You know the feeling. Your heart starts beating faster, you start getting hot, and you might even start to shake. Stress is rearing its ugly head again.
Too many of us get stressed and don’t know what to do about it. Sadly, with stress having harmful effects on our health, it is more important than ever to find ways to minimize stress. And this is what I am going to help you with today.
In this post, I show you 20 of my favorite stress busters. Run through the list and pick out a handful of stress management strategies to keep in your back pocket so the next time stress shows up, you can quickly erase it from your life.
20 Awesome Stress Busters To Feel More Relaxed
Of all the stress busters I list, exercise is far and away my favorite. I go into the gym, thrown on my headphones and get lost in the routine of lifting weights. It’s amazing how much better I feel after a hard workout.
Even times when I am hung over from drinking a little too much alcohol, an intense workout leaves me feeling great.
So the next time you are coping with stress, go to the gym to instantly feel better. Don’t belong to a gym? Drop and do some pushups and other bodyweight exercises.
#2. Listen To Music
Listening to your favorite band or songs is another great way to relieve stress and anxiety. It doesn’t matter if it is rap, metal or jazz. All that matters is that it is music you love and can lose yourself in.
Just take a little bit of time and create a playlist of your favorite songs and label the playlist accordingly.
And when you listen to music and exercise, you are getting a double dose of stress busters in one shot!
There are many forms of meditation. This is good because we all like different things. Take some time to figure out which method of meditation meets your needs and start practicing it.
Just note that it takes time to master. If you can start out with an open mind however, you can easily knock out stress through meditation.
#4. Take A Hot Shower
Regardless if it is summer or winter, nothing beats a hot shower. Standing under the hot water and just breathing helps me to feel better instantly. There is something about the feeling of the hot water pouring over me.
Alternatively you could take a hot bath. The same idea applies, just sit in a tub of hot water and relax. You could even add some scented epsom salts to the water to help calm you down and also put a hot washcloth over your face.
#5. Eat Some Ice Cream
Need an excuse to eat some ice cream? Well here is it! Eating ice cream is a great way for dealing with stress. It makes you feel good to eat it and indulge.
Trust me, you can’t be stressed when eating a cone of your favorite ice cream. Just be careful to not have this tip be your #1 option all of the time otherwise you will have another issue to deal with.
There are many ways to minimize stress, but laughing has to be close to the best one. They say laughter is the best medicine. And I fully believe it.
No matter how bad or stressed I feel, laughing always makes me feel better. So find some go-to items that make you laugh, be it a stand-up comedy routine or a movie and start laughing.
I’ll even help you out. Check this video and see how long it takes you to start laughing.
#7. Do Yoga
Meditation and yoga are great healthy ways to reduce stress. I mentioned meditating above, and now it’s time to talk about yoga.
The key to being successful at yoga is to take things slowly. Don’t get upset if you can’t do all of the poses from the start. Most people can’t.
I remember the first time I tried yoga. I could barely do any of the poses. Instead of quitting, I modified the poses and did what I could. In a few short weeks, I made tremendous progress and never looked back.
This is the simplest of the stress management strategies. Simply step away from whatever it is that is causing you stress, close your eyes and take some slow, deep breaths. As you exhale on each breath you will feel calmer and more relaxed.
Try to breathe in for a count of 5 and then hold for a count of 7, then slowly breathe out. Count as you are breathing out and you should get to 8 by the time you completely exhale. Repeat this process 5 times.
Take a minute right now to try it out!
#9. Play A Game
Another great option for coping with stress is to get your mind off of things. You can do this by playing a game. Any game will do, cards, a board game, a game on your smartphone, anything really.
My favorites are solitaire and blackjack. But anything that makes you think and gets your mind off the issue causing your stress works.
#10. Go For A Walk
Another of the healthy ways to reduce stress is to go for a walk. You don’t have to walk miles upon miles. Just take a quick 5-10 minute walk. It will refresh you and calm your mind down so that when you get back, you can attack the issue with a clear mind.
When you first start walking, you might find you are still thinking about the stressful issue. But as you continue walking, you will start to pay attention to your surroundings and your mind will wander.
Another of the great stress busters is to journal. The worst thing we can do with stress is hold it in. When we journal, it gives us an outlet to vent. This will help to ease the stress.
