How to Alleviate Stress and Anxiety in 15 Seconds or Less

You know the feeling.

Mind whirring, heart space heated and tight. Thoughts flitting around in your brain -- “I need to email X!” “Oh crap, I never texted X back…” You start one task, then get anxious about the next. Stress.

The reality is that most people experience undue stress -- and to a degree they aren’t fully aware of until it's alleviated. I see it every day in my work.

After all, stress is subtle. It comes in diverse forms.

It’s your irritated reaction when someone cuts you off in traffic.
It’s getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
It’s that tough workout you knocked out last week. 
(Yup, exercise is a form of stress.)

Stress adds up. Gathers momentum.

It manifests in your body. It’s that whirring mind, that monkey mind. it’s the tight chest, the pit in your stomach, the adrenaline…

Here’s the thing: stress is uncomfortable, counterproductive, and under most circumstances, totally unnecessary.

Chew on this truthbomb:

Not everything can be easy, but everything can be done with ease.

for *most* of us, peace is a choice.

(This is spoken by a girl who used to have panic attacks and stress-induced heart palpitations.)

Today, I’m sharing one of the best ways to alleviate stress and bring more ease into your life.

This process is free and DIY, which means you can do it anywhere, anytime -- including during your commute to work, during a tense conversation, and before you fall asleep.

Here it is.

The best way to alleviate stress is to reconnect with your breath.

High quality breath calms the central nervous system. It recalibrates your energy and helps you come back to equilibrium.

Give this experiment a go (and copy/paste or screenshot it so you remember the process going forward):

  1. If you’re standing or sitting, place your feet flat on the floor. Take a moment to feel your connection with the ground. If you’re laying down, skip this step.

  2. Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulder blades down your back so your chest is open and your lungs can fully expand.

  3. Inhale through your nose (mouth closed) for 3 full counts. Drink in the breath through your diaphragm and up through the chest cavity. In other words, try not to do shallow chest-breathing. Focus your attention on the breath -- a meditation, if you will.

  4. Exhale out the nose (mouth still closed) for 5-6 seconds, pushing the air back down the chest cavity and out the belly. The most important part: push *all* the air out.

  5. Repeat for 10 rounds or more.

  6. Notice.

Give it a try today -- I think you’ll be fascinated by the outcome.

Because here’s the long and short of it:

Your breath is your shortcut to freedom.

Here’s to doing it with ease.

Love and light,
Valerie