20 Plus Ideas for Relieving Stress

Stress can drain you physically, emotionally – even financially!  But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.  There are actually ways to relieve stress and make things better.  So say goodbye to harrowing hassles with these 20 plus ideas for relieving stress.

  1. Listen to music. Populate your iPod with calming sounds to lower the levels of cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone.
  2. Eat healthy food. While chocolate can liven up your mood, it can only give you an abrupt sugar rush. Nourish your mind and body with stress-lowering healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and fish.
  3. Breathe. When everything seems so overwhelming, stop for a while and take a deep breath. A five-minute deep breathing exercise can help you clear your mind.
  4. Laugh. Giggling all by yourself will make you look crazy – so if you want to drive the stresses away without looking like a loon, treat yourself to a funny movie such as “Dumb and Dumber.” (The sequel is in the works by the way.)
  5. Have a massage. Eradicate your stresses – and get rid of painful and tensed muscles by getting a massage. Apart from improving blood circulation, a soothing massage can uplift your mind.
  6. Meditate. Set aside some time for meditation, a ‘mindful’ exercise that eliminates stress – before it poses a more difficult problem.  Recent studies have shown that meditation and other mindfulness exercises have been especially useful in treating anxiety conditions.
  7. Float in an isolation tankFloating in an isolation tank has been known to reduce cortisol levels and reduce stress, along with anxiety and physical pain.
  8. Move your body. Even if you are extremely busy, a short and brisk exercise can help drop your stress levels. It fosters the release of endorphins, hormones that can help improve your mood.
  9. Go to sleep right away. Fight the urge to watch some late-night TV. Turn off the tube and hit the sack early. After all, a complete sleep is known as one of the best ways to bust stress.
  10. Drink some tea. Work-related stresses? Instead of drowning yourself in coffee and energy drinks, opt for tea instead. It contains theanine, a calming and soothing substance.
  11. Apply warm compress. Get rid of stress-related aches and pains by applying a warm wrap on your neck or shoulders for 10 minutes.
  12. Phone a friend. Reassuring words from a pal can help decrease the anxieties in your mind.
  13. Talk to yourself. If you do not want to bug your friends in the middle of night, try talking to yourself first – and reassure yourself that everything will be okay – eventually.
  14. Isolate yourself from your cellphone and the internet. News coming from text messages, calls and social media websites can add up to your stress levels. Free yourself from such hassles by cutting yourself from these modernisms – even just for a day.
  15. Consume B Vitamin-rich foods. Studies prove that B vitamins help decrease depression, apathy and irritability. Shield yourself from such stresses by eating B vitamin-rich foods such as peas, nuts, beans and eggs.
  16. Engage in aromatherapy. Your olfactory sense can help relieve stress, especially if you treat yourself to aromatherapy. Such smells stimulate the limbic system, thereby promoting the feelings of love, excitement, relaxation and calmness.
  17. Take a mini-vacation. You don’t have to splurge money for a vacation just to relieve stress. A mini-vacation, such as touring your city’s lesser-known spots, can help eliminate the tensions in your mind.
  18. Walk. Taking a walk outside can reduce anxiety.  Science has found that walking has similar chemical interactions to exercise.  Research has shown that a brisk 20- to 30-minute walk can have the same calming effect as a mild tranquilizer.  In addition to reducing stress, walking has been shown to increase creativity.
  19. Adopt a pet. Pets might require maintenance, but studies show that they are effective in improving one’s mood. They can provide you with social support as well.
  20. Read a book. Forget your worries – even for a while – by drowning your senses in a good book. A great fiction/non-fiction book can divert your mind from pressing concerns.
  21. Paint a picture. Whether you are creatively talented or not, generating artwork can give you the positive distraction you need to forget the stresses in your mind.
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