A Simple Trick to Reduce Stress Instantly

By Brittany Risher |

You can do this anytime, anywhere—in less than 60 seconds.

When we’re stressed, we tend to breathe more shallowly, hold tension in our bodies, and forget to take care of ourselves. So we should all just avoid stress, right? If only it were that easy.

You may not be able to completely eliminate stress from your life, but there are ways you can manage it. One very doable example: Take a quick break to calm down and reconnect with your body.

“A simple moment can help recalibrate the nervous system, shine a light on our stress and tension habits, and make us more aware of the warning signs that lead to fatigue, injury, and burnout,” says Terecita “Ti” Blair, the 2017 SilverSneakers Instructor of the Year. “It reminds us that we are here and alive right now.”

By focusing on the past or the future rather than the present, we’re more likely to become anxious, moody, and overwhelmed. Being here and now gives us a chance to notice what’s going well and to feel our own power, Blair says. “We can get caught up in what’s next or in the past, and we forget that we have choices in this moment,” she says. “How does one change their life? One step at a time.”

Try the steps below anytime you feel disconnected or like you need a quick reset. It’s a great reminder that no matter what happens in your life, you can keep going—one step at a time.

Step #1: Stop

Whatever you are doing, pause where you are.

Step #2: Find Your Feet

Look for your left foot. See it? Now look for your right foot. This will anchor your body and mind to here and now. Pause for one breath, or longer if you have time.

Step #3: Make It Your Own

If you prefer, you can pause and find each hand. You can also use your senses: What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? Whatever you choose, find something that anchors you to the moment, and reminds you that you are here and you are safe.

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