ways to reduce stress
(nowloss)—– 1. Get quiet every once in a while.
Switch off the TV, your cell phone, the computer; information overload can cause stress. Appreciating silence can help you to feel more relaxed and peaceful.
2. Learn meditation.
Meditation is an excellent way to calm your mind, and it has many positive health benefits too. People who meditate regularly may even live longer.
3. Take a bath.
Relaxing in a warm bath in the evenings is a great way to relax and prepare your body for sleep. Turn off the lights and place some candles around your bath to create a soothing atmosphere.
4. Read books that nourish the soul.
Books containing positive affirmations, daily meditations or uplifting stories will help you to feel better and restore your belief that life can be good.
5. Try aromatherapy.
Many aromatherapy oils are known for their relaxing properties. Add a few drops to your bath or make up a soothing oil to rub into your skin, lie back, relax and enjoy the soothing aromas they give off.
6. Pursue your passion.
Follow your bliss; devote your time and energy to something you care about. Choose a hobby or interest that stimulates and energizes you, something you can happily get lost in because you enjoy it so much.
7. Quit reading/watching the news.
Especially at night before you go to bed. If you feel stressed reading about or listening to the news, avoid it. Bad news stories can make you feel worse. It’s okay to switch off from negative world news if it upsets you, it doesn’t make you a less responsible person.
8. Laughter is healing.
Laughing is good for the soul and can boost your mood. Rent a comedy DVD, go see a funny film, read a book that will make you laugh.
9. Make your home your sanctuary.
Decorate your home in a way that gives you pleasure. Make it a place where you can look around and see things that make you happy. You don’t have to spend a lot of money; a few plants, colorful cushions and pictures on the walls can make your home a cozy place where you enjoy spending time.
10. Get a massage.
Massage is good for your body and soul. Studies show that experiencing touch from another person is healing in itself. Massage helps you to unwind, release physical tension and let go of emotional stress.
11. Let it all out.
Have a good cry; it can make you feel better. Tears are the blood of the soul, crying helps us to heal emotionally.
Exercise is a well-know de-stressor. Endorphins released when you exercise improve your mood. Choose a form of exercise you enjoy, exercise needn’t become another chore. Aim to exercise at least 3 times per week, for at least 20 minutes each session.
13. Stroke a pet.
Got a pet? Studies suggest that stroking a cat, dog or any other pet can help you to release tensions.
14. Listen to guided imagery or self-hypnosis CDs.
Choose guided imagery and self-hypnosis CDs that are designed to reduce stress. Simply lie back, switch on the CD and experience a whole new level of relaxation.
15. Try yoga.
Yoga is a form of mind, body and spirit exercise that can help you to build strength, increase bodily flexibility and soothe the mind. Calming breathing techniques and relaxation are key parts of a regular yoga practice.
16. Eat healthily.
When you’re healthy in body, you’re healthy in mind. Eat foods that are high in lean protein like meat and fish, complex carbohydrates like wholegrain bread and pasta and remember to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Quit junk food and sugary foods, these foods promote stress, weight gain and lack essential vitamins and minerals.
17. Quit caffeine.
Tea, coffee and colas can add to your stress because the caffeine they contain acts as a stimulant. This can make you feel ‘wired.’ Drink in moderation or swap these drinks for herbal or green tea.
18. Get enough sleep.
Burning the candle at both ends will leave you feeling exhausted and stressed out. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. By doing so you’ll be better able to cope better with the demands of each day.
19. Talk things over.
If you have problems on your mind that you just can’t seem to resolve yourself, talk them over with a close friend or family member. Getting worries off your chest can help you to feel better, and your friend may able to offer you a useful, different perspective or sound advice.
20. Take a walk.
A 20-minute walk in the fresh air can help to blow the cobwebs away and improve your mood. If you walk briskly enough, this also counts as one of your weekly exercise sessions.
21. Get organized.
Being organized can help you to feel more in control of your life. Plan ahead and prepare. Preparing the night before, for work or any other event, can reduce the risk of the stressful ‘morning rush’.
22. Set realistic goals.
Know what you want to achieve and then work out how you’re going to get there. Don’t set yourself up to fail, choose goals that you know are easily achievable for you and your present circumstances.
23. Help someone out, volunteer.
Take the focus off yourself, do something kind for someone else. Choose a cause that appeals to you, or help someone you care about who is also stressed out.
24. Listen to music.
Choose music that energizes and inspires you; listen to your favorite tunes. Sing along as loud as you can if you like. Music helps to improve your mood.
25. Count your blessings.
Remember all the good things you have in life, the people you care about, and your achievements. You will find that you have a lot to be thankful for.
