Stress. Whether it’s something that only creeps up on you from time to time, to a low-level feeling that’s with you almost constantly, having a handy toolkit of ways to dismantle it is paramount to your health and well-being. Here are over 100 ways to keep you feeling good, in control, and relaxed anytime the stress monster decides to come to town. Be sure to bookmark this page and revisit it for quick reference throughout your day, or whenever you need it.
1. Get Horizontal
It could just be a matter of lying down and taking a rest. This takes the pressure off of your major joints and can be an instant way to get your body to calm down on a physiological level. Often times the brain will respond to what the body is feeling, just like the body responds to what the brain is thinking. You don’t have to sleep at all, and can continue thinking about what is stressing you, you’ll just have a new angle to think about it, and you’ll probably come up with better thoughts from this more relaxed position.
2. Turn Off the Lights
Sometimes it’s just too bright where you are, and turning off the lights can help you think, and help your mind relax. This is even more true when the sun has gone down, or if you’re pulling a late night. Having artificial lights on takes you out of the circadian rhythm and can make you feel more stressed for longer periods of time. Using fluorescent lights can be very draining, and this can also lead to increased feelings of overwhelm. You don’t have to go to sleep, but being in the dark can help you calm down, relax, and focus your thoughts more clearly on your desired outcome.
3. Talk with a Trusted Friend
Two heads can be better than one, especially if you do what Napoleon Hill refers to as a MasterMind session. This is one two or more people join together on a goal or problem in complete unison and harmony. That’s why you’ll want to sit down with a dear and trusted friend, someone that will help you get a fresh perspective on your stressful situation and offer you some insight without an ulterior motive of their own. Just be sure to return the favor when they’re in a similar pickle.
4. Cut Down on Sugar
Sugary foods are often reached for as comfort when you’re feeling stressed. But eating sugar can actually make you feel more stressed because it is introducing free radicals into the body. Unless you are getting enough antioxidants to battle them, it will simply wear you out more quickly, and the stress will seem unbearable. You’ll also avoid the dreaded sugar crash, which will make you feel depleted and less able to deal with the many stressors each day can present. As an added bonus, cutting down on sugar will help you reduce your blood pressure and help you reduce your waistline over time, which would be two less things to stress over.
5. Fix Something
If you’re having problems in one area of your life, it can be therapeutic to fix something in an unrelated area. It can be anything, from a leaking faucet to other minor home repairs, or even a relationship with someone that’s been a bit rocky lately. It’s a way of proving to yourself that you can solve problems and mend things, and when you return to your original problem you’ll find that you have new clarity and confidence and can come up with a more creative solution.
Take a moment and look around.
Stress can often be attributed to a lack of belief that things will ultimately turn out to your advantage. If you take a history of your life you’ll likely see that in other similar jams things have turned out alright and you’re having a pretty good time overall. You simply need to trust more that everything will work out for you, and find solace in that trust. This new mindset will also help to diffuse the situation that was making you stressed, and you should see it wash away with minimal effort.
7. Choose Not to Stress
It might seem like there are outside forces causing you to stress, but it’s actually originating from the thoughts you’re thinking in your mind about the situation that you’re in. If you had the choice not to stress, you’d likely choose not to. Realizing that the choice is yours is something that most of us forget about in the moment, when we’ve already painted ourselves into a self-imposed corner and think that there are no other alternatives but to stress out about it until conditions change.
8. Try Whole Body Vibration
There are vibration plates you can buy, and places you can go where you can use them, either at a gym or health club. This involves simply standing on the machine and letting it vibrate your entire body. If you buy into what the proponents of it say, you’re working on the cellular level of your body. But if you’re just wanting to relieve some stress, it’s a way to shake you up out of your current thought pattern, and get you to a happier place. Users report feeling much better after a session, and it’s also supposed to help increase strength and boost weight loss efforts.
In the book First Things First they point out how important it is to make sure that you get to the most crucial parts of your life first, rather than letting the petty things get in the way. If you’re stressing out it could be because a lot of smaller-sized tasks are getting in the way of accomplishing what you really want to do, and it may be a matter of prioritizing things and making sure that you are spending good amounts of quality time doing the things you’ve deemed most important to you.
10. Take a Shower
Jerry Seinfeld once said that he likes taking showers because it’s the one place no one can bother you. Aside from the privacy it provides, it also gives you a lot of direct control over what you’re experiencing. Want the soothing effects of a nice warm shower? Go for it! Want the exhilaration of seeing how cold you can stand it? Go for it! It’s a friendly reminder that you have control over your experience, and you don’t have to settle for being less than happy.
11. Use Baoding Balls
You’ve probably seen these before in movies, but they really exist, and they’re supposed to help you destress and feel more at peace. The beauty is that you don’t really have to do anything special in order to use them, just holding them in your hands gets the job done. They’ll automatically start shifting around as you move your fingers. The soothing touch baoding balls provide helps to calm down your mind and the next thing you know you start to feel better. Success!
12. Unplug the TV
Even though watching your favorite TV show might help to relieve your stress, it’s going to be packed with commercials advertising foods and products that you don’t really need, and that will just make you feel worse. Also, it’s just a temporary escape and you’ll be staring at your situation when you get back, with no progress being made on how you feel. If you really want to watch your show, consider getting a Netflix subscription so you can bypass all of the ads and just watch what you want to watch.
13. Read a Biography
Life comes with challenges, and it’s good to read how your role models dealt with theirs. It’s not a matter of living a life where you never feel stressed, it’s about learning to function and perform your best while feeling stressed, as well as how to deal with it so that it doesn’t affect the outcomes in your life. Choose someone you look up to, someone that you would consider a mentor if you had access to them personally, and read about their life. Undoubtedly there will be a section or sections on how they overcame a difficult situation to reach success.
