If you answered that question with an enthusiastic nod, you’re in the right place. Because we all know that feeling stressed out is no fun, even if it is as commonplace as Starbucks. Fortunately for all of us, there are plenty of science-backed ways to take on stress that can make you feel better now. Below, you’ll find many of them. But remember, stress relief isn’t all about instant gratification. It’s also about setting up your habits and routines to keep stress from taking over in the first place.
How to Deal When You’re Feeling Stressed Out
Whether you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed at work, at home, or about the upcoming holidays, we’ve got you covered. So get ready to let that stress go—and keep it from coming back.
We all throw around the word stress, and most of us know how it feels in our bodies too. But what’s actually going on between our ears? Get a close-up look at how both short-term and long-term stress affects your brain, and find out how to reverse the damage by reducing your stress. Brains = awesome.
Mornings are breeding grounds for stress—it’s early, you have to function, and there’s never enough coffee. One way to get a head start? Set up a morning routine. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it definitely doesn’t have to start at 4:30 in the morning. (Seriously, why is that a thing?) But taking a few minutes to sweat a little, plan your day, or go tech-free can make all the difference. Try it, and you’ll be feeling stressed out less often. Or at least less often in the mornings. Baby steps.
Sleep and stress: an intimate relationship that none of us want to acknowledge. We should, though, because sleep might be the reason we’re feeling stressed in the first place. And by sleep, we mean the lack of it, of course.
Instead of leaving your eight hours to chance, set up a routine that settles you in before you crawl under the covers. Better sleep and waking up feeling less stressed? Yes, please. Bonus: Sleep also helps you better handle stress throughout the day. If you’re serious about taking on your stress, you need to sleep well. Period.
Speaking of handling stress throughout the day, there are other ways you can set yourself up to be calmer in the face of crisis. Even if that crisis involves an overflowing inbox. Once you build a few new habits, your stress levels should wiggle their way down to more manageable levels. And these habits aren’t boring either—one of them is all about laughter. Yes, we’re telling you to build a habit of humor; we’re also telling you it works.
Okay, long-term strategies are helpful for future stress. But what about when you’re feeling stressed right now? Here’s a super simple way to take control that’s based on research. Hint: It requires sweat and also a friend.
But don’t worry—we’re giving you way more than just the “what” behind this stress-busting strategy. We’re also showing you how with some simple, follow-along videos. Stress relief has never been so easy.
Meditation is stress-relief gold. Aside from slowing down your breathing and clearing your mind, it also helps you focus on the present moment, which means you can’t be stressing about the 3,045 tasks you have yet to do. Meditation, like many other habits, can be tough to build; notice that we said tough, not impossible. To make it easier for you to breathe better, we broke down the best 11 meditation apps out there. So you can try one now and thank us later.
As the holiday season gets closer, many of us feel our stress levels getting higher. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Our expert and positive psychology professor talks about a way to deal with holiday stress that can help you think about the season from a whole new perspective.
Feeling stressed all the time on the job? You’re not alone, but you’re also not doomed either. (And isn’t that uplifting?) This surprising way to deal with stress at work is all about thinking a little differently, which changes more than just your inner chatter. As in your brain.
Find out how changing your perspective can change your biology, and get four ways to do it that’ll have you laughing in the face of work stress in no time.
Our friends at Psych Central know a little about stress—they’re psychologists after all. They break down 20 ways to stress a little less right now including easy breathing exercises, tracking your stressors, and talking it out with friends and family. They also have resources on-page to help you find a therapist in your area, in case your stress is feeling unmanageable.
And hey, that’s okay. We all need a little more help than tips-lists can provide sometimes.
Your turn: When you’re feeling stressed, what’s your best way to find relief? Tell us in the comments.
For easy ways to up your performance at work, try these 59 work tips.
Author: Chelsey Taylor
Chelsey likes words, especially adjectives, and has been perfecting her perfectionism since infancy. She’s an endorphin-gatherer, top-knot connoisseur, and content manager at Panda Planner.