Let's face it. Work is hard. If you are striving for success you are bound to come across stressful times. Of course not all stress is bad, but I am personally more than willing to relieve that stress at any opportunity.

Sure there are lost of ways to reduce stress over time and you should for the good of your health and well-being. But when things are hot and heavy you need stress relief right away. Try these quick and easy ways to dial things back and put a relaxed smile on your face.

1. Tell some jokes.

Smiling is an automatic happiness generator, but it's hard to smile when your jaw is clenched. You need some stimulus. Keep a joke book on your desk or bookmark some great joke websites so you can break the tension at a moments notice.

2. Call your best friend.

Stressful times can make you feel alone. A little support can go a long way in making you feel warm and happy inside. Send a text to your buddy that you need a warm friendly mood boost. A 15-minute call will provide hours of happiness.

3. Read an entertaining book.

Sometimes you need a full on mental escape to take down the pressure. A good read can do that easily. Pick up something with a good lighthearted story that takes you away from the day to day.

4. Take a shopping break.

If you only have a few minutes luckily shopping is just a keyboard or phone screen away. Even if you don't buy anything, shopping can entertain you in a way that gives your mind a rest from the hard action of the day.

5. Watch a funny video or two.

There is no shortage of people creating hilarity online just for your benefit. Whatever makes you laugh be it puppies, physical comedy or satire, watch a few and give your mood a boost.

6. Test drive a sports car.

You don't have to go out and spend $50,000 to get an adrenaline boost. Just take a break and go to the nearest Porsche dealer. They'll happily give you a spin behind the wheel and put a smile on your face.

7. Knock a few things off your checklist.

Part of daily stress comes from all the things in your brain that are unfinished. If you can pick off a few easy ones, you will mentally clear some breathing space.

8. Clean your desk.

When things are hectic, a disorganized desk adds to the problem. Sure it will take a little time to clean things, but once you see the bottom of the pile and the clutter is gone you will feel like a new person ready to tackle the world again.

9. Take the afternoon off.

Sometimes you are just piling pressure on top of pressure and you have to take a break. Yes, some stuff may not get done today, but your brain and body need to relax so you can rebuild the strength you need to power through tomorrow.

10. Crank the music and dance.

So what if you look silly, dancing in your headphones? You'll get the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing. Just a couple of great songs will keep you humming and moving the rest of the day.

11. Have a good cry.

Sometimes you just need that emotional release to clear the tension. Go somewhere private and let it all out. Once the negativity is all out you can build on positive thoughts.

12. Do a quick meditation.

Some sort of relaxation exercise should be part of your daily repertoire. But if things get overwhelming, throw on your noise blocking headphones, shut your eyes and focus on your breath for a full five minutes. You'll come back centered and peaceful.

13. Eat some chocolate.

There are natural happiness properties in chocolate. Have a quick chocolaty snack and elevate your receptors.

14. View some natural beauty.

Nearly every city has some sort of park or vista. Head for the closest nature and reconnect with the earth and sky. Not only will you gain peace from nature, you may even realize your stresses are relatively insignificant to the greater scheme.

15. Go play with a puppy.

I have happily owned dogs for decades and we recently added a new poodle named Grunt. While at times he can be a hassle, I had forgotten how quickly a puppy can make you feel good. Head for the nearest pet store and spend a little time saying hello.

16. Go for a quick run.

When you are stressed your blood is pumping for the wrong reasons. You need to release all of that energy. Maybe you don't have running clothes handy, but you can still jog for a few blocks or walk at a fast clip to take the edge off.

17. Make a "Blessings List".

In those times when there is a lot of negative energy and the pressure is high, it helps to remember all of the great things going on in your life. Don't just assume they are there. Grab paper and pen and write down a list of everything good in your life. The very act of thinking and writing about the positive will fill your heart with joy and put the stressful issues in perspective.