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3 Ways to Break the Stress Cycle When It Starts


“Try not to stress out” is pretty useless, as far as advice goes. It’s one of those things we all say, and hear, on an almost daily basis, and yet almost everyone has trouble putting it into practice. And why is that? Because the stress cycle is weakest right at the beginning — in other words, when most of us are still trying to ignore the fact that we’re losing our grip.

Lifehacker offers a some advice for breaking this vicious cycle. Here are a few of the tips you probably haven’t heard:

1. Do it now.

See previous re: it’s easier to calm down when you’re not that far down the rabbit hole. Give yourself permission to recognize and walk away from stress before it gets a toehold.

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2. Eat something.

Many of us get hungrier when we’re stressed out, partly because the stress hormone cortisol is telling us that we need to stock up on calories to deal with that tiger we’ll be fighting later. (Note: there is no tiger.) Instead of scarfing down a whole bag of chips, try feeding your body as if you were fueling a machine — in other words, give it some healthy food to chew on, instead of empty calories.

3. Unplug

If possible, turn off your phone, power down your laptop, and get away from screens for a bit. Even if you can only take a few minutes off, the break from the constant notifications, texts, news feeds, and stimulus will do you good.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! What do you do to deal with stress? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

More from PayScale

9 Ways Successful People Beat Stress

What Causes Workplace Stress — And What You Can Do About It [infographic]

12 Ways to De-Stress at Your Startup Job

Stress Reduction

(Photo Credit: eamonncurry123/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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