14. Be Comfortable in Your Skin
If you’ve tried to beat your stress before and failed, you might need to accept that some stress in your life is just a part of who you are. If you’re constantly giving yourself grief because you can’t shake that stressful feeling, it’s only going to make the matter worse. Look at yourself in a new light, one where you accept that you’re a person that stresses from time to time, but still manages to lead a pretty awesome life. You should get almost immediate relief from this new picture of yourself, and be able to carry on with more focus.
15. Learn a New Language
They say that it helps the brain to be able to express yourself in another language. But if you’re in a stressful situation it might be nice to just swear and not have many people know what you’re saying. But seriously, anything that helps the brain to grow and develop will help it cope with what it’s presented with in your day to day life. In the short term it’s a way to get your mind off of what is stressing you out. For extra therapeutic benefits, consider learning a language like Japanese or Chinese where you practice writing the characters.
Take a nap.
16. Get Help on the Matter
If your pride and ego won’t let you ask for help, you could be piling the stress onto yourself unnecessarily. If a situation is so big that you need to bring in some help, get that help. This could be in the form of adding people to the project, or speaking with a psychologist about what you’re feeling. Wallowing in stress when the solution is just a phone call or an email away doesn’t make sense. Swallow your pride, get off of your island, and interact with those that can help you.
17. Lose Weight
Losing weight has dozens, if not hundreds of side benefits to your health, and feeling less stressed is one of them. All else being equal it usually results in having a more normal blood pressure range, and not getting as winded from normal activities, which will help you to not get that flight or fight feeling as much. If this is one of your stress triggers then you will definitely want to consider changing your diet around to get down to your ideal weight. No need to rush things, a slow and steady approach has proven most effective.
Get more tips on how to lose weight here.
18. See Your Doctor
Chronic stress is a precursor to a host of different ailments, conditions, and diseases. If you have a recurring problem with too much stress and anxiety, you should consider consulting with your doctor about what your options are for how to treat it, and to see if there is a deeper reason for the stress you’re feeling. Taking preventive measures now will save you from potentially debilitating problems later, and the bonus is that you get to feel good right now and on an ongoing basis.
19. Get Metaphysical
You don’t have to get all esoteric in order to benefit from the metaphysical world. If you’re very scientific you can look at what quantum physicists are doing. They’re showing more and more that the world we live in is nothing more than atoms, and that we’re all connected. If you’ve been feeling like the world is on your shoulders and that it’s all up to you, or feeling like you’ll never get it all done and there’s too much to do, it can help to take a broader look at the universe you inhabit and see that you’re a little part of something bigger.
20. Regain Your Balance
Feeling stressed is a sign that something is out of balance. Perhaps you’re putting too much emphasis on one area of your life. Regaining the balance of your life is essential. If you’ve been neglecting your health or your family in order to meet high demands in your career, it’s time to fix that equation by putting some quality time in with the ones you love. The interesting phenomenon is that you end up doing a better job at work when you know that you’re succeeding in the other roles of your life.
Let your feet hang down.
21. Eat Superfoods
We have a list of plenty of superfoods that you can browse and choose the ones that speak to you. Instead of making you feel more stressed and worn down, many of them contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that work to give you more energy, clarity, and a positive outlook, as well as battling free radicals to help you live a longer and happier life. The good news is you don’t have to go crazy and start eating nothing but superfoods, but incorporating more of them into your life will have a direct and measurable impact on your stress levels.
22. Try Something Goofy
It could be a matter of trying something zany that you haven’t tried before. Check out this somewhat ridiculous stress reliever called Bug Out Bob. It’s a strange looking little man whose ears pop out when you give him a squeeze. Not only are you getting a good hand workout, which can relieve a lot of tension in your hands, you also get to see how silly he looks when he’s all stressed out, and this in turn can get you to calm down. By all accounts it’s great to have around the office, just in case you start imploding from a work-related mishap.
23. Go with Baby Steps
Many of us try to conquer our stress in one big leap. But waiting around for the magic bullet that totally kills your stress instantly can cause you to stress more. It’s better to attempt a more gradual shift by looking for a single thought that feels better than the one you were thinking that was causing the stress. It’s hard to go from being totally stressed out to being totally relaxed and calm, but if you just stick to trying to feel a little better, and then a little better, eventually you’ll be miles away from where you originally were.
24. Start a Blog
You don’t have to start a blog in hopes of getting rich or famous, you can start it for therapeutic reasons. It’s nice to get things off of your chest, and coincidentally some of the more popular blogs out there involve someone just ranting about things they don’t like. Even if you don’t have any initial readers it’s nice to vent and the Internet provides a great forum for it. Chances are there are others that are feeling the same way as you, and there may even be others that will add comments about how they handled the same situation.
The old adage that laughter is the best medicine is apt when thinking of ways to beat stress. It’s really hard to be tickled by something to the point of laughter, and feel stressed at the same time. They’re pretty much mutually exclusive. This means if you immerse yourself in a good comedy, whether a book, show, or movie, and let yourself get to the point of laughing out loud at your favorite scenes or sections, you’ll be doing wonders not only for your stress, but your overall health as well.
26. Kick the Caffeine
Caffeine works to speed up your heart rate, which can give you a feeling of energy, but can also give you the jitters and contribute to a panicky feeling. In reality the caffeine is not giving you energy at all, and it amounts to nothing more than a physiological parlor trick. You derive real energy from eating foods that contain the power of the sun, think fruits and vegetables. That’s why foods and drinks that are devoid of these natural elements, but instead rely on caffeine to give you a kick, are not doing you any favors in the stress department.
