Dealing with acute Stress

Quick Stress Relief

The following exercise combines paced breathing to balance the autonomic nervous system with a cognitive behavioural therapy technique. Combining the physiological and psychological exercises will let you not only reduce the negative impact of pressure on health, judgment, and decision-making, but also process the issues or events that have led to the experience of negative stress and extreme emotions. It helps you neutralize negative stress and negative emotions and to shift towards a sense of empowered and being in control. It offers instant day-to-day stress relief.


  • Relieves stress and extreme emotions instantly.
  • Processes challenging situations.
  • Prepares for good judgment and decision-making under pressure
  • Enhances performance and productivity under pressure.

Step 1: Breathe Slowly and Deeply (2 Minutes)

  • Breathe through your nose, in and out. 
  • Gently fill your lungs from the diaphragm upward to approximately 75% with air, then gently breathe out. 
  • As your right hand rests above your naval, feel, how your abdomen expands with each inhalation and gently contracts with each exhalation.
  • If your nose is blocked, you can also breathe through your mouth.
  • Maintain balanced breathing throughout the exercise.

Step 2: Recognize Your Emotions (30–90 Seconds)

  • What makes you feel upset?
  • How does it make you feel?
  • Name your emotion(s) as precisely as possible.
  • Where in your body do you feel uncomfortable and how?
  • Why do you feel that way?
  • Now write down the answers to these questions.

Step 3: Choose Your Behavioural Response  (30–90 Seconds)

  • How will you respond to a similar situation in the future? 
  • What will you do about it?
  • Write it down.
  • Imagine for a moment how it will look and feel when you have implemented your intended actions with confidence. (Mental rehearsing)

In summary:

  • Breathe slowly and deeply throughout.
  • Choose an upsetting event in the present, past or future.
  • Ask yourself how it makes you feel and name your emotion(s).
  • Where in your body do you feel that emotion and how does it feel
  • Now ask yourself why you feel that way?
  • Next ask yourself how you would like to behave in a similar situation in the future
  • Mentally rehearse this new behaviour with confidence.
  • Imagine how it will feel when you will have implemented you planed action. (Mental rehearsing)


This meditation and its instructions are not a substitute for advice, treatment, or counselling from a registered health professional or therapist. A health professional or therapist should be consulted in the case of suspected physical or mental illness. Meditation and instructions are not a substitute for any intervention advised by your healthcare professional or therapist. If in doubt, always consult your healthcare professional or therapist.