How to Calm Down When You Feel Crazy Stressed

Stress. We’ve all felt it.

We stress about work.

About bills.

About love (or our lack thereof).

We stress about those things we can control and those things we cannot. Stress, it seems, is a natural part of human life—but it doesn’t have to run your life. It doesn’t need to be enduring. We don’t have to just sit back and take it.

When you feel stress creeping into your life, there are steps you can take to come back to normal, to equilibrium, to peace. And they can be affordable, too! (Because getting a massage once a week isn’t always the most cost-effective solution!).

How to Calm Down (5 Free Ideas!)

1. Socialize Mindfully

Depending on your nature (extroverted, introverted, or somewhere in between), socializing can cause or reduce stress to varying degrees. But most agree that spending time with the right people is an energizing, rejuvenating experience.

If you fill your time and your mind with the company and conversation of people who nourish rather than drain you, you’re likely to feel better after seeing them. So take a careful look at your calendar and really consider what you’re saying “yes” to when you accept that next dinner invite.

2. Visualize Frequently

Visualization is a powerful process. When in a state of stress, try visualizing the way you’d rather feel: Perhaps you’d like to feel free, empowered, compassionate, peaceful? Visualize the state you desire, and watch as your mind and body begin to move into that state now.

Of course, visualizing won’t erase that looming deadline or bring your soulmate to your doorstep (or maybe it will, who knows?), but it will change your state—mentally, physically, emotionally—today so that you can start experiencing the feelings you’d rather have instead.

3. Breathe Deeply

It always comes back to the breath, doesn’t it? Your breath is your saving grace—literally. It keeps you alive!

But so often we restrict it, even if unconsciously. When we’re stressed, nervous or anxious, we hold our breath or breathe in short, shallow bursts. Make a mental note to yourself to breathe when you find yourself feeling stressed. Stop what you’re doing and breathe deeply—in through your nose, out through your mouth—for as long as you need to.

Not only will you find that your heart rate slows and the chatter of your mind tends to cease, you’ll also likely find greater clarity around whatever was vexing you and a newfound motivation to solve your stressors.

4. Exercise Daily

Without movement, stress lingers in the body. It hangs around far longer than it needs to—unless you take the (physical) steps to clear it out of your body.

The next time you’re stressed, try going for a run, doing some yoga, signing up for a spin class or simply taking a walk around the block. When you get your body moving, the stress can move through you, too.

Even better, make a daily habit of exercise so that stress never has the opportunity to stick around longer than necessary.

5. Bathe Indulgently

And when all else fails (though I promise the tips above won’t!), treat yourself. When the stress won’t abate, allow yourself the time and space to luxuriate.

You don’t need to head to the fanciest spa—though you’re welcome to! You can create a stress-free, relaxed, indulgent experience right from the comfort of your own bathtub. Water is healing and restorative, too. Just by spending some time submerged in the bath, you’ll come out feeling cleaner and fresher in body, mind, and spirit.

What is your favorite way to destress (for free)? Share your tips with us in the comments below!


How to Move Out & On After a Breakup: A Compassionate Guide

How to Move Out & Move On After a Breakup: A Compassionate Guide

Today’s blog post is my response to a reader’s question regarding how to break up with someone you live with and what to do about moving on after a breakup. It all comes back to setting up respectful, clear boundaries after a relationship has ended. Read on for the full scoop. Dear D, I moved […]

Read More

Online Dating: Learn the #1 Tip To Finding a Great Man

successful online dating

You might feel like you’re the only single person left on the planet. And you could probably imagine a number of reasons why that may be true: Every man I meet online is a loser, a liar, or a cheat. Men are intimidated by my success. There are no good men left! All of that […]

Read More

A 5 Step Plan for Taking Control of Your Life

Plan for Taking Control of Your Life

Leadership skills are highly valued in our fast-paced, hustling culture. We look up to, emulate, and follow the advice of well-respected people who work hard, make tough decisions, and lead by example. But it’s not just organizations that need solid leaders. The most powerful place from which to lead is actually your own life. When’s […]

Read More

How to Easily Spot an Emotionally Unavailable Man

how to spot emotionally unavailable men

Most women know better than to try and connect with an emotionally unavailable man—the problem is that we’re not always as adept at reading the signs when we see them (or rather, admitting that the signs are there). That’s what I want to help you work on today. Because if you’re reading here, I’m sure […]

Read More

Attract Your Soulmate Now (Not 10 Years From Now)

Soul Mates Anniversary Card

My husband and cherished soulmate, Jose, and I are celebrating our three year wedding anniversary! THREE YEARS! (Take a peek at the card he gave to me…my heart just melted!) I can hardly believe how quickly these three years have passed, or comprehend how grateful I am to have spent them with such an incredible […]

Read More

I Think I’m Having an Existential Crisis

existential crisis from again & how I'm learning to love where I am

I think I’m having an existential crisis. And it’s all because of my hair. When I had my baby boy last February, I lost a lot of it. It wasn’t ideal, but I knew it was possible and I was confident it would grow back. Well, it has—and it’s gray! GRAY. I stood in front […]

Read More

How to Deal with Insecurity & Shame in a Relationship

How to Deal with Insecurity & Shame in a Relationship

Today’s post is my response, as a life & love coach, to a reader’s question regarding shame and insecurity during and after a relationship. Though it speaks directly to a romantic relationship, the same principles apply to any relationship and any situation where you’re holding on to feelings of worthlessness. The tools below will teach […]

Read More