Get more tips on daily things you can do to detox.
27. Visit a Farmer’s Market
Not only will you benefit from eating locally grown produce, you’ll also be surrounding yourself with people that are taking a simpler approach to life. This can be very relaxing, and many of the folks you meet will be happy to talk about their trade and their goods. It’s nice to interact with someone living so closely to the Earth and each one specializes in their own crop or product. Eating those foods will make you feel good, not just because they have less preservatives, but because you’re putting a face to the food you eat. Anything that feels good helps to combat stress.
28. Get Your Herbs in Order
If you notice that you get stressed out pretty easily, or have a hard time recovering from a stressful situation, you could be lacking in some essential ingredients that are keeping you from feeling completely relaxed. There are some all-natural herbal remedies you can try that will supplement these nutrients. The good news is that if you aren’t running a shortage, you’ll have a surplus and your body will flush out what it doesn’t need. Here’s a well-reviewed supplement for stress that will help you cover all of your bases in this department.
29. Break Out the Bubble Wrap
Everyone considers bubble wrap stress therapy, and the act of popping those little bubbles can really do wonders to make you lighten up, almost immediately. So what sort of psychology is at play here? It’s definitely getting your mind off your troubles, but here’s the kicker: you have to keep at it for at least a minute to get the full effects. Just popping a few bubbles might make you smile, but you need to keep the popping going if you want to feel really good. It’s been compared to the post-massage feeling you get.
30. Get a Massage
This might not be something you can do immediately when you’re feeling stressed, but it’s great to add to your weekly or monthly routine as a comprehensive approach to chilling out. It helps to keep the muscles relaxed, and if you go to a proper massage therapist they’ll be able to work on specific problems you’re having with parts of your body, which can help relieve pressure and keep you feeling good long after you’ve had a session. Massages not in your budget? Try a personal massager that can also be used with a partner.
Sip it slow.
31. Do an “Appreciation Top Ten”
When you’re stressing out you’re in the wrong state to get anything productive done, and it can be hard to get in the appreciative state. But if you take a moment and come up with a Top Ten List a la David Letterman on things you’re thankful for. It can be something that happened to you in your past, something you’re living right now, or even something you can see coming to you in the future. You’ll no doubt return to thinking about your problem, but at least you’ll bring a newfound energy to it.
32. Hug Somebody
Getting regular tactile human contact is important, and if your stress meter is boiling over it’s high time you get and give a hug. Sometimes you’re not in the right place or it’s not the right time for a hug, so be sure to stock up on them when conditions are right. That way you’ll have a fond memory of a recent hug and that can be just as exhilarating as the real thing if your imagination is strong enough. Real or imagined your body is responding to the thoughts you’re having, so a memory of a hug will suffice in a jam.
33. Plan a Fun Trip
The act of planning something fun in your life will have an immediate effect on your stress if your stress is caused by feeling overwhelmed by your current circumstances. It will show that you’ve got fun things coming to you in the not-so-distant future, and you’ll gain some immediate perspective on what you’re going through. Try to imagine what it will be like to be in that place, not as a means of escaping your life, but as a means to let your brain know that good times are on the way.
34. Build Muscle
If you’re plagued by a feeling of near-constant stress, you may want to consider putting on some muscle. Studies show that those with more lean muscle mass have lower blood pressure rates, tend to feel calmer more often due to a lower resting heart rate, and recover more quickly from an event that causes their heart rate to increase. You don’t have to walk around like you’re He-Man, simply building more muscle than you currently have will suffice. You’ll have the added benefit of having more strength to get you through everyday obligations, and you should have more energy as well.
35. Accept What Is
If your stress is being caused by pushing against the way things are right now, you can make great headway on it by accepting the current status. The interesting thing about right now is that it already is, so there’s no point in fretting or fussing about the way things already are. It takes your attention away from improving those conditions you’re stressing over, and dilutes your power. Instead, come to a deep acceptance that yes, things are this way now, but you’re resolving to do your best to make them the way you want.
Spend some time with your best friend.
36. Write More (with a pen)
In our technology-driven world the use of pen and paper is becoming more and more outdated. But it’s very therapeutic to write with a pen, and jot down what’s going on in your mind. You don’t have to make it a novel, but you can experiment with different techniques, such as keeping a daily journal, doodling, or writing down your problem in words, and then coming up with potential solutions, all with a notebook and pen. It’s a more cerebral experience than typing them into a file on a computer. Try it!
37. Focus on the Solution
If you’re bent on getting out of a problem, but find yourself stuck in an endless loop that gets you nowhere, you’re probably spending the majority of your time thinking about how bad the problem is. If you instead turn your attention to possible solutions with an open mind, you should start to see your stress levels dissipate accordingly. The trick is you don’t want to immediately shoot down potential solutions, because this is defeatist thinking. Keep your mind open to new possibilities and an idea that sounds stupid at first might evolve into what gets you to good.
38. Try an Inversion Table
If you’ve never tried turning yourself upside down in an effort to feel good, you owe it to yourself to try it out. An inversion table is a way to get from standing on your feet to basically standing on your head without exerting much effort. It is designed to help relieve pressure on your spine, decompress joints, and improve your flexibility. But you can scrap all of that if you’re just trying to beat stress, because this is a way to nearly instantly turn whatever’s wrong in your life on its head.
