6

votes

Right here! Right now! Immediate stress relief when you're on the run?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 27, 2011 at 3:22 PM

I tried to write this question in a stressful way. ;) Anyway, I know many of us have lives that just have NO ROOM for things like long meditative walks, hour-long massage appointments or heck, a full night's sleep. Whether it's because your kids are little and needy or because your boss is a nightmare or because your school schedule is relentless, some of us need down and dirty, in the moment stress relief.

I know the long-term biggies (hack your sleep, cut the caffeine, keep your diet clean) but what are the best tips you have for the very moment when your boss is screaming at you about deadlines or it's finals week or your kid is having a gluten-induced tantrum thanks to Grandma dismissing your diet as bunk? How do you get through that crisis and back to your already stress-inducing life? (Because an awful boss is awful even when he isn't screaming; there's always homework even when there aren't finals and toddlers -- let's face it -- are HARD!)

For me, it's deep breathing (that goes a long way) and listening to music I like during inevitable terrible commutes but I could use more tips. How are you getting through the worst parts of your neolithic day?

(My personally stressful life: Underemployed husband after a lay-off so tight, tight, tight budget and no benefits; full-time graduate school in a demanding field; part-time job in social services; two kids and one's a teenager. Sadly, no time or money for massages but Paleo has made me a lot more cheerful about it!)

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 28, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Agreed with something that takes focus. I sing and dance, so practicing those for me are very focusing, even for 10-15 minutes. Little attention grabbing games are a convenient alternative too :)

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 28, 2011
at 04:07 AM

Even better....

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Off to google Pizizz! Thanks!

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:39 AM

That sounds like a great visualization -- thanks!

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:38 AM

You know that makes me feel a lot better about the time I "waste" playing solitaire on the computer while I wait for class to start but I find it very calming.

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Maybe with in hot drink, right? ;)

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:36 AM

I do have a standing desk and it DOES make a difference! I can't really stand at work (meeting with clients) but I can stand while doing homework! If only I could stand in my classes though. Their tables are so-o-o-o uncomfortable!

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I think warm drinks go a long way in being comforting!

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:34 AM

I like this idea plus I can likely get my youngest to join me when she's coming unglued, too. Thank you!

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:33 AM

Thanks for this list, (which I am printing out!) and the links. This is a big help!!!

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Same here and according to Seth Roberts it helps one sleep as well http://blog.sethroberts.net/2011/06/05/questions-about-one-legged-standing-and-sleep/ (at least if you do it on one leg).

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 27, 2011
at 05:35 PM

+7 one for each point- i especially agree with #1&7

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 27, 2011
at 04:45 PM

ahhhh ha ha. I say yes!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 27, 2011
at 04:35 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub747pprmJ8 I love that song too :).

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9 Answers

best answer

12
B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on August 27, 2011
at 05:20 PM

It takes practice but being mindful has really helped me.

Elements of the Mindfulness Attitude There are 7 elements of the mindfulness attitude that are required for someone to achieve a mindful state:

  1. Non-Judging: taking the role of an impartial observer to whatever your current experience is. This means not making a positive or negative evaluation of what is happening, just simply observing it.

  2. Patience: cultivating the understanding that things must develop in their own time.

  3. Beginner???s Mind: having the willingness to observe the world as if it was your first time doing so. This creates an openness that is essential to being mindful.

  4. Trust: having trust in yourself, your intuition, and your abilities.

  5. Non-Striving: the state of not doing anything, just simply accepting that things are happing in the moment just as they are supposed to. For people from Western countries like the United States, this tends to be one of the more difficult components.

  6. Acceptance: completely accepting the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and beliefs that you have, and understanding that they are simply those things only.

  7. Non-Attachment: avoidance of attaching meaning to thoughts and feelings, or connecting a given thought to a feeling. Instead, let a thought or feeling come in and pass without connecting it to anything, observing them exactly as they are.

More about mindfulness and anxiety at this link (the link is secular)

http://gad.about.com/od/selfhelp/a/mindfulness.htm

This is being taught at Universities. I took a mindfulness course at UCLA in the neuroscience department.

Here is the guy that started the program that UCLA, UCSF, UCSD, etc use

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy4ds0Q1RO4

Besides that, listening to podcasts in my car during a commute actually makes me look forward to my commute. For the under 40 male crowd on paleohacks they might really dig "The Joe Rogan Experience." There are also paleo, exercise, science (WNYC's Radiolab is a good one), music, etc podcasts.