26. Keep a journal.
Writing your thoughts down can be healing, and keeping a journal can help you to identify the people and situations that are causing you stress. Once you know what they are, you can take the necessary steps to tackle them head on.
27. Get creative.
Art, handicrafts, poetry – accessing your creative side can help remind you of what’s really important to you. Don’t worry about being ‘good at it’ just enjoy the process of creating something.
28. Book a vacation.
If you can’t afford a full-blown vacation, plan a weekend away or a day trip out. The change of scenery will do you good.
29. Make a ‘to do’ list.
If you feel overwhelmed by all you have to do each day, create a to do list. Put important, necessary tasks at the top and work your way through the list, ticking things off as you achieve them.
30. Try herbal remedies.
Herbal teas such as chamomile, lavender, passionflower and lemon verbena can help you to relax. And, they don’t contain caffeine.
31. Get perspective.
Anxiety and worry can take over your life. If you find yourself constantly worrying about the same issue, try to view it in a different way. Ask a friend or family member for their perspective – it may help you to see your problems differently.
32. Declutter your home.
A messy home can make you feel more stressed. Clean up, throw away junk and donate unwanted items to charity. A clear home space will encourage a clear mind and clear thinking.
33. Seek medical help if depressed.
If you feel that your stress is leading to depression, this is serious. Consult your doctor immediately for help.
34. Quit negative self talk.
Stop running yourself down in your mind, negative self-talk disempowers you. You can achieve. And your life has meaning. Talk yourself up, remind yourself of all the things you can do successfully and of all the people who care about you.
35. Treat yourself.
Every now and again treat yourself to something you like, it doesn’t have to be an expensive item. A new haircut, a mug of rich hot chocolate, a new app, or game can provide a temporary boost and lift your mood.
36. Pursue spirituality.
Spiritual people are reported to experience less stress than those who have no spiritual beliefs. Go to church, learn Buddhist meditation, join a yoga group. Spirituality takes many forms – choose something that appeals to you.
37. Message yourself.
Uplifting messages posted around your home can remind you to feel good about yourself. Fridge magnets or small posters containing positive message or affirmations can strengthen your resolve to remain positive.
38. Take a shower.
If being around other people or in crowds’ stresses you out, wash them off at the end of the day. A powerful shower can help you to feel immediately better.
39. Try acupuncture.
Acupuncture, a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine, can help to relieve stress and physical tension. Check the Internet for practitioners in your area.
40. Schedule ‘worry’ time.
Then draw a line under it. If you find yourself constantly worrying, set a 15-minute ‘worry’ time spot aside each day. Allow yourself to worry about your problems in this allocated time spot. Then stop. Distract your mind with activities.
41. Get a hug.
From someone you love; your partner, your children, a grandparent – even a pet. Physical touch is good for the soul.
42. Get up 15 minutes earlier.
Start your day 15 minutes earlier to make mornings less stressful. The extra time will allow you to get ready for the new day without having to rush.
43. Practice acceptance.
Know what you can and cant change. The actions of some people and certain situations are beyond your control. Learn to recognize when there is nothing you can do to change the way things are.
44. Take care of your appearance.
Looking after your physical body by maintaining a healthy weight and keeping your hair and skin looking good can help you to feel more confident. Make the effort to boost your self-esteem.
45. Procrastination causes stress.
As they say, don’t put off what you can do today for tomorrow. Leaving things hanging in the air can cause stress. Try to do the things you have to do as soon as possible.
46. Simplify your life.
Keep things simple, you don’t need more than one phone; you don’t need a huge, bulging wardrobe of clothes you never wear. Simplify your life by only keeping items that you truly need or that bring you pleasure.
47. Calendars and diaries.
Make use of calendars and diaries, so you can keep up with all you have to do and remember important events like birthdays. Many cell phones and computers have diary and calendar functions you can use.
48. Keep appliances and you car serviced.
Try to keep on top of things. Broken appliances can add additional stress to your day-to-day life. Make sure the things you rely on like gas boilers and cars are regularly serviced to avoid stress in the future.
49. Always have a plan B.
Life doesn’t always work out in the way we want it to. If you always have a plan B, and a plan C or D if necessary, you’ll avoid the stress of disappointment. Be adaptable, be open to various possibilities.
50. Set off to appointments 15 minutes early.
Make sure you leave enough time if you have to be somewhere at a certain time. Nothing raises stress levels like trying to fight your way through traffic, or experiencing delays to public transport when you’re running late.
51. Learn to lower your standards.
You’re not superman or superwoman. Nobody gets it right all the time. Being a perfectionist can be stressful. Do your best, go the extra mile when it counts, but know when enough’s enough.
52. Know when to let go of someone or something.
Holding on to people or patterns of behavior that are no longer good for you can cause stress. Sometimes you just have to move on to feel better.
