START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good

Quick Steps to Stop Stress

Quick Steps to Stop Stress

Convinced it will rain on the party you’re planning this weekend—and it’s only Monday? Turns out, those six days of unnecessary, perceived stress quite literally can make you “worried sick,” according to a new study.

Perceived stress versus actual stress: “Actual stress is something you experience in the moment, like a giving a presentation at work, or fighting with your spouse,” says Jim Claussen, a chiropractor from Chicago. On the other hand, if you’re worried about the economy crashing or your 401(k), then you’re stressing over something you have no control over, and your stress is perceived, he says. Your body can recover from actual stress, but long-term perceived stress puts you in constant fight-or-flight mode, fatigues your adrenals, and compromises your immune system. “It’s as if you were to prop your car up on blocks, weigh the gas pedal down, and let it run all night,” says Claussen. “You can’t expect to walk into the garage the next morning and have any gas left.” The study found that people with the highest perceived stress had 80 percent fewer protective antibodies in their blood than those who were actually stressed out. Try these tips to help you chill out:

Put stress on a shelf. “It’s definitely an art,” says Claussen, “but if you can find an off button for your stressor, you’ll waste a lot less time and effort worrying about something you can’t control.” Remember that party you’re fretting about? Put your worries about the weather “on the shelf,” and come Saturday when it’s time to deal, “pull it off the shelf.”

Breathe with your belly. Lie down on the floor with a book on your belly. Inhale through your nose, feel the book rise, and hold for four seconds. Exhale all the air out through your mouth, letting the book lower. Repeat four times. Deep inhales stimulate your lungs and trigger the parasympathetic nervous system to put you in a calming state while deep exhales help drain the lymphatic system.

Meditate. Take 30 minutes out of your day to meditate, do yoga, or t’ai chi to help reduce stress hormones, slow down your heart rate and blood pressure, and balance your system.

Read more: Guidance, Health, Mental Wellness

By Nicole Duncan, Natural Solutions

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.


+ add your own
1:28AM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

Great Reminder! Thanks for sharing.

5:01AM PST on Nov 26, 2012

Thanks for the tips.

6:39AM PDT on May 2, 2012


1:58AM PDT on May 1, 2012

thanks for sharing

5:57PM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

Didn't know that 'perceived' stress could do so much more damage, although it makes a lot of sense. I do try not to worry or stress about things I have no control over but I catch myself sometimes doing just that---- From now on, I'll remember to put it on the shelf (I like that one). Thanks, good article.

12:07PM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

Oh! Another thing. Reminding yourself that you're fine, you're well, you're loved, you're breathing ... in the here and now everything is safe - well, I've found that can work too. Then you just go from moment to moment. I think it's the racing ahead that's the killer.

12:05PM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

A useful thing I was told was to make an appointment to worry. So you tell yourself you're not going to worry about the thing until, say, 5 o'clock, when you're going to give it ten minutes of active thought. Chances are, you'll forget - and 5 will come and go without the worrying. Then you have to postpone it to 5 the next day... I'm not advocating burying your head in the sand, but this does tend to be useful for the 'perceived worry' kind.

7:47AM PDT on Sep 26, 2010

This I MUST do.... I'm the classic "worry, worry, worry" about stuff and people that I don't and shouldn't have control over.... this and the meditation article are a wake up call.... once more (!)

6:14AM PDT on May 31, 2010

Great advice, thanks!

9:52PM PDT on May 11, 2010

thanks for sharing

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thanks for sharing.

How adorable!! Watched this over and over, thanks so much for sharing.

Everyday should be Earth Day... We do live here '365 days' a year...

after all the Egyptians regarded cats a s gods !

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.