Dealing with Stress: 19 PROVEN Ways to Relieve Your Stress

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Dealing with stress is part of our modern, hectic, fast-paced lifestyle.

Stress then leads directly to low self-esteem, headaches, irritability, fatigue and even a huge assortment of potential health issues.

Rather than helping us conquer our problems, severe stress can reduce our competence and make us less able to cope with the problems we need to face.

People will often say, “Don’t stress” or “You need to reduce your stress”.  But that can be easier said than done.

However, if you are dedicated to building a stress-reducing habit, it can be done.

Stress is, after all, a state of the mind that is caused by outside influences. You can't change the external pressures, but you can work on the way you react to these pressures.

This article details 19 proven strategies for managing stress. Each of these tips is backed by links to medical journals or reputable news organizations.

19 Strategies for Dealing with Stress

Making a habit change to reduce stress can be tricky. It may be impossible to get rid of the sources of your stress.  What you can do is implement these 19 strategies to alleviate some of the problems.

1. Drink Tea.

Chamomile tea has been noted to be a sleep aid. It helps to calm the nerves and relax. Taking a moment out of your hectic day to just stop and have a nice cup of chamomile tea gives you a moment of worry-free peace.  It also helps you consume herbs that have been known for their relaxation and calming effect for hundreds of years.

[See what the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) says about chamomile tea.]

2. Go for a walk (or get more exercise).

When you are stressed it is easy to assume that you have “too much to do” and simply don't have the time to take a walk. It might seem counter-intuitive, but taking the time for a walk actually decreases stress, which makes you ready to handle stressful situations.

According to this Mayo Clinic reportwalking (or any regular exercise) works can reduce your stress in a number of ways:

  • It makes you feel better by pumping up your brain’s “feel good” receptors, your endorphins.
  • It lowers the symptoms of mild depression and anxiety.
  • It can raise your confidence and ability to handle problems.
  • It gives you a feeling of control over your own body and mind.
  • It can be a form of calming meditation in motion.

I find walking or running for stress relief to be particularly fruitful. I have often come up with “out of the box” solutions to work-related problems while exercising.

So if stress has you down and you haven’t been active in a while, make a commitment to walk 10,000 steps a day.

Walking for stress relief

3. Reduce/Eliminate Coffee and/or Caffeine.

This is one I certainly need to work on myself.  Sometimes it's hard to get through a day without a caffeine “pick me up.”

According to a study led by Dr. James D. Lane, coffee has effects that are, “long-lasting and exaggerate the stress response both in terms of the body's physiological response in blood pressure elevations and stress hormone levels, but it also magnifies a person's perception of stress.”

It may be rough at first to scale back or eliminate that daily caffeine intake, but in the long run, it will do wonders for your stress reduction.

4. Eat more ginger.

This is a nice and simple way to help combat stress. Ginger has long been deemed as a homeopathic stress reliever and recent studies published by the NCBI back up those claims.

5. Disconnect from technology.

Technology itself has caused some of our modern issues with stress, as Dr. David Volpi illustrates in this Huffington Post article.

In our modern age, “permanent” disconnection from technology simply is not feasible. However, there are still two steps you can take to disconnect from technology to reduce stress.

I: If you are feeling overwhelmed, simply get away from technology. A quick walk around the building would be a perfect de-stressor in this case. (Plus it helps you get more steps for 10,000 steps daily goal.)

II: Disconnect from technology an hour before you go to sleep. One of Dr. Volpi’s major points is that the screens of our technology can throw off circadian rhythm and make a good night’s sleep nearly an impossibility.

6. Get a good night’s sleep.

It is no secret that stress and a good night’s sleep are symbiotic. It is hard to get a good night’s sleep if you are stressed and it is hard not to be stressed if you do not get a good night’s sleep.

All you can do is remove impediments.  In this article I talk about some of the tips for getting to sleep at a decent hour.

7. Avoid processed foods.

Foods that are rich in refined sugars and white flour are known to skyrocket insulin levels and release the stress hormone. Junk food, fried foods, artificial sweeteners and foods with lots of preservatives are also on this stress, “no-no” list.

8. Take flax-seed oil.

Flaxseed oil is a supplement with quite a few positive effects. It helps reduce blood pressure, constipation, inflammatory diseases, and cholesterol.  In this Livestrong article, they talk about the positive benefit of combating stress and anxiety with flaxseed oil.

9. Breathing techniques.

One of the single most stressful events around is childbirth. One way to deal with the stress and pain of natural childbirth is to use deep breathing.  This is an old and time tested way to beat feelings of anxiety and stress.  Web MD says it is specifically one of the best ways to beat stress.

There are a few different techniques for deep breathing, but they all have the same effect; getting larger than normal volume of air into the lungs and holding it there for a short time.

If you are feeling stressed, try this breathing technique:

  • Take 5 seconds to slowly inhale a larger than normal volume of air.
  • Hold it in your lungs for 5 seconds.
  • Take 5 seconds to slowly exhale the air.
  • Do this 9 more times.