39. Get Physical
If you’re stuck in your head, it may be necessary to move you into the physical realm by using any activity you see fit. This is true if you spend a large portion of your day sitting in one spot. It can happen that end up thinking the same thoughts over and over again until you are focused negatively on this one thought. Anything that breaks up the inertia and gets you interacting with the world should work. This can be as simple as shuffling cards for a card game, or doing the dishes. Just be sure to get involved in whatever activity you choose.
40. Get to the Root of the Stress
Almost worse than the stress itself is not knowing exactly why you are feeling stressed. If you can make it a point to dig deeper until you find what’s causing it you can then work on freeing up the snag that is holding you back from full enjoyment of life. This tactic works when you are experiencing a daily low-level type of stress with vague reasons for why you have it. There may be an underlying fear that is outdated and irrational that you can quickly shine the light on and be free of that stressful feeling.
Read a book.
41. Peruse the Self Improvement Section
If you’ve never given much thought to the self-improvement section of your local or online bookstore, you should browse it and see if anything speaks to you. They’ve got books on topics ranging from childhood traumas to relationship issues, and if you’re feeling stressed you’ll probably find that at least one title pops off the shelf and resonates with you deeply. Often there is a trained or experienced professional that has deep insight into the problem, and provides a sort of shortcut to help you solve it.
42. Take Action
You hear action talked about as the solution to a lot of different problems, but for stress it can really be a quick cure. Even if the action you take is not the correct one, you will at least have some new information to add to what you already had, and will be able to make a better calculation of what to do next. Sitting idly by while the stress mounts will only cause conditions to worsen. If you’re fed up by the action that got you to where you are, see what you can learn from it rather than beating yourself up for making a mistake.
Regardless of what religion you are, and even if you’re not religious, it’s good to pray and let your true intentions have a voice. If you believe in God you can ask for strength to get through what’s stressing you, or you can ask for insight into how to solve the problem. If you’re spiritual you can basically make the same requests but direct them toward the Universe or Source, or Infinite Intelligence, or whichever force you believe in. If you’re an atheist you can still pray, but direct it inward so that you are making a plea to your highest self and can rise to the challenge with renewed vitality.
44. Try a Touch Stone
Here’s a handy device that looks like a simple rock ball, but is said to be able to help relieve stress simply by holding it in your hands. It’s hard to say just what it is about this stone that feels so good, but users have credited it with not only stress relief, but also pain relief. If your job involves a lot of typing or other handiwork, you’ll appreciate that you can use a touch stone like this to help get things back to normal. Taking a timeout to attend to yourself throughout the day is a great way to manage your stress levels.
45. Get a Bird Feeder
By putting a bird feeder in a strategic location of your back or front yard you’ll be inviting nature to your door and you will be able to watch birds get the sustenance they need for the day. It’s possibly the easiest form of wildlife you have ready access to, and by watching them you can find a stronger sense of inner peace. If birds aren’t your thing, consider taking a ride to a park where you can take a stroll and hopefully see some of nature’s other critters going about their day. It’s a great way to hit the reset button on what’s stressing you out.
Rebounding is the act of simply bouncing up and down on a tiny trampoline, not really for exercise, but just to feel good. It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel after just five minutes on it. The nice thing is that rebounders are generally inexpensive, and they don’t take up much room. Many will slide right under a bed for easy storage. Here’s one you can check out to see the size we’re talking about. It’s got its share of great reviews and might be just what you need for a daily re-calibration to your happy, stress-free, natural state.
47. Go to the Beach
If you’re anywhere near an ocean one thing you can do to have stress wash away from you is go to the beach. Taking a quick dip in the water and feeling the waves crash into you will work wonders on any stress you’ve been feeling. Not near a beach? Find the closest equivalent in your neck of the woods, a place that surrounds you in nature and helps you connect to the simple things in life. If your stress has reached critical mass it might be a good idea to get out of dodge and take a mini-vacation to your nearest beach spot.
48. Establish a Routine
If you like to have your days as unstructured as possible, this may actually be leading to more stress. Try establishing a routine that allows for all of the things you like to do in a day, and then repeat that again and again. You can then begin to find strength from your routine, rather than feeling like you’re in a rut. The reason this works is because it helps the mind realize that you have things under control, and it knows what to expect. It gives it parameters to work with, instead of not knowing what you’ll be doing on any given day.
49. Transmute the Negative Energy
Take the negative energy you’re feeling and put it to constructive use. Find a project that you can jump into fully so that you can take the strong stressful feelings and have something to show for it rather than wasting it. You can use this energy to get things done that are unrelated to what you’re fretting over, and it will have the added bonus of taking your mind off of it for a bit. For example, you could use your energy to do a load of laundry, or rake the lawn, anything that needs to be done.
50. Try Affirmations
Chances are that if you are feeling stressed out you have one or several negations going through your mind. Affirmations are positive statements that you can repeat in your head until you start to believe them and see the positive changes take place. In order for them to be effective you have to get your belief level up so that you truly believe what you’re telling yourself. Start off small, with something like “I’ve worked through this before, I know I’ll be fine.” and make stronger affirmation as you go along and your confidence builds.
51. Take a Walk
Here’s a method that’s been used by the rich and the poor alike to get a handle on their stress as well as reap several other health benefits. The length and pace of the walk does not really matter, listen to your body and it will tell you what you need. If you feel that you need to go for a longer or more strenuous walk perhaps you have some excess energy built up that needs to be expended so you don’t waste it worrying. When you’re walking, keep your gaze looking forward to objects in the distance, or try bouncing a ball as you walk for full stress relief.
