Quick and Easy Stress Busters


By: Ruth St. Pierre

Do you have enough stress in your life? Too much to do and not enough time to do it? Pressures at work? Pressures related to the holidays? In less time than it took you to read these opening lines, you probably started a mental list of your personal stressors. Some people, when asked about stress in their lives, find it easier to list the few things that AREN’T stressful at the moment!The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that American business loses over $17 billion annually because of stress-related health problems or time off. If you want to counteract the negative effects of stress in your life, read on. This is the first of two articles about taking control of your stress. In this article, you will find stress busters to begin using immediately. My next article will include long-term solutions which you can incorporate into a healthier, more productive year.Here are four easy, no-cost stress busters to keep you going when you cannot stop to smell the roses.

SHORT TERM STRESS BUSTERS to use anywhere, anytime:


The more stressed we become; the more likely we are to take shallow breaths. Make it a habit to check your breathing when you are feeling stressed. This exercise is especially good if you are getting stressed about dealing with a difficult person.Inhale through your nose, imagining that you need to fill both lungs and abdomen with air. If you place your hands on your abdomen, you should be able to feel it expand. Exhale slowly through your mouth to release tension. If you are on the telephone, consider using the mute button! Repeat three to four times. Caution:  stop if you feel light-headed.

2.  MOVE

Stress builds and muscles tighten. So what do we do? We keep right on sitting at our desk working. The best option is to get up and move around. Climb some stairs, go talk to your colleague instead of sending an email, walk to lunch instead of eating at your desk.

Try the neck stretch. Rolling your head in a circle actually stresses you more than it relaxes. Gently bend your head to the right until you feel a light pressure on your neck muscles, then slowly bend your head to the left until you feel the slight pressure. Slowly return your head to center, then bend forward and backward in the same way. Repeat two or three times for maximum relaxation.


There are two pressure points on your wrist which, when firm pressure is applied, can help you return to a calmer state. Apply firm (not hard) pressure with a straight forefinger as you breathe out. Release the pressure as you inhale. Repeat the process several times.

  • Pressure Point #1: In the center of your inside wrist, in a straight line up from your middle finger, about two thumb widths from the bottom of your palm. You will find a natural groove, just behind your wrist bone.

  • Pressure Point #2: On the outside wrist, centered on your middle finger, about two thumb widths above the crease in your wrist. You will feel the slight indentation.


The following questions and then make decisions accordingly. 

  • Do I have to do this or could someone else do it? For example: If you always make Christmas dinner, ask everyone to bring a dish!

  • Take large copying projects to a copy shop. The value of your time spent on more important things is greater than the cost of the copying.

  • Does it need to be done at all? This is a good question if we have been doing the same things for a long time. Perhaps there is no longer a need to do them. Example:  Every year we buy a fresh Christmas tree. That means extra work before, during, and after the holidays.

  • What is the worst thing that would happen if I didn’t do this? If the consequences are minimal or more about how you would feel about not doing this, then it’s time to rethink or reduce your own expectations. Example:  “What would everyone think if I didn’t spearhead the annual Christmas party?” Probably that you deserve a break!

Watch for the next article about long-term stress reducers for more quick, easy tips to bust that stress when it hits. Better yet, consider scheduling a one-day Stress Buster and Time Management seminar for your organization. I would love to help you and your employees get more done with less stress!  Call toll free 877-385-5515.

By: Ruth St. Pierre

© 2015 Alliance Training and Consulting, Inc.



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