Stress. Life can seem like an endless bundle of stress. Whether you’re a child that can’t get what they want, or a grown adult that’s raging in traffic, we all feel stress levels bubbling up from time to time. The good news is there are plenty of ways to lower stress. With the many different ways to lower stress, it’s important to make time for yourself to allow yourself to calm. So, here’s an epic list of 46 ways to reduce stress and anxiety yourself. Some of these are deeper treatments you can learn, and some are just fun little things you can do to relieve temporary stress.
46 Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
- Get yourself some chamomile tea
- Avoid confrontation where you can
- Don’t get wrapped up in other people’s drama
- Limit your time on social media
- Go for a walk
- Try something new
- Go for a jog
- Try a new diet regime
- Don’t take other people’s opinions personally
- Practise mindfulness
- Get a massage
- Reach out to others
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Take a bath
- Light a scented candle
- Sit in silence for five minutes
- Stop procrastinating and start doing!
- Take up yoga
- Take up Tai Chi
- Tune in to some relaxing music
- Go for a scenic drive
- Practise deep breathing
- Connect with a pet
- Go and explore nature
- Create a weight training regime
- Learn to cook
- Read a book
- Light some incense sticks
- Turn on a feel good comedy
- Give self-hypnosis a go
- Tidy up
- Speak with a friend
- Draw something
- Learn to blog
- Start that journal
- Give yourself something to look forward to
- Limit social media usage
- Say ‘no’ more often
- Do something nice for someone else
- Practise guided meditation
- Give yourself permission to be upset sometimes
- Get better quality sleep
- Light some scented candles
These are very brief examples of how you can reduce stress and anxiety in your daily life however here are some of my personal favorites, so let’s go a bit deeper…
The Key To Reducing Anxiety And Stress
The key to reducing stress and anxiety is understanding what is making you stressed out in the first place. Do you let yourself lead a stressful life? Are you indulging in unhealthy habits that are contributing to your stress levels? It’s important to understand why we get stressed as individuals because stress can be lethal if endured over long periods of time.
It’s well known that stress can contribute to heart attacks and heart-related conditions, but it can also lead to other health conditions that don’t seem like an issue at the time but can build up if left untreated.
These can include;
- Eating disorders
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- high blood pressure
- Sleep deprivation
Unhealthy habits and health conditions brought on by stress can be lethal by themselves but a number of them can easily be experienced at the same time leading to a very unhealthy lifestyle.
For me personally, I used to get very stressed by allowing myself to experience avoidable stress. This contributed to my anxiety disorder and therefore made me more stressed…
Reducing Avoidable Stress
There’s lots of ways we can become stressed out and some of these ways are totally avoidable. Where our children might make us stressed sometimes, (arguably unavoidable) becoming involved in things that are not important and do not directly affect you are avoidable. How much unnecessary stress do you think you could avoid? For example, do you often leave the house in a rush in the morning?
This is totally avoidable stress.
With avoidable stress, you need to ask yourself why you’re allowing it to happen. Maybe you’re lazy or you can’t seem to plan things properly. Poor time management can be changed but it’s whether you’re willing to get up in the morning that bit earlier. In this example of avoidable stress, I have noticed that most people will want the short term pleasure of staying in bed longer over the pleasure of not being late.
One thing that I have personally been good at is being early for things. It’s one way I keep my anxiety down, but it’s also so that I avoid unnecessary stress. I simply hate being late for things. There is usually no excuse for always being late, so if this is you, you’re putting more stress on yourself that is ultimately avoidable!
Don’t Get Involved
Avoidable stress can also take form in getting wrapped up in other people’s issues. Some of us feel as if we have a place in forcing our views on others or we simply want to be part of the conversation. This type of behavior is amplified with social media where it’s easy for someone to comment on something that has nothing to do with them in an attempt to stir the conversation or voice their opinion.
