This post was updated on 19/05/23
Life can be stressful at times, and we all experience stress in different ways. Whether it’s work-related, relationship problems, financial difficulties, or just the general pressures of modern life, stress can take a toll on our mental and physical health. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to manage stress and live a more peaceful life. In this blog post, we’ll explore 33 effective techniques for reducing stress levels and improving your overall wellbeing.
- Get Moving
Physical activity is a great stress reliever, and it can help you clear your mind and release tension. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a yoga class, or a high-intensity workout, find a form of exercise that you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine.
- Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and focusing your attention on your thoughts and feelings. By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to observe your thoughts without judgment and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Connect with Others
Social support is essential for our mental and emotional well-being. Make time for friends and family, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help or support when you need it.
- Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is crucial for our physical and mental health, and getting enough rest is essential for managing stress. Try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule, avoid screens before bedtime, and create a relaxing bedtime routine. Read more about sleep here
- Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing exercises can help you calm your mind and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Try taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth for a few minutes each day. You could also try the 4, 7, 8 technique.
- Listen to Music
Music can have a powerful effect on our emotions and can help us relax and de-stress. Create a playlist of your favourite songs or listen to calming music to help you unwind. You could even create a number of playlists, for various moods; relaxing, working, Sunday morning, or morning motivation.
- Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is the practice of focusing on the positive things in our lives, and it can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and increasing happiness. Try keeping a gratitude journal or making a daily list of things you’re thankful for.
- Take Breaks
Taking regular breaks throughout the day can help you recharge and reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm. Try taking a short walk, practicing a quick meditation, or simply stepping away from your work for a few minutes.
- Practice Self-Care
Self-care is all about taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s taking a bubble bath, reading a book, or indulging in your favourite hobby. Anything that fills up your cup.
- Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can both have negative effects on our stress levels and overall health. Try to limit your intake of these substances and opt for healthier alternatives like herbal tea or water. Everything in moderation.
- Learn To Say No
Saying no can be challenging, but it’s essential for our mental and emotional wellbeing. Set boundaries and prioritize your own needs, and don’t be afraid to say no to things that don’t serve you.
- Practice Visualization
Visualization is a powerful technique for reducing stress and achieving your goals. Take a few minutes each day to visualize yourself achieving your goals and living your best life.
- Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you feel your best and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
14. Practice Mindful Eating
Practice Mindful Eating: Instead of rushing through meals or turning to unhealthy comfort foods, try practicing mindful eating. Pay attention to the flavours, textures, and sensations of each bite. Eat slowly, savouring the experience. This can help you become more aware of your body’s hunger and fullness cues, reduce emotional eating, and promote a healthier relationship with food.
- Take up a Hobby
Having a hobby can help you relax and reduce stress, whether it’s painting, gardening, or playing an instrument. Find a hobby that you enjoy and make time for it in your schedule.
16. Get Outside
Spending time in nature can have a calming effect on the mind and body. Try to get outside for a few minutes each day, whether it’s going for a walk in the park or simply sitting outside in the sun.
17. Practice Time Management
Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out can often be a result of poor time management. Try to prioritize your tasks, make a schedule, and break larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps.
18. Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals can help you manage stress by reducing feelings of overwhelm and promoting a sense of control. Break down larger goals into smaller, achievable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way. This approach allows you to focus on one task at a time, reducing stress associated with multitasking or feeling pressured to accomplish everything at once.
Laughter is a powerful stress reliever, and it can help you feel more relaxed and joyful. Watch a funny movie, read a humorous book, or spend time with friends who make you laugh. It really is the best medicine.
20. Take a Mental Health Day
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, taking a mental health day can be a helpful way to recharge. Take a day off from work or responsibilities and spend time doing things that bring you joy and relaxation. This might sound impossible but use your support circle.
21. Write in a Journal
Journaling, as a stress management and self-exploration tool, works best when done consistently, but even occasional, sporadic journaling can be stress relieving when the practice is focused on gratitude or emotional processing. . It’s also a good problem-solving tool; oftentimes, you can hash out a problem and come up with solutions more easily on paper.
If you love journaling, (or would like to give it a go) I have the perfect mini-membership for you. Read more about Reflect and Glow here and illuminate your way to wellbeing.
Helping others can be a powerful way to reduce stress and increase happiness. Look for opportunities to volunteer in your community, whether it’s at a local shelter, food bank, or community garden.
23. Take a Hot Bath
Taking a hot bath can be a relaxing way to unwind and reduce stress. Add some Epsom salts or essential oils for an extra calming effect. A bath can even have therapeutic benefits. See full article here.
24. Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing and releasing different muscle groups in the body to reduce tension and stress. Try tensing and releasing each muscle group for a few seconds at a time, starting with your toes and working your way up to your head. This is a lovely exercise to do at any time of the day, but especially as you’re relaxing before bed.
25. Get a Massage
Massage can be a powerful way to reduce stress and tension in the body. Book a massage with a licensed massage therapist or try using a massage ball or foam roller at home.
26. Practice Self-Compassion
Self-compassion is all about treating yourself with kindness and understanding, even when you’re struggling. Be gentle with yourself and try to speak to yourself the way you would speak to a good friend.
27. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a practice that utilizes the natural scents of essential oils to promote relaxation, balance, and overall wellbeing. Remember to always follow the instructions and guidelines for each essential oil, as some may need to be diluted before use or may not be suitable for certain individuals. However perhaps choose oils such as lavender, chamomile, or bergamot, which are known for their relaxing properties.
28. Take a Technology Break
Technology can be a major source of stress and distraction in our lives. Try taking a break from technology for a few hours or a day and spend time doing offline activities instead. In our house, especially when my step-children were teenagers, we had “No Phones Friday.” This meant on Friday evening we all put our phones away to do something together.
29. Practice Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are statements that help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and build self-confidence. Try repeating positive affirmations to yourself each day, such as “I am strong and capable” or “I am worthy of love and respect.” Would you like help turning negative thoughts into positive affirmations? You can download the Positive Affirmations Toolkit here.
30. Engage in Creative Expression
Engaging in creative activities such as painting, writing, playing a musical instrument, or crafting can be incredibly therapeutic and stress-relieving. It allows you to channel your thoughts and emotions into a creative outlet, providing a sense of accomplishment and a break from daily stressors.
31. Take a Walk in Nature
Spending time in nature can be a powerful way to reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing. There’s something magical about being out in nature amongst the trees and wildlife. Take a walk in a nearby park or nature reserve, and take in the sights and sounds of the natural world.
32. Connect with Animals
Interacting with pets and animals can be a powerful way to manage stress and improve your overall wellbeing. Their presence, companionship, and the unconditional love they offer can bring immense comfort and a sense of peace. Whether you have your own pet, volunteer at shelters, or engage in animal-assisted therapy or activities, these connections can have a positive impact on your stress levels and promote emotional wellbeing.
- Join a Support Group
Joining a support group can be a helpful way to connect with others who are going through similar experiences and to get support and encouragement. Look for a local support group or join an online community.
Stress is a common experience that affects all of us at some point in our lives. However, there are many ways to manage stress and reduce its impact on our physical and mental well-being. By incorporating some of these 33 stress management techniques into your daily routine, you can find greater peace, joy, and resilience in the face of life’s challenges.
If you found this blog post helpful and would like to connect with others who are also working on managing their stress levels, and improving their mental and emotional wellbeing, consider joining our Facebook group focused on self-care. In our group, you’ll find a supportive community of like-minded individuals who are committed to improving their wellbeing and finding greater balance in their lives. We look forward to seeing you there!