Stress can hit you like a runaway train during the most challenging times in your life. It loves to strike at times when you have to keep it together so that you can take care of your family, job and self. here are 10 stress relief techniques that can help you when you’re stressed out before it ties you in a knot. These methods will help you calm down ASAP:

1. Take a Few Good Exhales

Deep breaths are one of the most effectively and widely preached stress relief techniques. Deep breathing is effective because it releases hormones that block stress hormone production. That’s an awesome remedy then! It’s also great because you can do it anywhere and at any time. Just stop what you’re doing, inhale, hold it for about two seconds, and then let it all out slowly. Do it about 10 times to see some effects. This few moments of quiet reflection can work wonders for you!

2. Play With a Stress Toy

The $5 investment for a stress ball or fidget toy may be one of the smartest moves to relieve stress that you’ve ever made in your life. The University of Wisconsin did a study that concluded that stress balls are an effective way of managing many of the psychological symptoms of stress. It won’t hurt to try one if you’ve never done so. You may just find that you enjoy the results.

3. Distract Yourself

You can try distracting yourself if you’re stressed out. You can use a vast assortment of methods to do that. For instance, you can turn on some of your favorite music. Music can have a soothing effect if you’re stressed out because it can creep into your insides and calm the spirit.

4. Exercise

Exercise can be a wonderful remedy if you’re stressed out. The main reason is that it can release hormones that will send light signals to your brain. All you need to do is about 20 minutes of a good cardiovascular exercise, and you will experience an emotional elevation followed up by a sense of wellness and tranquility. You can do anything that boosts your heart rate like running, stair stepping, jumping rope and the like. You’ll get a self-confidence boost when you see the changes that regular exercise makes in your body, too!

5. Light a Candle

Certain smells can affect your psychological and emotional status. Chamomile, vanilla and rose are three smells that may send some calming signals to your brain. If you like floral scents, you may want to try some lavender. Light these up when you start feeling overwhelmed and see how you feel 30 minutes later.

6. Hug Your Child or Pet

Children and pets can provide you with the quickest access to stress relief, and they’ll give you an opportunity to let them know how much you love them. Grab and hug one of them the next time you feel stressed. That natural and pure bond will relieve stress and give you joy right away.

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7. Eat Some Chocolate

Chocolate has a little something that can change your mood from stressed out to calm and happy in only a few minutes. It increases your serotonin and endorphin production much like exercise does, and it’s great to eat. Have a dark chocolate bar the next time you feel stress coming on. You should calm down shortly after that scrumptious chocolate dissolves in your mouth.

8. Watch a Comedy Flick

Nothing can make you forget about stress quite as quickly as a good comedy flick can. You can turn on a funny movie or put on a good standup show. Once you start laughing, you may not be able to stop.

9. Narrow Your Focus

Sometimes stress hits because people take on too much at the same time. You’ll need to downsize if you feel like you’re trying to focus on too much at once. Just narrow your focus to one project or task at a time. Try to lessen the number of things that you’re working on and see if that makes you feel better at the end of the day.

10. Be Ready to Adapt

No matter what job or project you’re doing, you always have to be ready to adapt no matter what. If you prepare yourself to adapt, you won’t need stress relief techniques because you’ll already know what to expect and how to handle it. Always try to think of a plan B in everything that you do just in case plan A doesn’t work. Having plan C is an even better scenario. Strengthen yourself with the ability to adapt, and you’ll go far in life.

The next time the stressed out beast comes knocking at your door, just kick it back with some of the tips as mentioned above. They’ll work for you every time.

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