Top Ways to Instantly Destress While Distressed


While working through your daily schedule as a gig worker, you may run into problems that send your stress levels soaring. Despite the stress, you still have things to do, of course, resulting in you pushing through the discomfort more often than not. Unfortunately, letting stress fester can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. So, instead of gritting your teeth and plowing full speed ahead, just use the following stressbusters to destress while distressed.

Try Box Breathing

Box breathing is an effective calming technique that you can do anywhere, starting the instant your stress levels start to rise.

You will need to:

  • Exhale all the air out of your lungs to a count of four
  • Hold your breath for four full seconds
  • Inhale to another count of four
  • Hold your breath again for four more seconds

Repeat this sequence over and over while focusing on making your breathing smooth, not shaky.

At first, it may take up to 10 minutes to feel all the stress leave your body. But if you practice box breathing daily, you’ll start to feel the positive effects much faster each time. Aim to practice at least 20 minutes a day, so you’ll be ready when stressful times arise.

Color It Out

As stressful events occur, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head and end up overwhelmed by negative thoughts. To keep the energy flowing in a productive way, just pull out the coloring books and crayons, colored pencils, or markers.

As you put color down on the page, it redirects your thoughts and promotes relaxation. Plus, by filling up book after book with your creative works, you’ll get tons of proof that you can weather whatever comes your way.

Vary the experience by using different kinds of drawing and coloring tools. You may find certain colors and textures more relaxing than others, so try out a variety of things to see what works best.

Listen to Music

When you feel the stress coming on, you can calm down fast by putting in your earbuds and playing your favorite slow tempo tunes. Your brainwaves will instantly synchronize with the beat of the music, helping you relax in just a few minutes. As that occurs, the music will drown out the distressing thoughts by giving you something else to focus on.

If you’re not sure what to listen to, try chill songs by:

  • Grimes
  • Chvrches
  • FKA Twigs
  • Purity Ring
  • Cecile Believe

The songs that work best are ones that you enjoy enough to take you out of the moment. Once you’re feeling a little better, you can regroup and work on handling the stressful event as needed to move on with your day.

When you use healthy coping skills to keep stress at bay, expect your mental health to improve by leaps and bounds. You can then focus on completing your gigs and having a great time after work without stress getting in the way.

About the Author: Marie Abendroth is a skilled content strategist and SEO copywriter who has been a proud part of the gig economy for over 10 years. In her articles, she aims to provide up-to-date info that can help everyone achieve their goals as an independent worker. You can find her on WriterAccess.

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