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Magnifi U Staff Picks: 4 Ways to Interrupt Stress Today

by Kelley Sullivan

Stress is inevitable. It impacts us all, and sometimes daily. The good news is that it’s possible to interrupt stress when you feel symptoms arising. And science reveals that you can do this in as little as 60-90 seconds.

Personally, I’ve jumped on the breathwork bandwagon. There’s a simple gif I’ve been using for the past 7 years that is my constant go-to when I start feeling tightness in my chest and tears forming. If I don’t have access to that gif, my watch has a mindfulness app that has different breathing patterns which helps bring my heart rate back down. It’s incredible how just changing how you breathe impacts your nervous system.


I was sent the breathing gif from a coworker at one of my first jobs. So it got me thinking about what other techniques I might be missing out on. Since stress impacts everyone differently it’s natural that people destress and have their own techniques to course-correct.

In my case breathwork always grounds me. Maybe you’ve tried meditation. Or you might have your own version of unique stress relief. Maybe you stand on one leg and close your eyes. Whatever it is, it’s important to find what works for you.

In hopes of discovering some tried and true methods, I decided to check in with the team here at Magnifi U to get their tips on how to overpower stress. I asked my coworkers, How do you interrupt stress and reset when you’re feeling overwhelmed?” and here’s what they said: 

1. Change the scene.

“When I start to feel the first symptoms of stress I usually try to get outside. When I’m at home, I find myself gardening as a stress reliever or taking my dogs for a walk. If I’m at work, stepping outside for some fresh air gives me a chance to reset and gain some clarity. The change of scenery provides instant relief for me most of the time. I did some digging into why this is and discovered that research shows being in nature is associated with reduced stress and other mental health benefits. So if you notice stress levels rising, try to step outside, even if it’s just for a few minutes.” — Matt S., Magnifi U President.

2. Make a plan. 

“I often feel overwhelmed when there is a surplus of items I need to get done. My go-to technique for wrangling stress is to reframe and make a plan. Is everything actually as high stakes as it feels right now? Then I make an attack plan by breaking down responsibilities into smaller tasks and priority levels. Often, I start with tasks that feel easiest to do so I can build up mental momentum to tackle the more challenging ones. Once I do this I actually feel pretty good, more confident in myself and my ability to adapt to challenges!” — Rachel D., UX/UI Intern.

3. Get moving.

“Exercise is the best thing I’ve ever done to manage my stress. Going for a run or walk when I’m having a rough day, or doing some strength training when my mind feels anxious recenters my thoughts and emotions. It releases endorphins while simultaneously providing a healthy outlet for negative thoughts. Movement is also a great preventative tool. Sometimes when I know a day is going to be stressful, a quick workout will give me the boost I need to stay calm and focused throughout the day.” — David R., Senior Multimedia Designer.

4. Stay hydrated.

It sounds weird, but I drink water. I think when I first started doing this it was simply so that I wouldn’t burst into tears, but it actually worked. It worked so well that I ended up doing some research and there’s science behind the trick. It’s been proven that drinking water can help reduce stress hormones, such as cortisol. While I didn’t know that when I started relying on my water bottle, it helps me validate my method.” — Riley L., Content Developer. 

Maybe we’ve covered one of your go-to techniques for stress relief, or even better, maybe you’ve learned a new one today that you’re going to try out. Either way, before you finish reading and head back to the daily grind, remember stress isn’t always a bad thing, in fact, it is essential for survival. You can learn more about the impact of stress and more ways how to beat it by taking these two Magnifi U original courses:

Have a tip or trick to reduce or manage stress that we didn’t cover? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you on how you interrupt stress and reset when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Send your response and name to ksullivan@magnifiu.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming article.

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Magnifi U is a free, immersive, online personal and professional development platform that helps people align with their purpose and harness their unique superpowers.

From helping individuals nurture their well-being with free courses on how to Embrace Happiness and Building Resilience to providing them with tools to help them identify their unique strengths or develop their professional leadership skills, Magnifi U’s mission is to help everyone unlock their full potential.

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