experiences a certain level of stress at some point in their lives, but it’s how you deal with that stress that determines the effect it has on you, both physically and mentally. veryone
Whether you feel stressed out because you’re under pressure at work, the kids are playing up at home, or your relationship is going through a rough patch, it’s important to recognize the signs of stress, and even more important to know how to deal with it.
Unmanaged stress can take a serious toll on both your physical health and your mental well-being.
In this article, you’re going to learn 50 ways easy to implement stress relief activities.
Whether you are feeling only slightly stressed, or you are going through a major crisis in your life, being pro-active in reducing stress will not only help get your stress levels down, but you will also feel more in control.
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Research has shown that when we feel in control, we experience far less stress than we do when we believe the situation we are in is outside of our control and there is nothing we can do about it.
In other words, taking control of your stress and finding ways to relieve the worry and tension you are experiencing is a win-win situation.
Which of the stress relief methods you use will depend on your situation, and only you can decide. But the key is to take action.
All of the methods are proven to be effective at reducing stress but start with the ones that make the most sense to you and that you feel the most comfortable doing.
Working through them all by trying a different method every day will help you find out what works best for you.
Different methods may work better at different times, and it may also depend on where you are and what the cause of the stress is.
The important thing is to keep those stress levels from bubbling over, so you feel calm and in control.
Are you ready to get started and kick that stress to the curb?
Then let’s go!
50 Stress Relief Activities
#1 – Go For a Walk
Just by going outside for a walk and breathing in the fresh air you are helping to reduce your stress levels. Thanks to increased Seratonin levels from the oxygen you breathe, you will start to feel happier and more relaxed. The benefits of getting outside for a walk are multiplied if you can go for a social walk with a friend, or you have a friend of the four-legged variety you can take for a walk.
#2 – Drink Less Coffee
Are you drinking too much coffee? It’s the most popular beverage in the world, but too much caffeine contributes to increased stress and low quality sleep. It’s been shown that Caffeine elevates the cortisol in your brain to levels that make your body believe it is going through a stressful situation. Limit your coffee intake to less than 4 cups per day, and only in the mornings.
#3 -Practice Aromatherapy
While ordinary smells can affect your mood in positive or negative ways, Aromatherapy with Lavender Essential Oil is proven to fight stress thanks to its sedative properties. Place some Lavender Oil in an Aromatherapy Diffuser in your home so you can inhale the benefits, or have a Lavender Oil massage and you’ll soon be feeling calmer, more relaxed and will also sleep better at night. NB: Never put pure Essential Oils directly on your skin.
#4 – Drink Green Tea
We’ve all heard the saying “Keep Calm And Drink Tea,” but Matcha Green Tea powder, in particular, is proven to have powerful stress reducing effects thanks to the very high levels of the amino acid L-theanine. Drink 3 to 5 cups of Green Tea each day, including one before bedtime, and you’ll reap its many benefits. Just make sure the last cup especially is decaffeinated.
#5 – Sing!
Singing is scientifically proven to trigger the release of your “feel-good” hormones to reduce stress (as well as improve your cardiovascular system), so wherever and whenever you get the chance, you should sing. If the daily commute leaves, you stressed, sing in the car on the way, or in the shower as you’re getting ready for work. Group singing is even more beneficial so consider joining a choral society or take a trip to the local Karaoke bar with friends.
#6 – Squeeze a Stress Ball
You can relieve a lot of tension and stress, not just from clenched fists but from your whole body, just by squeezing and releasing one of these squishy balls. You can pick them up for just a few dollars on Amazon or eBay, and you can even make your own using a latex balloon, water, and corn starch. Squeeze and release for as long as it takes you to feel the stress melting away. You’ll get a great hand workout in the process!
#7 – Shake It Off!
Dogs do this all the time to release tension, and it can definitely work for us humans too. It might feel weird at first, but it’s one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to get immediate relief from tension. This is what Dr. David Sobel of the Healthy Mind Healthy Body Handbook says to do: “Stand or sit, stretch your arms out from your sides and shake your hands vigorously for about 10 seconds. Combine this with a little deep breathing … and you’ll do yourself twice as much good.”
#8 – Have a Laugh
You might not feel like laughing when you’re stressed out, but laughter really is the best medicine to lift your mood and reduce stress. Start your day off with a laugh by asking Alexa or Google Home to tell you some jokes. Watch a funny movie after a hard day’s work. Think about something funny that happened previously or try to find some humor in a situation that’s frustrating you.
#9 – Do Some Coloring
You might not have picked up a coloring pencil since you were a kid, but coloring helps you relax and makes you focus on something other than your worries. It’s been used as a relaxation technique since the early 20th century, and coloring for adults has exploded in popularity in recent years. Fractal coloring books combine the stress-relieving benefits of seeing fractal patterns with the relaxation brought on by the simple act of coloring in.
