How can You Reduce the Stress in your Life in 4 Quick Steps

how can you reduce the stress in your life

Just trying to slog through the daily concerns of modern living can leave you high-strung at the end of the day. Stress—especially the constant, under-the-radar kind—can be an insidious presence in your life. It can affect the quality of your time with your loved ones and severely degrade your performance in the work place. It is nothing incurable—most of the time, all it takes is taking a step back and reassessing your situation. So you’re probably asking, how can you reduce the stress in your life? The answer comes in four quick but highly effective stress busters we describe below.

1. Take deep, slow breaths

You may not notice it, but when you’re under stress, your breathing becomes quick and shallow. The result of this shallow breathing is more stress because less oxygen is supplied throughout your body—with less oxygen, your organs and tissues are slowly suffocated and starved of their fuel. It’s a vicious cycle: your breathing becomes shallow and less oxygen-rich when you’re under stress, and the effect of this shallow breathing leads you to more stress as your body reacts desperately to cope. That’s why always the simple, but highly effective solution is to stop for a few seconds, take a deep breathe through your nostrils, then slowly exhale it through your mouth. Each time you feel you’re about to snap, at whatever time of the day, do this simple deep breathing exercise for about six times in 30 seconds and you’ll immediately feel the result: you regain focus, you are more relaxed, your blood pressure even goes down.

2. Stop and look at the flowers

When we’re under stress, we tend to shut out the world around us as our mind solely focuses on our stressors. So if you’re looking for quick ways of how can you reduce the stress in your life, then stop what your doing (as long as what you’re doing is not exactly along the lines of “crossing the road”) and be more mindful of your immediate surroundings. Look around you: look at the flowers in bloom, the people walking by, take note of everything you see without passing judgment. Look around you with the eyes of a child, so to speak. The secret is to direct your mind on something in the present—what you have around you—so that stress can recede. Do this for a few minutes until the stress ebbs away.

3. Massage yourself

While nothing beats the skillful, trained hands of a professional masseuse, we don’t live in a perfect world where a masseuse is always available at our beck and call. The good thing is that you can actually perform an emergency self-massage with your own two hands. Yes, you can do it. Stress makes the muscle tense, and that’s why it’s important to immediately address the muscle tension whenever you can. If you can’t visit a spa, you can perform some simple self-massage techniques that are nevertheless effective in reducing your stress levels. For example, you can place both hands on your shoulders and neck and start squeezing and kneading this area with your palms and fingers—you’d be surprised at how relaxing this feels.

4. Meditate

Meditation has nothing to do with religion and has everything to do with self-healing, relaxation, and regaining your center. There are many ways you can meditate—you might be swimming or walking around the leafy areas of your neighborhood, and that can be considered meditation. But for a more direct, more focused way to meditate, especially if your major concern is how can you reduce the stress in your life, then do what the pros do: find a quiet, comfortable spot in your house, sit down, take deep breaths, and imagine yourself in a relaxed place. Alternatively, you can sit down, close your eyes, and focus on the things you hear around you, mentally identifying each one: the sound of a car speeding by, a baby crying, far-away laughter. Do this for a few minutes and you’ll emerge much more stress-free than ever.


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