53. Always take your lunch break.
Your body and mind need rest. Don’t skip your lunch break at work and take regular breaks throughout your day. A break from work can reset your mind so that you’ll perform well later on in the day.
54. Make your bedroom your sanctuary.
Keep TV’s and clutter out of your bedroom. Television acts as a brain stimulant and watching it last thing at night, before you go to sleep, can keep your mind active and cause insomnia. Make your bedroom a place for sleep and sleep alone.
55. Stop smoking.
Quit smoking if you can. Smoking may seem to relax you but nicotine is, in fact, a stimulant. Quitting may be stressful in the short-term, but the long-term benefits to your health and well-being are enormous. Get professional advice to help you quit once and for all.
56. Do something kind for someone you don’t know.
Random act of kindness can help to boost your mood and another person’s mood. Do something simple and kind for someone you don’t know so well, a work colleague you rarely speak to, for example.
57. Try to be flexible.
Having a rigid outlook on life is stressful because when things change, as they inevitably do, a rigid outlook makes it more difficult and scary to adapt. Try not to become set in your ways. Those who are open to new experiences keep their mind’s active and are less likely to suffer from stress.
58. Take each day one day at a time.
None of us can predict the future. Take each day is it comes and try not worry about things that haven’t, or might never, happen.
59. Learn to be patient.
Sometimes you have to wait in line. Don’t let delays stress you out. Be prepared – carry a small book to read, play games on your cell phone. Use waiting time to relax. There’s no point standing in line getting more and more worked up. Some things are beyond your control. Relax and go with the flow.
60. Try martial arts.
If stress is making you feel overly angry or aggressive try to manage aggression in a controlled way. Martial arts like Kung Fu, Karate or Jujitsu, teach combat skills in a safe, controlled environment – helping you to release pent-up anger in a positive way.
61. Learn to delegate.
If you have too much to do, learn how to delegate tasks. Your family can help you out, as can work colleagues, if you genuinely have too much on your plate.
62. Avoid toxic people.
Moaners, whiners people who subtly put you down. Dump negative people and surround yourself with good friends and family members who have your best interests at heart.
63. Learn a new skill.
Mastering a new skill can help boost your self-esteem. Make sure you choose something that appeals to you and that you will find fun.
64. Resolve conflicts by talking directly.
If conflict is a source of stress for you, talk directly and rationally to the other person. Do your best to put your point of view across without emotion. That way you have done your best to solve the problem. If the other person won’t come halfway to meet you, then that’s their problem.
65. Arrange to spend time with family and friends.
Spending time with the people you love can help you to relax, have fun and remind you of what is really important in life.
66. Spend time outdoors.
Reconnect with nature. A walk in the park, countryside or on the beach can help relieve stress. Take time to notice the plants, trees, flowers and wildlife you see. The natural world contains many beautiful things that can help to remind us that life is precious.
67. Try reflexology.
Reflexology is a form of foot massage that can help relax you and relieve stress. Book yourself a session as a treat.
68. Manage your finances.
Debt is stressful. Keep control of your finances and plan carefully. Do not spend what you haven’t got. Learn to make do. Possessions generally bring fleeting happiness, financial debt can last a lifetime.
69. Learn to prioritize.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, as they say, and try not to let little things stress you out. Some things just aren’t worth getting yourself worked up about.
70. See life as a journey not a final destination.
If you can view your life as a journey, where you sometimes get diverted from the main path, you’ll feel less stressed. Goals such as “I’ll be married at 25” or “I’ll be earning X amount by the age of 40” may not be achieved. You may not get from A to B in the way you plan. This isn’t important, enjoying the ride along the way is much more fun.
71. Try stress-relieving products.
Take your anger out on a stress ball. Stress balls provide an inexpensive and fun way to release stress. Squeezing them can help you to relieve physical and emotional tension.
72. Learn to say no.
Sometimes you just can’t be all things to all people. Learn to put healthy boundaries in place. If you are constantly running around trying to help other people, learn when to stop. Sometimes your own needs have to come first. You don’t have to become selfish, just know when to draw the line.
73. Read for pleasure.
Books and stories can transport us to new places in our minds and help us to let go of worries. Read books that interest and inspire you -autobiographies, self-help, thrillers, recipe books, travel journals – choose whatever you enjoy.
74. Put plants in your home.
Some studies suggest that plants in the home can help to lower blood pressure and relieve stress. What’s more, they look good and can help to keep your home fresh and clean looking too.
75. Learn to forgive.
Yourself and others. Blame and guilt are toxic, stressful emotions. Banish these emotions, learn to let go of past hurts or regrets. What’s done is done and none of us can change the past.
