you refocus and slow down. If your lips get too chapped, you can just breathe in, hold for 3 seconds, and breathe out slowly over several more seconds. Sit up tall when you do it. You’re actually getting more oxygen to brain cells that way, and giving your body a nice time out.
  • Cork it. Hold a wine cork (don’t uncork the bottle yourself, bucko) vertically between your teeth. Gently biting the cork forces your jaws (a major holder of tension) to relax.

Continue Learning about Stress

Stressed? Take Those Old Records off the Shelf
Stressed? Take Those Old Records off the Shelf
When your body is in knots and your mind won't let your worries rest, you might think that a massage is the way to go. But here's a cheaper, quicker f...
Read More
What are the different types of bad stress?
William B. Salt II., MDWilliam B. Salt II., MD
The different types of bad stress are as follows: Repeated “hits” This is the unremitting stres...
More Answers
12-Step Stress Management Plan
12-Step Stress Management Plan12-Step Stress Management Plan12-Step Stress Management Plan12-Step Stress Management Plan
Learn how to keep chronic stress from aging your body.
Start Slideshow
Why Is the Stress-Recovery Cycle Important?
Why Is the Stress-Recovery Cycle Important?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.