Here is a time tested way to help you curb your stressful tendencies. Some might argue that the degree of stress you’re feeling is in direct proportion to how long it’s been since you last meditated. Everyone has their own way of meditating, so you can either follow a system or develop your own way to quiet the mind and listen to your inner voice for guidance. You don’t have to sit lotus-style like a monk and chant, you can pick a posture that’s comfortable for you, and even meditate while on the go.
53. Get Fishy
Several different types of fish contain omega acids that will help the body to feel more relaxed and calm and less stress. One of these is salmon, and another is tuna. You can also try mackerel, sardines, anchovies, trout, and even oysters and mussels. If fish just isn’t’ your thing you can also find omega-3s in food items like chia seeds and flax seed. You can even find it in products like hemp milk. The important thing is to increase your intake of them, even if you have to do so with supplements.
54. Turn Off Your Egoic Mind
Your egoic mind, according to Eckhart Tolle, is the voice in your head that you sometimes can’t turn off. He claims that this voice is a scourge on humanity, and the cure is getting it to shut up so that you can get in tune with the silent observer, the real you behind the facade. In his book The Power of Now, he goes into great detail with tips you can apply to try to silence the constant chatter in your head, the sort of chatter that is likely responsible for causing you so much stress.
55. Alter Your Environment
Many of us are products of our environment, and it sometimes just takes a bit of tweaking to the surroundings to improve our outlook on life in general. You might not have made the connection to your living quarters and the way you feel, but moving things around might make you feel different, and sometimes different can be good, especially if the old way reminded you of how lousy you felt. It’s a quick way to feel like things have changed, no matter how small those changes might seem at first.
Explore your world.
56. Create a YouTube Playlist
Hang out on YouTube for a while and create a playlist of either funny clips, or your favorite songs, or inspirational videos that make you feel better. Anytime you start to feel stressed it’s just a matter of queing up your playlist and it will play the videos back to back. That way you can continue on with whatever you were doing, but now you’ll be happier and more motivated, and not stressing out as much as you before you started the playlist.
57. Picture Perfect Posture
It’s hard to think that something as simple as your posture could be causing you more stress. But it’s the same theory that smiling leads to better feelings just as good feelings lead you to smile. When your posture is right your body is more in line with its natural state of being, and you’ll start to function better, including being able to handle stress better. Likewise, if a stressed state as you slumping and slouching, firming yourself up should lead to less stressful thoughts.
58. Take a Sauna
If you have access to a sauna, get there pronto. It’s really hard to be in a sauna and stress at the same time. In fact, if you do stress in the sauna you’ll find that it goes away quite easily as your muscles start to relax from the heat. Proponents also claim that the sweating action releases toxins from the body, and if that’s the case it’s an added bonus. Common places that you can visit that have saunas are your local gym or health club, the YMCA, and there are also dedicated sauna places that you can rent by the hour.
59. Get Away from the Problem
It’s not necessary to grin in bear it just for the sake of feeling strong. The way you feel is everything, and if you’re feeling stressed you aren’t going to add anything to the equation anyway. You can always return to the problem – be it a person or a situation – when you’ve got a handle on your stress levels and are able to be more present and alert, rather than having the stress put words in your mouth. This is not a form of avoiding the problem, but rather a method of bringing your best self to the problem to find a better solution.
60. Try Brain Wave Vibration
This is a form of meditation originating from author Ilchi Lee in his book Brain Wave Vibration. He outlines all of the benefits to trying it, and then gives the steps necessary to do it. It may look a bit strange at first, but those that have tried it have said that it’s highly effective at shaking off stress, worry, and fatigue, and restoring a sense of calm, well-being, and energy to the body. In its most basic form it’s simply shaking the head back and forth to rhythmic drumming as a way to tap into the part of the brain that controls healing.
Kick your feet up.
61. Get Pampered
Sometimes when you’re stressed it’s nice to get pampered in some way or another. Getting a manicure or a pedicure is great, or even a more advanced spa package including a facial. Guys, don’t be shy you can still get the same services done, and you’ll end up feeling much better than when you went in. It’s nice to let someone else do the work for you, even on simple things such as nail care. You can also have your special someone pamper you, just be sure to pamper them back when they’re having a rough day.
62. Learn to Let Go
The root of your stress problem might be that you’re too wrapped up in whatever is bothering you. Perhaps you’re putting too much identity into a work-related matter, and are feeling that if you fail in this you’ll be a total failure. Creating some separation of your value as a person and how it relates to the work that you do is important. Let go of that strong association and you’ll ease up on yourself and be able to perform more adeptly in your role.
63. Realize You’re the Sky
A lot of the time you might get stuck on a certain thought, and start to believe that you are the thoughts that you have. But the thoughts you think are as ubiquitous as the clouds in the sky, and you’re not the clouds, you’re the sky itself. You’re what’s left after the clouds have floated by, and you’re what’s giving a home to your thoughts. So if it’s a series of thoughts that have you freaking out, just relax, let them float by, and get on with your life.
64. Learn to Play an Instrument
If you already know how to play a musical instrument then you probably already know the great job it does of helping to relieve stress. But if you don’t know how to play one, you can start to learn. Nowadays there are courses you can buy online that will teach you how to play an instrument quickly and with a shortened learning curve. You can also learn to read music if you don’t know how to already, using free guides on places like YouTube and elsewhere online.
65. Take a Bath
Bubbles or not, it’s up to you, but the point is to get soaking. It does wonders for stress levels, especially when you combine it with other tips on this list, such as aromatherapy or listening to your favorite music. You can even cut the lights and use candles to light things up, as this is a natural light source and likely better than your bathroom light. One tip is to get the water nice and hot so that you can feel your cares melting away as you sit and soak. The steam is also good to breath in and the overall experience is one that delivers consistent results when you need them.
