Do you ever feel stressed out? The good news is that a little bit of stress isn’t bad for us. It’s our body’s way of focusing our attention and energy on a particular problem or opportunity, and harnessing all our resources to solve it or move us forward.

But when stress accumulates, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, it starts to wreak havoc on our bodies, our minds and our relationships. We simply aren’t built to handle large amounts of the hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, that stress generates. When stress overwhelms us or lingers for too long, it can leave us unable to make decisions, harm our ability to learn, damage our health and cause us to pull away from others.

60-second stress busters

Here are some fast, tried and tested ways to reset your stress levels. Spend the time:

  • Breathing deeply and slowly.
  • Stretching.
  • Drawing a picture.
  • Sipping a glass of water.
  • Walking.
  • Counting with your eyes closed.
  • Thinking about the bigger picture to gain perspective.
  • Laughing.
  • Sharing the problem with someone who is a good listener.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, try the activity below to centre yourself and regain some calm.

(Extract taken from The Life Plan, by Shannah Kennedy. Head over to to order your copy or get in touch with Shannah here to find out about executive coaching options.)