Whilst you can argue that some people just like drama, this is totally avoidable stress. The issue with getting involved with the things that have nothing to do with you is the negative feedback. When we get involved in other people’s issues we can get negative feedback which can make us very stressed. With media like Facebook, it’s easy to become very anxious and stressed whilst we wait for the conversation to unfold. You can read about how quitting Facebook has significantly reduced my anxiety and stress here.
If you find yourself getting involved in other people’s drama, it’s time to step back and think about why you’re doing it.
Start Getting Mindful
Mindfulness is becoming very hyped up in the world of stress and anxiety. However overused it may be now, it works. Practicing mindfulness is a fantastic way to reduce stress and anxiety. Mindfulness allows us to come back to the present. This is especially helpful if you’re stressed about an upcoming event like a test for example and you keep thinking into the future and worrying.
We can use mindfulness to reconnect with ourselves and bring our minds back into the present moment. Meditation has been used for hundreds of years to calm and relax a person’s thoughts. Mindfulness is especially effective for those who suffer with stress and anxiety. Mindfulness exercises are easy to do, they don’t take much time, and more and more people from different walks of life are practicing mindfulness in our ever-busy lives.
You can read more information on how mindfulness can help with reducing stress and anxiety here.
Making Time For What You Love Doing
One of the main reasons I was so stressed when I was in the midst of my anxiety disorder was I was on total autopilot. Whilst mindfulness can bring you more awareness, making time for what you’re passionate about is the net best thing. I had given up what I liked doing, the things that have always made me feel that bit more alive and that get a kick out of.
Yes, sometimes it’s hard to make a bit of time for your passion or hobby but even half an hour a day can be enough to de-stress. For me it was always drawing that made me feel excited and good. Half the battle is allowing yourself to do what you love. With the many responsibilities we have in life, we can feel guilty doing something that we like.
These can be anything;
- Weight training
Whatever it is that you love to do, let yourself do it and plan to make time for your passion or hobby. This is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety yourself. If you feel like you don’t have a passion or hobby that you can find stress relief in, try something new…
Take Up Tai Chi
Tai chi is the practice of combining mindfulness with exercise and stretching which makes it a powerful stress reliever. Those who practise tai chi report that it brings inner peace and serenity like nothing else. Tai chi is quite literally mindfulness in motions as the meditative state combined with physical stretching work in sync to calm and relax.
Tai chi has been shown to not only relax those who practise but also ease health conditions. A study by The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry showed that weekly tai chi combined with other depression relieving techniques can speed up recovery. There is also evidence to suggest that tai chi can improve cognitive function and ease inflammation.
Usually, Tai chi sessions last about an hour so if you have a few hours a week, you could use this time to practise Tai chi.
Did You Get A Dog Yet?
One of my favorite ways to reducing stress is the use of animals. Sure, owning a pet can sometimes be stressful and cost a lot of money! However, research has shown that therapy with the use of animals can has drastic effects on things like stress and high blood pressure.
A 2001 study showed that patients who owned pets could keep their blood pressure down in times of mental stress better than those who did not.
What’s interesting is the non-judgmental effect of owning a dog for example. Quite often those who own dogs end up usually treating their dog as a family member instead of just a ‘pet’. Whilst you may not want to talk to another human family member about your stress (or anything else) as you may not want the confrontation that comes with it, spending time with a dog is a neutral experience.
The very nature of a dog is loving and warm. By nature, a dog will be forever loyal to its owner making it a highly pleasant and easy experience to spend time with.
Spending some quality time with a pet or an animal like a dog is starting to make its way into the medical world for the use in therapy. Whilst having a dog in a hospital might of before been a big ‘no-no’, science is now introducing animals into treatment programs.
This 2008 study shows the introduction of a dog to Alzheimer’s patients and the benefits it had.
There are a ton of ways you can reduce stress and anxiety, it’s all about trying things to what works for you. Sure you can light some scented candles like we mentioned above but if you find yourself becoming stressed often, or most of the day, it’s a good time to make some long term lifestyle changes.
I’d love to hear your ways of reducing stress in the comments below.
Here’s to your success – Sean
Previously published on Projectenergise.com.
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