Quick Stress Reduction Tools

Crisis from the stress of the pandemic
Photo by Markus Winkler

Quick stress reduction tools are needed now more than ever! Has your pain increased over the last few months? Well, stress and pain go hand in hand.

The American Psychological Association’s article Stress Effects on the Body states: “Chronic stress causes the muscles in the body to be in a more or less constant state of guardedness. For example, …migraine headaches are associated with chronic muscle tension in the area of the shoulders, neck, and head.

How stress Affects You

Stress angry face

When your stress is high, do you experience any of these issues?

  • Headaches
  • Jaw, back, stomach or gut pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Tired
  • Anxiety
  • Angry outbursts
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle aches

Stress in Your Body

Woman having back pain because of stress
Photo by Dylan Sauerwein

Most people have a place in their body that feels tighter when stressed. If you have chronic pain, then you may hurt more than usual.

“The overlap of anxiety, depression, and pain is particularly evident in chronic and sometimes disabling pain syndromes….” The Pain-Anxiety-Depression Connection by Harvard Health Publishing.

People are seeking therapy more than ever. Use stress techniques now that work for you. Your body and mind will thank you.

Keep It Simple!

Sticky notes to remind you to reduce your stress

Don’t do anything that takes too much thought because when you are in the midst of a high-stress moment, your memory cannot recall complicated things. Write your favorite stress reduction tools on sticky notes and put them up all over your house.

Quick Stress Reduction Tools

Remember that the brain can only focus on one thing at a time so when you place your attention on deep breathing, dancing, or a lit candle, this moves your thoughts away pain. Erica Jaques of verywell health said, “Focusing on sensations other than tension and pain, or even introducing new sensations, can “close the gate” to pain. The pain doesn’t go away, it just drops into the background.” 

  • Take a deep breath
  • Drop your shoulders
  • Close your eyes for a moment
  • Dance/Move
  • Sing
  • Light a candle
  • Say out loud what you are grateful for
  • Swing your arms
  • Breathe in your favorite scent
  • Hum
  • Smile
  • Laugh out loud
  • Read a favorite quote

  • Strike a yoga pose
  • Walk a flight of stairs
  • Think about your favorite memory
  • Look at a picture of a loved one
  • Stand up straight
  • Quickly relax your muscles
  • Pet your pet
  • Step outside
  • Rub your scalp with your fingertips
  • Listen to your favorite song
  • Squeeze a piece of Play-Doh
  • Write for one minute about how you feel
  • Relax your jaw
  • Stretch
  • Do part of a crossword puzzle

Take the time each day to reduce your stress, since this will decrease your pain and don’t we all want a little less discomfort?

Need More Ideas?

Pop over to my Pain Management and Resources pages for more tools to help reduce your pain, stress, and anxiety.


Gail Sinclair, MHt, CNC is a hypnotherapist who helps those living with chronic pain go from discomfort to thriving by using hypnosis, pain management tools and resources.

She is a Master Hypnotherapist, Nutritional Consultant, and a Reiki Master Teacher. She has over 20 years in healing work and is an international award-winning speaker.

Gail lives in Portland, OR with her delightful husband, son, and cat. She can be found cooking, knitting, writing, and figuring out new ways to thrive with Trigeminal, and Occipital Neuralgia.

You can reach her at gailthriveswithchronicpain@gmail.com.

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