- RELATED: Here is my favorite journal
In addition, journaling may even help us to see the stressful situation differently and come up with a better solution so that it doesn’t repeat itself again in the future.
And this is critical. By understanding what causes you stress, you can take steps to stop it from showing up in the first place.
#12. Be Around Friends
If you find that being alone doesn’t help with your stress, then you can seek the help of others. In this case, friends.
The goal isn’t to vent about the stressful issue to your friends, but rather enjoy your time together and have fun. So go do whatever it is you enjoy doing most and relax.
In some cases, you might find that you do need to vent to your friends. This is OK. Sometimes talking about our stress is a great way to overcome it. We may even realize some things while talking about it.
And by venting, your friends might bring up a perspective you didn’t see. Just make sure your friends aren’t your only stress buster.
#13. Play With Your Kids
Kids are always having fun and are rarely stressed. So what better way for coping with stress than to take some time to play with them? Chances are you’ll be laughing and goofing around in no time at all.
In fact, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this year’s ago as the stress quickly melts from your body.
A good way to deal with stress that is often overlooked is to reflect. Think back to other times in your life when you were really stressed out. Ask yourself these questions:
- What helped you get through the situation?
- What didn’t work?
- What did you learn?
The more you reflect and learn from prior stressful situations, the easier you will be able to deal with stress today.
#15. Take A Nap
I love naps and taking one is a health way to reduce stress. It may take you some time to relax enough to fall asleep, but once you do, the stress will leave your body immediately.
Just be patient and don’t think about the stressful situation. Focus more on relaxing and falling asleep.
If you find you just can’t relax, play a game with yourself so that you can let go of the stressful thought keeping you awake. The game I like to play is to run through the alphabet by thinking of words that start with each letter.
You can create categories like fruits and vegetables, or names, etc. It might sound odd, but it works! Especially when you get to some letters that you really have to think about to come up with an answer for, like I, Q and X.
#16. Get A Massage
Probably most people’s favorite way to minimize stress is a massage. In fact, I get so relaxed that I almost fall asleep most times!
While massages can be expensive, there are many options out there today so you shouldn’t have to search too hard to find one that fits your budget. Another way to make massages affordable is to limit how often you go.
Maybe choose some other stress busters on this list first and then every couple months get a massage.
#17. Have Sex
When you are stressed, the last thing you are probably thinking about is having sex. But it is an excellent way to relive stress and anxiety. I know, you won’t be in the mood, but give it time and try it.
After all, studies show that sex is a great way to relieve a headache.
Certain smells instantly calm us down. Lavender is a great example of this. But if you don’t have lavender lying around, don’t worry. I’ve found that most nice smelling scents will calm me down.
This includes cinnamon, popcorn and even fresh air. While not all of these will work for you, it is a good idea to test them out and see. You never know what scent might calm you down.
Here is a bonus tip. Go to the store and find a candle scent that calms your mind. Then buy it and keep the lid on. When you are stressed, take the top off of the candle and take some breaths smelling it.
You’ll be amazed at how well this works.
#19. Play With Your Pets
I don’t think it is possible to not have a good time when playing with your pets. No matter how stressed I am, my cat always finds a way to make me laugh. So if you are stressed and near your pet, be sure to play with them for a bit to calm down.
As a bonus tip for this one, make sure you record what they do. This way when you are at work and can’t play with them, you can watch the video on a loop to reduce your stress.
What if you don’t have a pet? Here is a pet video to favorite so you can try this tip out.
#20. Address It
Finally, you can address your stress. This is probably the best option because if you take the time to figure out the true cause of your stress, you can take steps to eliminate it from your life going forward.
For example, maybe traffic stresses you out. You can fix this by leaving earlier for work so you know you will get there on time. Or you can look to find other routes to work. This way, when you do hit traffic, you know you can go other ways and still make it on time without the added stress.
It might not seem fun to figure out your stress triggers but doing so can easily change your life for the better.
So there are 20 great stress busters to calm you down instantly. Use whatever combination of stress management strategies I laid out to relieve stress from your life.
Be sure to note what works and what doesn’t so that in the future you can deal with stress quicker before it becomes a larger problem in your life.