76. Try Reiki.
Reiki is a form of spiritual healing. All you have to do is schedule a session, turn up, lie down and relax. Your Reiki therapist lays his or her hands on you to help release negative, stressful energy.
77. Do unpleasant or less enjoyable tasks first.
Get boring or unpleasant tasks over and done with early on in your day – you’ll feel less stressed once you’ve completed them. Free-up time to do things that you enjoy later on in the day.
78. Create a vision/goals board.
Give yourself things to look forward to and aim for. A board featuring pictures cut out from magazines that represent your goals can inspire you to keep at it if your mood is low.
79. Don’t over-dramatize your problems.
No one can predict the future but try to think long term. One bad week doesn’t mean your life will be bad forever. Life is an ever-changing journey. Everyone experiences highs and lows and boring periods where nothing seems to happen.
80. Go to an event.
Go to watch something you enjoy. A sports match, a show at the theater, a musical concert, a live band – whatever appeals to you. Carve out time to go see something that will energize or inspire you.
81. Maintain your weight.
Being overweight is stressful and can cause low self-esteem. If you maintain a healthy weight, you’ll have more energy and feel better about yourself in general. Another good reason to exercise.
82. Take up gardening.
Keen gardeners find that caring for and nurturing plants is soothing and rewarding. If you don’t have a garden, you can always plant a window or balcony box.
There’s a famous saying: Work like you don’t need money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. And dance like no one’s watching.” Dancing releases tension and is fun. Pull the curtains or blinds, turn up the music and dance like no one’s watching.
84. Imagine the worst-case scenario.
If you find yourself constantly worrying about a particular problem, try to imagine the worst-case scenario relating to that worry. Then work out what you would do if that happened. Having a plan and feeling prepared can help get rid of the fear and stress that this worry is causing you.
85. Watch a sunrise or a sunset.
There is something special about the stillness of dawn and something profoundly beautiful about the colors of a sunset. Soothe and nurture your soul by enjoying these simple, natural pleasures.
86. Change your routine.
Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho said, “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal…” Changing the way you go about things can help to relieve stress, as change is good for our brains. Don’t do the same things on certain days, week in week out. Shake things up about.
87. Bake or cook:
You can’t beat homemade food; it tastes better for one, is generally more nutritious and there is something deeply satisfying about preparing your own food. Share your cooking with others for an added feel-good factor.
89. Ask for help.
Sometimes you just have to ask for help. If stress is overwhelming you, talk to a close family member, friend or your doctor. Call in favors, you can repay people in kind once you’re feeling less stressed.
90. Try a Tai Chi or Qi Gong class.
Tai Chi and Qi Gong are Chinese martial arts that focus on movement and breath control. Movements are soft, flowing and precise. Sometimes described as a form of moving meditation, both techniques are recommended for their stress-busting qualities.
91. Avoid gossip.
Getting caught up in gossip can cause you stress. People are left hurt by idle gossip every day. Avoid listening to gossip and avoid repeating it. Stay away from an activity that can have potentially stressful consequences.
92. Visualize success.
Creative visualization is a technique where you imagine yourself in a positive way in the future. All you have to do is lie down, relax and imagine yourself easily and effectively achieving any upcoming stressful goals.
93. Get counseling.
If you feel that stress is taking over your life, you may need professional help. Counseling sessions can help you to get perspective on your situation and some forms of counseling like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you to see problems in a different way, helping you to manage stress more effectively.
94. Try biofeedback.
Biofeedback is a technique you can learn to help you relax and manage stress effectively. Many doctors recommend it. Search the Internet to find a biofeedback practitioner in your area.
95. Eat foods that help to reduce stress.
Oatmeal, wholegrain bread and pasta, oily fish, black tea, pistachio nuts, avocadoes and milk are some of the foods that help to combat stress.
96. Create win-win situations.
If you’re dealing with difficult people and are finding it stressful, try to create outcomes where everyone wins in some way.
97. Learn from your experiences – good and bad.
Don’t mentally beat yourself up over past failings. Learn from them; work out how you will do things differently in the future. When you succeed, look at what you did to achieve your goal and then try to repeat those methods for future projects.
98. Try self-massage.
If you can’t afford a regular massage, buy yourself a self-massager. This way you can relieve physical tension and gain all the positive stress-busting benefits of regular massage.
99. Water as therapy.
Being close to water is soothing. Be that a lake, a waterfall the ocean or even the rain. Water generates ‘negative ions’ that help to relieve stress and improve your mood.
100. Enjoy the small, simple things in life.
Take time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, a beautiful day, time spent laughing with friends, flowers in full bloom. There are many positive things happening around us every day. Learn to stop, notice and appreciate them. Life is a miracle for us to enjoy as much as we possibly can.