[See more great exercises and techniques to help increase your lung capacity]

10. Listen to soothing music.

Music can calm, it can make us happy and it can make us want to get up and dance. Music can make you think more clearly. Of course, all of this leads to a reduction of stress and anxiety.  [To learn more, read this article on the power of music to improve mood and relieve stress.]

quotes about stress at work - “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

11. Take a break to do something you enjoy.

Read for a bit. Watch a TV show. Go chat with friends. Check out an online humor site.

Your problems will not go away with escapism, but we all need to take a break now and then.  Finer Minds reports that reading fiction is specifically one of the best ways to beat stress. Cutting stress levels by 68%: more than walking, listening to music or drinking tea.

12. Learn your own stress signs.

What do you do when you begin to stress too much. Some people bite their nails, some people sweat, some people tap their feet. (I grind my teeth.)

If you identify your indications of stress, you can know when to take that break, do that exercise, take that walk or do those deep breaths.

​​​​13. Meet up with friends.

Sometimes a little bit of time with friends and family can be, “just what the doctor ordered” when it comes to stress. A little relaxation, laughter, and fun can do wonders to relieve your tension and stress. (To learn more check out this Readers Digest article that discusses all the ways friends can help you beat stress.)

14. Write it all down

Journaling is considered to be an effective stress management technique for many.

One of the most popular methods of this stress management techniques is to write a daily journal where you explore the feelings and thoughts of your everyday life.

This form of self-exploration works best when done consistently, so you need to make this daily journaling a habit. However, even sporadic journaling helps you to process emotions and can have a cathartic effect.

You can also develop personal goals to keep you on track. Check out these SMART goals examples for depression and anxiety for some ideas.

15. Take a day off.

We all need an occasional day with zero stress.  Take a day and just get away.

Go on a hike in the mountains. Sunbathe at the beach. Go on a long bike ride. Go to the movies.

Occasionally it is important to disconnect from your normal routine and just get away. (ABC News discusses how time off can reduce stress and increase productivity.)

16. Try Mindful Mediation.

I have never been a huge fan of meditation.  It seems a little, “new age” to me. But Mindful Mediation has been proven in some fairly serious studies to have a positive effect on stress and anxiety.

READ: Self-Love Affirmations

17. Roll your way to health.

Back and body alignment specialists claim that there are many foam roller benefits that have a seriously positive effect on stress.

It works not only by relaxing the muscles and the body but also by working pressure points that affect the nervous system.

Additionally using a foam roller regularly will increase the elasticity in the muscles and fascia. This will help to deepen breathing capacity, which in turn brings your body to a more calm state of being.

18. Cater to your sense of smell.

All of our senses are hardwired into your brain. Many of them interact in ways that you might not think they would. Experiments (according to NCBI)  have proven that aromatherapy using essential oils, specifically lavender scents, have a positive effect on stress reduction.

19. Learn more about reducing your stress

Read more about relieving stress and anxiety.  There are lots of good books that will go far deeper than the previous synopsis mentions of anxiety and stress relieving techniques here.  

If you want to learn more -read more. Check out my collection of the  Best Self-Help Books where I have a section on dealing with stress.

With these 19 ways to deal with stress, you are now armed with strategies to live a calmer, more fulfilled life.  You can't control many of the things that cause stress.  What you can do is take a proactive approach, accept and control what you can control, and change the way you handle this problem.

Finally, remember that not all stress is bad. If you want to learn more, read this post that explores the different examples of eustress or good stress.

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Making a habit change to reduce stress can be tricky. It may be impossible to get rid of the sources of your stress. What you can do is implement these 19 strategies to alleviate some of the problem.
Dealing with Stress: 19 PROVEN Ways to Relieve Your Stress

6 thoughts on “Dealing with Stress: 19 PROVEN Ways to Relieve Your Stress”

  1. Being able to identify what my own signs of stress sound like it would be really helpful. I’ve begun to notice that I don’t realize how stressed out I am until my husband makes a comment about it. A friend of mine mentioned how she heard that it can help to simply talk to someone and vent about your life.

  2. Stress is something that affects all of us but sometimes in different ways so finding the best way to relieve that stress is important. My favorite things to do when I am stressed are to talk to my husband or do some drawing. Taking a break is very important because you can’t expect yourself to function in life if you don’t take care of your mental and physical needs. Thanks for the great list!

  3. Exercise is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. Actually exercising releases endorphins that make you feel good and acts as a mood enhancer. After doing exercises you can easily concentrate on your goal.

  4. I had no idea that you could use a foam roller to relieve stress. This is a great tip that could help a lot of people who deal with stress and elasticity of their muscles. A cousin of mine that is looking for good ways to deal with anxiety would love knowing this.

  5. I can’t stress enough the effectiveness of Superior cbd pain relief Oil. My mom suffers from chronic pain, and according to her, as quickly as 1 minute after using this hemp oil, her pain decreases by at least 90%. I highly recommend it!

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