How to Manage and Relieve stress in the Moment

When we’re under high levels of stress, rational thinking and decision making go out the window. Runaway stress overwhelms the mind and body, getting in the way of our ability to accurately “read” a situation, hear what someone else is saying, be aware of our own feelings and needs, and communicate clearly.

By learning how to quickly and reliably relieve stress and stay calm and focused in the moment, you will be able to tackle challenges with a clear head and communicate clearly and powerfully even in tense situations.

The power of quick stress relief

Being able to manage and relieve stress in the moment is the key to resilience. This ability helps you stay balanced, focused, and in control—no matter what challenges you face.


In small doses, stress can be a good thing. The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you perform under pressure, rise to meet challenges, and stay focused, energetic, and alert. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing damage.

When stress is out-of-control, it can get in the way of your ability to:

  • Think clearly and creatively
  • Communicate clearly
  • Accurately “read” other people
  • Hear what someone is really saying
  • Trust others
  • Attend to your own needs




How well do you currently manage stress?

To assess your present ability to manage stress, ask yourself the following questions:

  • When I feel agitated, do I know how to quickly calm myself?
  • Can I easily let go of my anger?
  • Can I turn to others at work to help me calm down and feel better?
  • When I come home at night, do I walk in the door feeling alert and relaxed?
  • Am I seldom distracted or moody?
  • Am I able to recognize upsets that others seem to be experiencing?
  • Do I easily turn to friends or family members for a calming influence?
  • When my energy is low, do I know how to boost it?

Source: The Language of Emotional Intelligence by Jeanne Segal


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