5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Reduce Stress

Guys, I didn't believe it when they told me I would change from taking testosterone. I was like, "naaahhh. Those guys act all macho and angry because they think they have to."

I was wrong. So wrong.

I've always had a temper but this T shit is no joke. Lately I get set off for simple things like not being able to plug my phone charger into the wall or because my computer is running too slow. It is me or is that whirring sound killllllerrrrrrrrrr.

After years of meditating (not often enough) and learning to listen to my body, I can actually feel the temperature rising inside, like a rage tidal wave. Sometimes I let it out. Sometimes I don't. Most times, I DO laugh at how childish it seems and how much like my teenage self I've become. Again.

Hormones are powerful things, and I've heard similar tales of woe from my pregnant pals and friends experiencing menopause. The terms might be different, but the experience is certainly the same.

And if the hormone thing wasn't enough, life brings any number of stressors into our day. My mom just texted me that she woke up to a busted hot water heater and electrical wires down from a felled tree. Ouch.

Anyone will tell you that stress isn't good for our bodies. Being angry and stressed isn't our only option for whatever life throws our way.

Here are five things you can do right now to reduce stress and feel better fast:


1) get enough sleep. Aim for 8 hours a night, on a regular schedule. Sleep deprivation takes anything mildly annoying and ramps it up 1000%. It's hard to respond in a cool, calm and collected way when you're bleary-eyed and cognitively impaired. 

2) breathe. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. When you're feeling the pressure build, stop whatever you're doing and take 4 realllllly deep breaths. Repeat as many times as you need until the needle moves a few notches from RED ALERT.

3) meditate more. This isn't just for Buddhists or yogis, anymore. There is a ton of research out there supporting the physical, mental and emotional benefits of meditation. 5-15 minutes every day can work wonders.

4) reduce your sugar intake. Adults joke about giving kids sugar...


but rarely notice when they act exactly the same way. First comes the happy sugar high and then the moody meltdown. Don't believe me? Track your sugar intake for one week. Reduce it by half the following week and see what you notice about your mood, energy levels and response when triggered.

5) phone a friend. James Taylor's song "You've Got a Friend" isn't a huge hit by accident. People NEED pals. We really do. Next time your head feels about ready to explode, text someone on your recent calls list with this message: "I need to vent. Can you listen to me, unbiased, while I rant for a sec?" Then, set a timer for 2 minutes and let it all out. When the timer dings, you're done. Return the favor for your friend and you might get some perspective on your current situation. Maybe it wasn't as bad as you thought...




Got a quick tip that folks can do anytime, anywhere to reduce stress levels?

Feel free to share in the comments below. ;-)