66. Get in the Moment
In all likelihood you’re thinking of things that haven’t happened yet, and are still only a possibility. It’s a way of living in the future unnecessarily, and your ability to be present will come in handy here. It’s hard to stress out about this very moment, since it usually doesn’t have cause for alarm. Once you determine what it is you’re stressing over, and realize that as of now it’s only in your mind and hasn’t actually occurred yet, you’ll be better equipped to prevent it from happening and not to give it another thought or to stress over it again.
67. Get Nostalgic
Maybe your current situation is dragging you down, but surely you can conjure up a memory that makes you remember a better time, when you were less stressed and more happy. You don’t have to get lost in that thought, but it sends a message to your brain that you are capable of happiness and easy living, and that you have the means to get back to that state if you really want to. It should lead to improved feelings on your part, but if you start to get sad, hit the eject button and get back in the moment.
68. Do Yoga
Here’s another time-tested and peer-evaluated way to drastically reduce your stress levels, get into better harmony with your larger self, and also improve your health in general. The stretching involved will help you free up any blocked energy, and the calmness it provides the mind provides lots of stress reduction. If you’ve thought about trying it but were too intimidated, or tried it before and it wasn’t your cup of tea, perhaps a program that is less spiritual and more practical might be in order. DDP Yoga features Diamond Dallas Page and is like no other yoga program you’ve probably seen.
69. Listen to Your Favorite Music
This is something that works its magic almost every time it is put to use. All that’s required is assembling your favorite music so that you can play it any time you feel stressed. Choose songs that help you to relax rather than those that get you pumped up. Many people find that separating their music based on what they need it for works best. You can have a pre-workout list of songs at the ready, a stress buster list for at work when you still need to be alert, and relaxing list of songs for when you get home and can chill out.
70. Go Dark
Dark chocolate has been making the news as of late for the antioxidants it contains. These are a certain kind that should help you to feel better and calm down more. Plus it’s chocolate, so it’s not like someone needs to put a gun to your head to make you eat it. The same properties are not found in milk chocolate because it’s processed more. You may want to consider adding a bit of dark chocolate to your daily diet in a comprehensive effort to defeat stress. Or you can simply keep an emergency supply available for certain situations.
Hug a loved one (and get hugged back).
71. Track Your Activity
One way to help with stress is to get one of the activity trackers currently trending in health and fitness circles. They’re able to monitor how many steps you take per day, as well as track your sleeping patterns so you can get a better idea of how you’re living your life on day to day basis. If you can find parallels to times when you feel stressed, and times when you’re not as active as you usually are, you can take steps to fill in those gaps to stay focused and happy. Check out this tracker called the FitBit.
72. Get Better Sleep
It’s not just the quantity of sleep that you get, it’s the quality. This includes setting up your sleeping environment so that it’s conducive to catching some z’s, as well as preparing yourself for bed several hours beforehand by partaking in relaxing and pleasing activities. You should also make it point to get to bed early and wake up early, as this will have a direct impact on the amount of deep, refreshing sleep you get so you wake up less likely to get stressed in the first place.
73. Learn to Relax
If you’re the go-getter, A-type personality that doesn’t take a minute off to recharge your batteries, it may be a matter of learning how to relax. Look at it this way, you can be even more productive and effective if you bring a calm and relaxed mind to the table. Taking out 30 minutes from your day will not be wasted, but will make the rest of the time you spend that much more useful when you are in the zone more often. This lets you keep it real with yourself, since you know you’re not just going to change personalities overnight, you need to speak to yourself in language you can understand.
74. Get Organized
If things around you are in a state of disarray, it can be very beneficial for you to get them organized and in proper order. It doesn’t matter if what you organize is unrelated to where the problem is coming from, for example it doesn’t matter if you organize your kitchen pantry when the problem is originating from the office. The process of straightening up and seeing that there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place will work wonders for your mind and your mental state.
75. Try Acupressure
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but is noninvasive. They both rely on the use of strategic points on the body that are said to line up with different internal organs and systems. It’s been around for thousands of years in many different forms, and if you are working with a true professional they’ll be able to zero in on the parts that will help you feel less stressed all over. You can visit with an acupressure specialist or you can get a device that mimics the same sort of benefits, like this one.
Smell the Daisies.
76. Play Games
Games, any kind of games, are a fantastic way to kill some stress and also share some quality time with the people you care about most. These can be sports-based games, board games, or simple card games, as long as you immerse yourself in the moment and really soak up the fun. Do yourself a favor and don’t play a game if the stress is too much for you, you’ll just end up having a bad time and make everyone around you miserable. Use some other tips on this page to get to a level where you can see yourself having fun while playing, and then go ahead and play.
77. Lay Off the Alcohol
Unfortunately many turn to alcohol and recreational drugs as a way to cope with stress, but this is not a viable or sustainable means of dealing with the issue. In fact, prolonged alcohol use will eventually end up taking its toll on your liver and other vital organs, which will only give you more to stress over. Rather than turn to a substance to help you with your stress, you should stick with something that you can use long-term that doesn’t have any negative side effects. That’s why it’s much better to get more active instead, or start eating healthier foods as a way to manage stress.
78. Join a Fun Group
There are plenty of groups to satisfy all types of people and interests on places like Meetup.com. It’s free to join these groups and easy enough to browse what’s available and select one or a few that seem like they’re your cup of tea. Meeting with other like minded people can fill you with a great sense of joy and restore some fun back into your life if you’ve become somewhat reclusive in recent years. Getting out of your comfort zone may seem like it will add stress, but once you’re comfortable in the new group it will be a source of recreation and positive interaction.
