Dealing with a Stressful Event

We all have to deal with stressful situations, some more frequently than others. And there is a lot of advice out there to help people deal with stress, with suggestions ranging from exercise, to rest, to meditation. And these are fine to help deal with stress levels over a period of time.

But they’re not much help in the heat of the moment, when you find yourself confronted with something that suddenly produces a burst of anxiety, frustration or anger. In these situations, you need something that you can do immediately to help lower your stress levels. What can you do on the spur of the moment?

  • Take a deep breath and count to ten slowly.

Breathing in deeply has a calming effect. And counting to ten gives you time to cool down a little and think about what you are going to say or do, instead of reacting instantly and saying or doing something you will regret later.

  • Throw some cold water on your face.

This actually works to slow your heart rate up to 25 percent. Getting some fresh air will also help. And you want to stay away from anything with caffeine in it because caffeine is a stimulant.

  • Get outside

Again, getting outside for a walk will help you calm down and clear your mind. The very colors of nature – green and blue – themselves have a calming effect. As you walk, enjoy the view and take some deep breaths to unwind and to put things back into perspective.

  • Do a cost-benefit analysis

If you need to make a quick decision about something and are not sure which way to go, try doing a quick cost-benefit analysis. By listing the pros and cons of your choices, you may get a more clear idea of a way forward.

  • A quick burst of exercise.

It doesn’t have to be long or tiring. The idea is just to get your body moving. Simply by putting yourself in motion, your outlook will improve – exercise has a positive effect on mood, emotion and confidence. If you are depressed, in a funk, get moving with some calisthenics.

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