Also having pandora on my phone with a large variety of stations and genres keeps my energy up.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 27, 2011
at 05:35 PM

+7 one for each point- i especially agree with #1&7

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:33 AM

Thanks for this list, (which I am printing out!) and the links. This is a big help!!!

4
A23cbb355bccf6eaa6b08d94b6db5348

(253)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:59 PM

This may sound a little odd but... My old tai chi teacher taught us how to shake the body to relax. Sometimes if I'm stressed and have to go into a meeting or something I stand, feet shoulder width apart, joints relaxed and then start by shaking my arms, then my legs, then both together... after a few minutes I feel less stressed and more alive ready to carry on.

I guess its a little bit like you see athletes doing whilst preparing to run a 100m sprint... just gently bouncing and shaking to relax the muscles. Also I think just focusing on a particular limb at a time and then on the body can take the mind away from the immediate stress of a situation.

Also it seems to relax muscles in the chest and abdomen if I've been hunched over a computer which in turn seems to help deeper breathing.

For me that helps.

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:34 AM

I like this idea plus I can likely get my youngest to join me when she's coming unglued, too. Thank you!

3
78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

on August 27, 2011
at 07:08 PM

This may not be what you're looking for but the more I stand up, the less stressed I feel. While it may not be possible at work, it usually keeps me alert and calm. Sitting tends to make me uncomfortable, tight, and more stressed.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Same here and according to Seth Roberts it helps one sleep as well http://blog.sethroberts.net/2011/06/05/questions-about-one-legged-standing-and-sleep/ (at least if you do it on one leg).

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:36 AM

I do have a standing desk and it DOES make a difference! I can't really stand at work (meeting with clients) but I can stand while doing homework! If only I could stand in my classes though. Their tables are so-o-o-o uncomfortable!

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 28, 2011
at 09:25 AM

A quicky....most fun with a partner, but still stress relieving solo.

2
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on August 27, 2011
at 10:23 PM

In Aikido we did deep breathing exercises - relax and inhale slowly through the nose, visualize the air as a fog slowly filling you up, hold for a couple seconds and slowly exhale again watching the fog leave your body, even just 3 of these can calm me down in any stressful situation.

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:39 AM

That sounds like a great visualization -- thanks!

2
C5c3a1fb34a486366e45afbb5eaaca05

on August 27, 2011
at 06:56 PM

If I'm around my school's campus I'll take a few minutes to play a game of pool with myself. Something that requires a lot of focus, concentration, and very little analytical thinking about anything external to the felt.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 28, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Agreed with something that takes focus. I sing and dance, so practicing those for me are very focusing, even for 10-15 minutes. Little attention grabbing games are a convenient alternative too :)

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:38 AM

You know that makes me feel a lot better about the time I "waste" playing solitaire on the computer while I wait for class to start but I find it very calming.

2
6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on August 27, 2011
at 04:42 PM

jim beam? or is that not paleo...

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 28, 2011
at 04:07 AM

Even better....

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 27, 2011
at 04:45 PM

ahhhh ha ha. I say yes!

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Maybe with in hot drink, right? ;)

2
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 27, 2011
at 04:08 PM

This may be unpopular and not what you're looking for but I suggest...find some paleo comfort foods. I drink some hot chai tea (decaf) with coconut milk and eat some dark chocolate when I'm feeling I need to wind down at the end of the day. Food is still for pleasure and not just sustenance.

Also...if you can listen to some Jimmy Moore, Rob Wolff, Latest in Paleo, Chris Kresser podcasts on your long drive. This is a huge stress reliever for me (1 1/2 hour commute one way) so I can distract myself with thinking about the podcasts while I work.

Also for me...I think what is most helpful is to remember how lucky I am. And...I find that lifting weights for stress relief makes me too relaxed to get worked up when stress hits.

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I think warm drinks go a long way in being comforting!

1
218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on August 27, 2011
at 11:38 PM

I take a 10 minute nap, with headphones on listening to a 10min long music track I generated from the software 'pzizz' -a brainwave/sleep enducing software. Relaxes and refreshes me immensely in 10mins. I do it on the train (yes, Japanese trains are very safe to do it on) at work on the couch in the guys locker room, at home on the couch, on the bed.

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Off to google Pizizz! Thanks!

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