79. Get a Pet
Cats are usually referenced as adding years to their owner’s lives due to the stress reduction they provide. But dogs can be just as nurturing as long as you select the right breed for your home. The great thing about pets is the way they shake off disappointment and problems and are always in the moment. They’re also so happy to see you when you get home and this can be a great source of happiness. It’s hard to stress out while petting a purring cat, or a dog that’s wagging its tail. Other pets can provide a calming effect as well, if a cat or dog is not feasible for your home.
80. Get a Colonic
If you buy into the hype, a backed up colon is responsible for a list of maladies a mile long. Whether or not you put that much stock into it is irrelevant, the basic fact is that when you get one, you feel better, and feeling better is what is going to help you with your stress levels. The initial experience can be a little off-putting, but when you experience the results after, you will see that it was high time for a thorough cleaning of your colon.
81. Have More Sex
This one seems like a no-brainer, but having more sex is a great way to lose some of that stressful feeling. If you’re currently in a relationship, spice things up a bit. If you’re single and it’s been awhile, join a dating site and see if you can find someone to get romantically involved with. Sex might be the last thing on your mind if the situation is stressful enough, but it’s amazing how it can totally shift your energy levels, and can make you forget about your troubles, at least until the next morning.
82. Surround Yourself with Beauty
Adding some beautiful flowers or a piece of art to the places where you spend the most time is an easy way to make yourself feel good for most of the day. Make it something that you can gaze at for minutes at a time, or add multiple pieces to the room so that you always have something to fix your attention on. The mind will wander if you let it, so make it a point to have something worth looking at in front of you most of the time.
83. Dress Comfortably
Something as simple as the clothes you wear can have a direct impact on the way you feel. If you’ve noticed that you feel stuffy and hot, and this leads to increased feelings of stress, do your best to change your wardrobe a bit until you find a comfortable clothing level. It might be hard if you have to wear certain things for your job, but even if there’s a strict dress code you can still experiment with looser fitting collars and look into a comfy pair of shoes. It’s about keeping yourself comfortable, both mentally and physically.
84. Do Breathing Exercises
There are plenty of relaxing breathing exercises you can find on YouTube and other video sites, and you should find one that you can see yourself doing. Many of them are useful since you can perform them anywhere. There are ones where you cover a nostril and breathe through your nose, alternating which nostril you’re covering, and others where you are encouraged to breathe deeply and let more air in. You may be surprised how shallow your breathing has become, and also how focused you get when you start breathing consciously. Bye bye, stress!
85. Try Aromatherapy
Using essential oils is a fast, easy, and effective way to change your frame of mind. There are some flower and plant extracts that are notorious for inducing a state of calm and relaxation, and many have made it into the mainstream air fresheners, like lavender and chamomile. You can experiment with several different oils, getting rid of the ones that don’t seem to have an effect, and keeping the ones that help you to feel more at peace. There are also scents that can help you to fall asleep, which is on this list as another way to help with stress.
86. Get in the Water
Regardless of the form, immersing yourself in water has a direct effect on how you feel. The ocean ranks highly, and got its own spot on our list of stress smashers. But you can get the same effect by wading in a river, jumping in a lake, or finding a pond to splash around in. It’s all relative to where you live, but there is likely to be a water source nearby. If all else fails, take a bath, which also earned a dedicated spot on this page.
87. Debunk the Myth
Could stress be a myth? That’s what Andrew Bernstein claims in his book The Myth of Stress. He says that it’s not so much a matter of your circumstances, which is what we’re all led to believe, but more by how you’re thinking about the circumstances that are being presented to you. According to him you can junk all of the items on this list and examine the thoughts you’re having that are triggering the stress response, and voilà, no more stress.
88. Say No.
If getting overwhelmed is your trigger for stress, you simply have to learn to say no to requests made by others. You may also need to learn to delegate responsibilities in order to complete projects. It can be hard because you don’t want to let the other person down, and you want to feel as if you can handle anything, but some problems require the help of others, and it’s not a sign of weakness to know your limits and reject further work. It’s also best for everyone when the right people are put on the right tasks.
89. Do the “Work of Worrying”
In the book The Now Habit, Neil Fiore says that worrying can be useful, but you have to make sure that you worry all the way through. The reason that stressing out can be debilitating is that you haven’t taken it all the way to the end. What really would be the worst case scenario if what you’re dreading actually happened. How would you handle it? What would you do to make the situation better? Realizing you’ll be alright if everything does go wrong is a big step in getting over those feelings of stress and anxiety.
90. Do an 80–20 Analysis
If you look at it, about 80% of your stress is likely coming from 20% of your daily life, potentially even less. You might find that almost all of your stress is coming from one specific area. Locating the areas that are causing you the stress is important because you can then go about fixing it. You’ll also notice that 80% of the success you’re having at beating your stress is coming from 20% of the things you’re trying. Simply stick to doing more of that 20% and you should have the stress bug stomped in no time.
91. Get a Hobby
If you’re spending too much time worrying, it could be that you have too much idle time. Filling up your time with a worthwhile hobby or other activities can help keep you in a positive state, and away from thoughts that cause you to stress. A hobby doesn’t have to be one that is artsy and craftsy, you can become a enthusiast of the theater and start going to all of the plays that come to town, or you can become a lover of symphony and make sure to attend all of the orchestral performances in your area.
92. Get Sunshine
Your body needs sunshine to produce Vitamin D which will help your happiness levels and combat your stress levels. You don’t need a ton of it, not enough to get burned if you’re sensitive, and the body can actually store up some reserves, but make it a point to get out and get some sunshine each day the sun’s out. You should notice a big difference in how you feel, and a stark contrast to how you feel if you avoid the sun entirely for long periods of time.
