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It can happen anywhere: all of sudden you start freaking out about an upcoming work deadline, a presentation you have to do, a test, being on time for an appointment, having lunch with a new client or things that need to be done at home before guests arrive for the weekend. You feel your muscles tense up, your heart starts beating faster, your stomach may get upset, your head starts to throb.

Catch Stress Early

Before things get too bad, try some of these “do anywhere” stress relievers to calm your brain, relax your body and get back in control.

  1. Breathe—inhale through your nose for the count of four, then exhale through your nose for the count of four. This breath is called Sama Vritti in yoga or equal breathing. It can help take your mind off your racing thoughts.
  1. Visualize—take a moment to see yourself handling the situation with calm, ease, and clarity. Try not to pay attention to your current mental state. Focus on the feeling that you can and will get through the situation without any problems.
  1. Tense and Relax—focus on slowly tensing and relaxing your muscles. Start with your toes and progressively work your way up to your neck and head. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat. This method is called progressive muscle relaxation.
  1. Walk Away—get up and walk away for a few minutes. Turn off your phone. Get away from your computer, or any other screen. Go for a walk around the block or just sit in a private, safe, calm space.
  1. Listen—put on something calming. Classical music works great for this. After about five minutes of listening, your breathing will start to match the calming beat of the music.

High stress can impair concentration and creativity. It can affect your sleep, your mood, how you function. When you feel yourself slipping into your next little freakout try one of the above techniques. See what works best for you or try a combination of techniques.

It you feel like you may be dealing with an anxiety disorder, please talk to a medical professional about treatment. There are lots of options available to manage your symptoms.

Here’s another way to relieve stress

If you haven’t already, sign up for CarePlus—a free concierge healthcare service designed to take the stress out of staying healthy. When you sign up for CarePlus our team will help you:

  • find the right doctor
  • get appointments quickly
  • get faster access to your medical information—like lab results
  • obtain referrals to specialists and the pre-authorizations you may need
  • get your insurance questions answered