A little tension can keep you on your toes. Too much can break down the system.

Whether you’re facing an approaching tiger or have just received an alarming text, the neurons in your brain, which perceive both situations to be equally dangerous and life-threatening, react pretty much similarly by initiating the “fight or flight” response — a cascade of signals and hormones that lead to several physiological changes designed to help you either run away and flee or stay and fight.

The main aim? Survival.

What happens when the body is stressed? Signals of distress trigger the adrenal glands to dump epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), acetylcholine and other chemicals into your body. This chemical dump causes you rapid heart rate and breathing, higher blood pressure, dilated pupils and other body responses, all subconsciously and all in about 500 milliseconds.

During the fight or flight response your body is trying to optimize and prioritize, so anything it doesn’t need for immediate survival is placed on the back burner. This means that digestion, the immune system, reproductive and growth hormone production, and tissue repair are all temporarily halted.

When does this get tricky?

The fight or flight response has a clear purpose and function, but it shouldn’t be activated over every day, non-threatening stressors like traffic, emails or bills. But many people are unable to find a way to put the brakes on stress. The result? – a chronic state of stress causing unpleasant gut effects, a weakened immune system, increased blood pressure, irregular metabolism, and even weight gain.

Here are 10 real time tools that you can use anytime to reduce stress.

Stand Up to Stress – Taking standing breaks of work or just 5 minutes of walking or stretching can massively help with reducing stress. That’s because the same endorphins that are produced during physical activity calm down stress and anxiety. After all, stress response is a stimulation for you to flee the hell out of wherever you are.

Breathe – stress makes you take quick and shallow gasps of air which restricts oxygen and blood flow and causes your muscles to tense. Slow, deep breaths would allow more air to enter your body, which would slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and break the stress cycle. Try the straw breathing technique which involves inhaling normally through your nostrils with your mouth closed and exhaling through a plastic straw for about 5 minutes.

Find the Sun – If it’s a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression and can even cheer up otherwise healthy people.

Take a Quick Walk – When you’re feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. This follows the same logic that movement releases calming endorphins. You’ll also get the benefits of alone time and a few minutes to gather your thoughts. If you can’t take a go outside just walk up and down the stairs or simply stand up and sit down a few times.

Eat Some Chocolate – Just a square (about 40 grams) of the sweet stuff can calm your nerves. Dark chocolate regulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol and stabilizes metabolism.

Sip Green Tea – Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve anger. Boil the water, pour it out, and take a soothing sip.

Laugh – Laughter is one of the sillier ways to beat stress, but there’s science behind it. A fit of hysterics can increase blood flow and boost immunity. Check out a hilarious YouTube video for a quick pick-me-up.

Write It Down – Putting our emotions on paper can make them seem less intimidating. Try journaling before a big exam to calm your nerves.

Get Organized – Clutter could be contributing to your stress. Take a few minutes to reorganize your desk (or table, or wherever you are), leaving just what you need on top.

Talk to a Friend – When something’s really bothering you, it can help to share your feelings with a buddy. In fact, more talkative folks tend to be happier in general. So vent to a coworker, friend, or family member.