93. Keep Blood Sugar in Check
If your blood sugar levels have peaks and valleys this could trigger your stress if you start getting the jitters and feeling like you have heart palpitations. Keeping them relatively even throughout the day should also help you maintain your focus and have more energy so you have a great day and stay on the ball. Added benefits are that you’ll likely lose weight if you’ve never given much thought to these levels before. You could also be preventing diabetes, so even less to worry about.
94. Train Your Brain
Brain training has really caught on in recent years, and due to relatively recent findings on the neuroplasticity of the brain, it’s now apparent that old dogs really can learn new tricks. It’s just a matter of establishing new neural pathways. By strengthening your brain you’re giving it the ability to look at the same scenario in a different way and come up with new and original solutions. Not only that but it will help your cognitive processing and ability to reason. All of which plays in well to your goal of beating stress.
95. Play a Sport
Getting involved with a sport is a great idea because it’s not only getting you up and active, it’s engaging your brain and giving it a new set of stimuli to deal with. Those that can benefit the most from playing a sport they like are those that find the source of most of their stress is their job. For most of us sports are totally unrelated to the work that we do, and letting yourself get sucked into a competitive or friendly sport can work wonders on forgetting about your job for awhile.
Find inner peace.
96. Leave Stressful Relationships
It may be a hard pill to swallow, but if your relationship is with someone that is an almost constant source of stress, it may be time to leave. If you’ve addressed the problems that are causing the stress and there’s nothing that can be worked out between the two of you, it may be that you have to accept that they won’t change, and that you’ll be better off either alone or with someone that doesn’t give you that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.
97. Detox the Body
Detoxing the body can be a very joyful experience, especially if you’ve accumulated a lot of toxins over the years. You can start with the colon and move through the different organs, as each of them likely needs a good cleansing, and there are kits you can get that are specifically designed for each of the internal systems of the body. Next up after the colon is the liver, as this is the most important detoxifying agent in the body. Start to relieve toxins and chances are you’ll feel less stress, as these could be blocking the good feelings from happening.
98. Stay Charged
In his book The Charge, Brendon Burchard details several ways that you can lead a charged up life, where feelings of stress and worry have been replaced by feelings of excitement and the rewarding feeling you get of living your best life. He says it’s not enough to just live an OK life, when you have it in you to go get everything you want and be the best version of yourself possible. Along the way you’ll be putting the kibosh on any lingering feelings of stress, they just can’t stay when you’re this charged.
99. Plant a Garden
Watching the fruits of your labors literally blossom up out of the ground and nourish you with their wholesome goodness is a rewarding experience from start to yummy finish. It’s also a great way to give stress the boot, as you’re digging in the ground and feeling close to nature, and then watching the sow and reap connection. You might find inspiration in other areas of your life, and will find it harder to stress about some of the less important things in life.
100. Tie Up Loose Ends
Sometimes stress is caused by a feeling like you’re forgetting something, maybe something that’s really important. Go through the different facets of your life and see if there’s anything you can do to put the button on things. Perhaps there’s an email you can send, or a project you can wrap up to feel that you have some closure on an issue. Once you’ve done a runthrough, see how you’re feeling and if there’s been an improvement.
101. Learn From Stress
You wouldn’t feel that stressed sensation if what’s causing the stress wasn’t important to you. In that way you can use stress to point you towards the things in your life that you should spend the most time on. This doesn’t mean that you need to embrace it or live in a state of constant stress, but if something scares you you can learn to cope with the stress long enough until you don’t feel it any more and then you’ll be doing what you love, but without the stressed feeling.
102. Put It In Perspective
By simply changing the way you look at a situation, you’ll change the way you feel about it. Stepping back and getting objective with what’s going on is one way to help you get more clear about how you feel about what’s going on. Getting additional viewpoints from friends, coworkers, and family members is another. The more ways you have of looking at the same facts, the more you’ll grow and expand as a person, and the more you’ll be able to make the right decisions to get you past what’s stressing you out.
103. Be Industrious
Getting things done just flat out feels good, and when you’re stressing it’s all a matter of replacing those bad feelings with better ones. The feeling of accomplishment sends positive endorphins to the brain, and can help you through your stressful situation. If you don’t have anything pressing that needs to be done, you can always dream some up. Maybe the spare bedroom could stand an extra coat of paint. Maybe the dog could benefit from another brushing. Walk the line between busy work and necessary work, there’s no need to get too carried away.
104. Take a Siesta
There’s a lot to be said about taking a midday snooze. It’s a great way to find your center in the center of your day. The reason it’s said to be so effective is that it might be ingrained in our DNA from millions of years of sleeping during the day as a means to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Whatever the reason, rather than fight the post-lunch snoozies you may be better off catching a quick nap to help overcome midday stress.
The health benefits to smiling are well-established, and the good news is that you don’t have to wait until you feel like smiling in order to benefit from it. Even though you might feel stressed out and in not much like smiling, if you just hold the pose for a few seconds, you’ll likely find a thought to match your expression. It’s a great way of altering your state of mind by altering your body, a pretty incredible phenomenon. And know this isn’t about grinning and bearing it, you aren’t looking to smile in spite of the stress, but in an effort to alleviate it.
Stress is not something you banish from your life once, and you’ve slayed the dragon for good. It can rear its ugly head at any time as long as the right triggers are in place. Do your best to make much of this list a part of your life and you’ll find that you stress less and less, and when you do you’ll have an effective array of ways to mitigate it.
You may also like: