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This article was last updated on Nov. 18, 2022.
It’s no secret that even in the best of times, the role of a real estate agent can be stressful. Balancing client expectations with available inventory, high-stakes negotiations and ever-evolving market fluctuations can stoke stress in even the most confident professionals.
Couple all that with personal and family obligations and you can have a recipe for maximum tension. In order to stay present, calm and mentally sharp, I rely on these five stress-relieving activities.
Take a walk
If you can, change up your environment. A quick break into an area with natural beauty like a beach, a park, a yard or just a landscaped courtyard would be ideal, since looking at trees and plants has been proven to reduce stress levels.
Even if you can’t get away, simply taking a walk around the block can help refocus your mind and gain a little perspective.
Speak with a friend
Calling or texting a trusted friend, mentor or family member is a wonderful way to alleviate the stress of a situation. It can be as simple as saying “I’m just having a stressful moment and wanted to get your perspective.” Or, if you aren’t ready to fully dive in, just say you’re thinking of them and hope you can get together for lunch or a hike soon to catch up.
Many studies have shown that confiding in a friend when you are feeling under pressure or emotionally overwhelmed not only strengthens that social bond, but elicits feelings of greater security and well-being in both parties.
Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are a great way to get into a different headspace. You can drop into some transporting storytelling, enjoy some inspirational material or take in professional guidance. Whatever you’re seeking, I can promise you there’s probably a podcast for it.
I follow several myself, and I shared a few all-time favorites here. Beyond those, my go-to’s for a quick mental reset are anything with Dr. Joe Dispenza or motivational speaker, Ed Mylett. I also like the TED Radio Hour, Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris, and of course the Daily Meditation Podcast, which offers quick eight-minute guided meditations.
We all know the many benefits of meditation — from lowering blood pressure and heart rate to increasing creativity and reducing negative emotions — so I always encourage my colleagues, clients and friends to give it a try. Even a few minutes can help.
I am a big fan of visualization. Putting some energy into your desired outcomes is a great way to redirect feelings of fear and frustration or help diffuse moments of tension.
A quick way to do this is to imagine the feelings you would have if you achieved a certain goal and focus on those feelings. For example, if you are in the midst of negotiations and feeling tense, imagine the sense of relief you will feel when the negotiations go in your favor.
The goal here is to fully visualize and experience the feelings of achievement and accomplishment, and to invite them in to uplift you. I’m the first to admit that this can be a challenge, but the refocusing of energy can be amazing for your mental and emotional health.
I also like to repeat the phrase “This or something better” in my mind when visualizing my intended goal or outcome. Again, this redirects your mental and emotional energy to a positive result, and helps suspend you from the current stressful moment.
Breathwork is simple, but effective for relieving stress — fast. To start, try breathing in and out through your nose. This aids in slowing the breath and actually helps the body absorb more oxygen.
- Breathe in for the count of five.
- Hold your breath for the count of five.
- Exhale for the count of seven.
- Repeat this a few times.
Each of these techniques and tools can be adapted to suit your needs and preferences, but the goal is always the same — to maintain your mental and emotional well-being when you are faced with a stressful situation. While we can’t control the kinds of stressors we encounter, we can always control how we respond to them, especially in business.