#10 – Have A Nap
Napping during the day doesn’t just help you feel less tired if you had a bad night’s sleep, it can also strengthen your immune system and reduce stress, so there’s no need to feel like you’re lazy if you need an afternoon nap. Don’t sleep for more than 90 minutes or you might have trouble sleeping that night, so set the alarm if you need to. Even a short 10-minute “Power Nap” has rejuvenating benefits and makes you feel refreshed and alert.
#11 – Have a Snack
You might think of snacking as one of life’s guilty pleasures, but the right kind of snack can actually reduce stress by releasing the feel-good hormone “Seratonin” into your system. Go for quick snacks with a high-carbohydrate content such as Cereal Bars, Bagels and Pretzels. Bananas also have the added benefit of being sweet and containing Potassium and Vitamin B6, which are known to fight stress.
#12 – Get a Massage
Massage has been used for centuries in various cultures around the world to promote relaxation and reduce stress. If you don’t have the time or funds to go to a professional Masseuse, ask a friend or loved one to give you a message, preferably using an Essential Oil such as Lavender to help even further with the calming process. Coin operated Massage Chairs are quite common in shopping centers these days, and Self Massagers that you can use anywhere can easily be purchased or a reasonable price from Amazon or eBay.
#13 – Be Optimistic
You may think of yourself or other people as born optimists or born pessimists, but optimism can actually be learned. It involves a shift in mindset, and that may take some time and practice, but when you start thinking of the glass being half full instead of half empty, you’ll be surprised at how much better you can cope with things that might previously have stressed you out. Next time you feel stressed about a situation, take the time to sit and reflect at what positives might actually come from it instead of focusing solely on the negatives.
#14 – Limit Alcohol Consumption
A glass of red wine at the end of a stressful day can undoubtedly help you relax because it’s a sedative. Having the occasional social drink with friends or colleagues to relax and unwind at the end of the week is a great way to relieve stress in the short-term, but don’t use alcohol as a crutch. If you find yourself turning to the bottle every day, you’re going to make your stress a whole lot worse and probably make a whole lot of poor decisions to boot.
#15 – Look at Fractals
Fractals are repeating patterns over a scale and can be found in abundance in the natural world in the form of trees, plants, seashells, and even clouds. Looking at fractals is known to have an almost immediate calming effect so getting outside, even for just a few minutes can help reduce your stress levels. Another way you to can make use of the calming effects of fractals, especially if you work in an office, is to download a fractal screensaver on your computer.
#16 – Switch to a Healthier Diet
“Healthy body, healthy mind” is one of those sayings you just can’t argue with. If you eat unhealthy foods you will not only BE unhealthy, but you’ll also FEEL unhealthy, and your brain and your body will be less able to deal with whatever life throws at you. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods totally, just try to follow the 80/20 rule – eat good quality protein, fresh vegetables, and healthy fats 80% of the time, and allow yourself treats 20% of the time.
#17 – Manage Your Time
Time is one of those things that most people say they don’t have enough of. If you find yourself running around like a headless chicken, trying to accomplish more tasks in the day than you think you can handle, time management can help. Plan your week in advance with “to-do” lists and be specific regarding times, not just the days. Prioritize tasks and how much time you need to spend on them. Use a calendar app and a stop-watch on your phone to keep track. Simply getting more organized will mean you can work smarter and stress less on a day-to-day basis.
#18 – Cook or Bake Something
Doing anything creative is a great outlet for stress, but cooking and baking are not only creative, but they also force you to focus on something other than your stress. You also get some sensory therapy when you cook or bake – the satisfying sizzle, the wonderful aromas as the cooking or baking process progresses, the tastes and the sense of satisfaction at creating something delicious. Cooking and baking can also relieve stress by bringing back wonderful memories of Grandma’s kitchen or meals you’ve shared with friends.
#19 – Eat Chocolate!
Yes, it’s true! A small study in Switzerland found that people who considered themselves stressed out were able to lower the levels of cortisol in their blood by eating 40g of dark chocolate every day for two weeks. The key here is the amount and type of chocolate – dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and flavanols – the higher the cocoa content, the healthier it is so making sure you don’t over-indulge on cheap, low-quality chocolate that’s full of sugar and unhealthy fats.
#20 – Practice Yoga
The ancient art of Yoga has many incredible health benefits, including the promotion of inner peace and the reduction of stress, even after just one session. Ask a friend to go to a class with you, or join a Yoga session at work – many employers are now putting on classes for the benefit of their employees. If you can’t attend a class, buy an inexpensive yoga mat and practice at home by watching videos on the internet. Start with the easier poses, paying particular attention to the poses that are especially good for stress relief, like the Sukhasana (Easy Foward Bend) and the Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend).