You probably know stress can cause havoc on our minds and bodies.
Stress is always around the corner…
It’s one of those things that can’t simply be “cured”.
Since we can’t eliminate stress and anxiety from our lives, the least we can do is learn how to manage it.
With these 25 ways, we are confident you will use one or a few of these things right away to effectively reduce your stress levels.
Let’s dig in…
1. Guided Imagery
Imagination can greatly reduce stress.
Lots of people use it and you may not even know it.
They picture a person, a situation, or a time which in turns makes them feel relaxed, calm, and happy.
Imagery is different from other stress management hacks because it relies on all four senses.
These senses create a powerful relaxation experience in managing stress.
Get started with guided imagery with the 3 steps below.
Step 1. Make sure the place is quiet.
Step 2. Choose a scene (Start picturing a pleasant environment or anything that draws your emotions). The scene can be your favorite picnic spot, a waterfall in the forest, at the beach, or in the forest.
Step 3. Stay in the setting or scene until you feel relaxed, calm, or comfortable. You can also close your eyes if it suits you.
Mindful meditation starves stress and helps you feel more in control of your breathing and thoughts.
The practice involves sitting in a comfortable position, focusing on breathing, and getting your mind’s attention to the present without experiencing distracting thoughts.
Besides reducing stress, many people use meditation to increase awareness and develop concentration.
If you learn to calm your body and mind, physical and emotional stress can be a thing of the past.
Meditation will leave you feeling better, calm, and ready to face any challenge. Meditation is simple, but people make it look complicated.
Here are the three steps to start meditating:
Step 1. Start small, meditate for 5 minutes every day for a month and improve each month to 20 or 30 minutes.
Step 2. Count in-breathe and out-breathe.
Step 3. Meditate using binaural beats.
Meditating the traditional way will tell you quieting your mind is challenging.
It takes years to get better at meditation.
Using binaural beats will help you stay focused without negative thoughts disturbing you.
3. Practise Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a stress relief technique that curbs stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
The method involves subtle muscle movement to facilitate deep relaxation and stress relief.
The idea behind this concept is if you tighten or release all the muscle groups in the body exaggeratedly.
You’ll feel relaxed and peaceful.
Consciously releasing those muscles tensions helps you to learn and realize which muscle you are holding unnecessarily.
Then you can release it.
Here’s how you can achieve it.
Step 1. When inhaling, contract one muscle group like the upper thigh for 5 to 10 seconds. Exhale and release the tension in that muscle.
Step 2. Relax for 10 to 20 seconds. Second, move to the next muscle group let’s say the buttocks.
Step 3. Inhale for 5 to 10 second while contracting the buttocks. When exhaling and releasing the tension focus on the changes that happen when you release the muscle. You can imagine anything, just like you do in Guided Imagery.
Step 4. Focus on all other major muscle groups like hands and arms, facial muscle, neck, chest, shoulders, upper back, abdomen, and legs.
4. Taking A Walk
Taking a walk can relieve you from stress.
A recent study from the Annals of Behavioral Medicine that students who walked or did moderate exercises daily experienced lower stress level than students who did strenuous exercises.
Unlike any other exercises, walking gives you time to reflect, or think as a way of getting out of the stressful environment.
When you walk, you naturally loosen up tensing muscle in the body.
Walking with good posture puts those muscle into work.
Here’s how to start a walking routine:
Step 1. Start at a moderate speed. Aim for 140 steps a minute or begin with a 15-minute walk per day.
Step 2. In between the paces of 4 to 5 minutes, stretch the calves and hamstrings for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 3. Repeat the same process until you are through.
5. Practise Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is one of the effortless ways to reduce stress.
It involves exposing yourself to a strong-smelling substance, which affects hormone production and stress.
Aromatherapy employs a sense of touch and smell.
Although aromatherapy is effective, it needs more research to prove it’s effectiveness.
Early research has shown that aromatherapy alters brain waves and behavior.
For a busy person who needs something quick, you can try aromatherapy.
Here’s what you need to do to create a soothing environment using aromatherapy:
Step 1. Buy a pleasant essential oil that can lift your mood and make you feel calmer. Feel free to include candles like incense to create a soothing and calming atmosphere.
Step 2. Put a few drops of the soil in 2 cups of water. Stir the water. Dip a washcloth and wipe on your face, hands, and neck.
Step 3. Close your eyes and try to breathe in and out. While exhaling breathes out slowly.
6. Art Therapy
Art therapy is a stress relieving activity that use creative expression to help reduce stress.
Art therapy includes painting, sculpting, drawing, and photographs.
All those rewarding hobbies that lower the stress level and make you feel calm and closer.
Creative art trains one to focus on details and concentrate on the environment.
That way, acting like meditation.
A popular creative activity adults can engage in is called adult coloring books.
According to Megan Carleton, an art therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the benefit of art does not depend on a person’s skill.
The benefit comes from the process. Megan Carleton links art therapy to better memory, thinking ability, and resilience in senior people.
Decades of studies show that creative art reduces stress level and promotes relaxation to people suffering from illness.
Step 1. Get yourself an adult coloring book/printable color page.
Step 2. Colouring supplies like colored pencils and markers.
Step 3. Start coloring.
Step 4. If you are not sure of what to do, you can seek the service of an art therapist to help you.
7. A Diet
Diet is often overlooked as a stress factor, yet when properly balanced, it can have a positive impact on stress levels, and we have the studies according to research.
A senior researcher scientist at Abbott, Mathew J. Kuchan, states that a well-balanced diet reduces the stress in the body.
In other words, building a healthy eating habit improves your health and leads to low-stress levels.
According to Dr. Mathew Kuchan, stress affects blood pressure and flow.
Therefore when you eat a nutritious meal, you improve blood flow, and this has a positive effect on brain health.
Step 1. Decide you are going to eat a healthy diet every day.
Step 2. Choose a diet plan. You can consult a certified dietician to guide you.
Step 3. Make sure you drink herbal tea like green tea, chamomile tea, or lavender. The tea promotes calmness and a warm feeling.
8. Listening To Music
The power of music has a unique connection to our emotions.
That’s why music is a useful stress management technique.
Classical music has tremendous relaxation effects on our mind.
Any slow or classical music can slow the pulse and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress levels.
It doesn’t necessarily need to be classical music either.
Your favourite genre is also a great option because listening to what you love helps you keep calm.
Music provides a calming atmosphere in our heads as we explore our emotions.
That way, it helps aid meditation and can help you focus.
Recent studies at McGill University by Professor Daniel J, Levitis shows that listening to good music reduced a patient’s stress level.
The research went on to say music also improved the immune system and was effective than stress medication.
Here’s how you can use music.
Step 1. Find your favorite classical music or your favorite song.
Step 2. Get yourself good headphones.
Step 3. Close your eyes as you listen to music. Closing the eyes helps you focus on the music.
9. Journal Writing
Journal writing is a beautiful way of organizing one’s mind because it expresses the conscience and lets one get in touch with their thoughts and feelings.
You become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Gaining this focus makes you achieve clarity to what is essential to you.
You can also decide to keep a gratitude journal.
Maintaining this type of journal helps you focus on creating a habit of positivity in your life.
The biggest challenge is maintaining a habit of journaling every day.
The more you write every day, the more your attitude changes towards life.
Best of all, you’ll notice things every day you may want to include in your journal.
Here’s how to start a journal book:
Step 1. Decide you are going to journal and commit to a schedule.
Step 2. Get a pen and a book/writing pad.
Step 3. Write about what you feel in the morning. The best time to will be early in the morning before anyone wakes up. You can write what made your day exciting in the evening.
The daily practice of journaling keeps you creative and reduces the stress level in the body.
10. Practise Yoga
Yoga can help you fight stress and find serenity.
Yoga combines lots of actions such as relaxation, physical pain, and breathing to reduce stress.
Many forms of Yoga exists, but the best choice for stress management is Hatha Yoga.
Unlike other types of Yoga, Hatha techniques invoke slow paces and easy movements.
The only challenge with Yoga is, you need to commit to a schedule to reap its full benefits.
If you practice Yoga in the right way, it can have a calming effect, reduce tension, and relax the body muscles.
Step 1. Enroll for Yoga class. You need expert guidance before you can start doing it at home.
Step 2. Buy yourself a non-slip Yoga mat and comfortable, loose-fitting cloth.
Step 3. Pay attention to your breathing or Pranayama.
Step 4. Commit to a schedule with your Yoga instructor at least for a month.
Any form of exercise, including aerobics and yoga can be a stress reliever.
Stress is a condition affecting the brain.
In other words, when the brain feels the stress impact, the rest of the body worsens.
Likewise, if your body feels better, your mind also feels better.
Physical exercises produce endorphins.
Endorphins are hormones that make someone experience a mental high.
They improve the sleep, reduce stress, making you feel energized.
Scientists have found regular aerobic exercises decreases tension levels, stabilizes the mood, and improves one’s self-esteem.
Step 1. Consult with your physician whether you are fit to do exercises or not.
Step 2. Get a training buddy/gym instructor who will encourage you to work out.
Step 3. Start with baby steps. Start small as you build up and commit to a daily schedule.
Laughter is the best medicine.
Not only does it relieve you from stress, but it also improves your immune system.
Laughter draws people together and promotes emotional changes in the body.
Laughter will boost your mood and shield you from the harmful effects of stress.
Humour will always lighten your body, inspire you, and keep you grounded.
Any time you have stress, all you need is a good hearty laugh to relax your muscle.
Most important, diffusing anger and negative thoughts fast.
Here’s how to go about it:
Step 1. Find and join a funny club.
Step 2. Watch an entertaining Tv Show or Comedy that will make you laugh.
Step 3. Read a comic book full of jokes.
13. Own a Pet ( A Dog or Cat)
Recent studies show that owning a pet can decrease stress.
Studies from science direct and hypertension journals found that pet parents with high blood pressure have low blood pressure during mental stress than people without pets.
In other words, for parents who love animals, it’s impossible for them to stay in a bad mood.
Picture this scenario, when a lovely puppy or kitten meets you or when you rub against it.
You will smile automatically — same way like having a baby that smiles most of the time.
But that’s not all.
Pets also encourage you to walk outside, which further helps you to reduce stress in the body.
Step 1. First, you need to commit to all the advantage and disadvantage of owning a pet.
Step 2. Save at least $2000 upfront (because it’s not cheap to buy and raise a dog).
Step 3. Find a breed you prefer. There are so many breeds. It would depend on you.
14. Start A Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a treatment where a therapist controls and fixes your body’s muscle and soft tissues to free you from pain.
Massage therapy does vary and come in many forms.
Some therapists suggest the Swedish massage, which involves focusing on deep tissues.
Others will want to start with reflexology.
While having a message is an excellent idea of relieving you from stress, not everyone is qualified to offer you one.
You may need a certified massage therapist to.
Why is getting a massage therapy necessary when you are stressed?
This is because stress affects every part of the body.
Too much tension lead to muscle stiffness and pain. According to Mayo Clinic, a good massage session will do your body a big favor.
Here are the steps one needs to follow:
Step 1. Find an excellent certified massage therapist. Not all massage therapists are professional.
Step 2. Try different types of massage and choose the one that you like.
Step 3. Make sure to relax when a therapist massages you.
Hypnosis is the least understood stress management technique.
It’s possible to relieve yourself using self-hypnosis in one way.
First, you need to get into a deeply relaxed state to fight tension and trigger relaxation response in the body.
In other words, Hypnosis improves the ability to manage your stress.
The process of hypnosis entails getting into a trance or relaxed and focused state (like meditation).
The biggest drawback with hypnosis is people find it challenging to get into a relaxed state.
A trained professional can help you solve this challenge and get into a relaxed state.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1. Seek or consult a trained professional whom you trust to teach you the process.
Step 2. Likewise, you can also use books, videos, or read a few articles to learn about hypnosis.
Step 3. Make sure you are in a quiet room or sitting on a comfortable chair.
Step 4. Be away from distraction so that you can focus on getting into the trance state.
Step 5. Close your eyes and focus.
Dancing is a universally known way of expressing emotion.
It’s an art. Dancing to good music allows your body muscles to relax.
It’s also really fun if you do it with friends or a group.
Relaxation of the body allows the tense muscles to loosen up, making you feel light.
Recent studies prove dancing activates the release of hormones called Endorphins.
These hormones promote excitement and happiness in a person.
That’s why it is challenging to dance to your favorite music while you are sad.
But that’s not all.
Dancing encourages social interaction.
You meet several people on the dancing floor who you can connect and make friends.
Not only does this make you active, but helps you ward off negative thoughts.
Here’s how you can get started with dancing:
Step 1. Find social places where d