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September 26, 2016
Part 4: Strong Against Stress: Take Home Tips for Acute Stress
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Part 4: Strong Against Stress: Take Home Tips for Acute Stress

I hope you have learned some new stress fighting techniques to employ in your life to help you become more resilient against stress. To conclude the series, I have saved the best for last.

The most helpful tools I took from the seminar were the tips Dr. Preston gave to reduce stress or anxiety immediately. What can I do to feel better when I am really stressed, anxious, or upset right now? What can I do to reduce my stress before an important meeting or event? In my mind, reducing overall life stress is wonderful but SO OFTEN I need practical help right in the moment. These are the tips he gave, and I am excited to share them with you in the last post of the series.

5 Quick ways to fight off acute stress:

Drink a big glass of water

               Dr. Preston explained there is association with dehydration and cognition and mood. Dehydration can also influence tiredness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. So drink a large glass of water and notice the improvement.

Go outside

               Light is associated with serotonin production, which makes us happy. It is important that the light hits the retina of the eye, like we discussed previously.

10 minute speed walk

               Acute stress reduction can be greatly improved by 5-10 minutes of exercise. Dr. Preston states that with sudden onsets of anxiety, a quick walk or run can be helpful.

Have a good cry

               “A good cry,” even from one to five minutes in length can reduce painful emotions by up to 40%. Dr. Preston told us that holding back the tears can be painful, while releasing it can decrease cortisol levels in the body.

Deep breathing

                Diaphragmatic (belly) breathing with a slow inhale and extended exhale can help reduce acute stress. Try five deep breaths in a quiet place.

I hope you have enjoyed reading these blogs. We know that stress in our lives is a given, but we can hone our skills to be resilient against it!

Preston, J. D. (2016, April). The Habits of Stress-Resilient People. Paper presented at Institute for Brain Potential: The Habits of Stress-Resilient People, Lynnwood, WA. 

To read more of our Strong Against Stress series follow to: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.  

Written by Andy Miller

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