How To Reduce Stress: Effective Ways To Relieve Everyday Stress

Written by Priyanka Agarwal, Writer at Hola Health
Medically Reviewed by Amira Shah,MA in Couselling Psychology, Registered Psychotherapist, B.Ed with Guidance & Councelling B.Arts

Stress has become an inevitable part of life that affects human beings in quite a few ways. Whether it’s owing to work, problems in relationships or personal challenges, each one of us experience stress at some point. But, how to reduce stress? Although we can’t control our situations and circumstances, we can choose how to respond to them. It’s essential to manage stress effectively and stay healthy.

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20 Ways to Reduce Stress

How to deal with stress? Take a look at these effortless ways to help you defend against your ongoing stress.

1. Get Active

Physical activity is the best stress reliever. Simple exercises like walking, jogging or even yoga can help you boost your mood. It pumps up your feel-good endorphins and allows you to focus on your mind and body. So, if you feel overwhelmed go for a walk or do anything that gets you active. It might look simple, but it is an excellent way to get energised.

2. Embrace Deep Breathing

None of us pay heed on our breath. It is always there when we need it. But if you focus on the way you breathe, it can have a huge impact on your stress levels. Deep breathing exercises have the ability to calm your body and lower blood pressure and heart rate. And the best part is that you can easily do these exercises while you are in a hectic meeting or in a crowded place as no one would know you are doing them.

3. Indulge in Meditation

Meditation promotes mindfulness and acceptance of emotions without judgments allowing you to respond to stress more effectively. There’s evidence that short sessions of silent meditation can be a powerful tool to manage stress. So, to calm your turbulent mind, be sure to meditate and feel the stress melt away.

4. Eat A Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy diet can help you fight stress. Focus on eating a well balanced diet with enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. During times of stress, people tend to gravitate towards foods high in fat and/or sugar; consuming such foods may lead to adverse health conditions, potentially worsening our stress levels. Hence, eating a balanced diet is the key to how to lower stress.

5. Try Out Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy aids stress relief. It has the ability to make you feel more energetic and at ease. Research suggests that certain aromas can change our brain wave activity and decrease stress hormones in the body. Thus, introducing some aromatherapy, regardless of your preference for diffusers, candles or essential oils has significant benefits.

6. Producing Art

If you feel that you’ve lost contact with your artistic abilities, It’s still very much possible to get back to it. Art can be very therapeutic. Research proves that indulging in art produces meditative effects. Even if you do not enjoy painting or drawing, you might want to try out colouring books. The popularity of colouring books has increased  as colouring is a perfect way to rewind and relax.

7. Increase In Laughter

You must have heard the famous phrase, “laughter is the best medicine”. Well, laughter is certainly a great way to relieve mental strain. It brings about positive physical changes in the body. Thus, it is always advantageous to participate in activities that might induce laughter like watching a comedy show or simply reading a joke.

8. Talking To Loved Ones

Social Interactions can help us de-stress. Reaching out to friends and family can help you overcome your stressful situation. Thus, grabbing coffee with your friend or texting a relative can function as a distraction and minimise stress levels.

9. Give Journaling A Shot

Maintaining a journal where you can jot down your thoughts and feelings is an effective way to deal with stress. In this way, you can get in tune with your inner self and organise your thoughts mentally. Feel free to write whatever occurs in your mind without giving a second thought to grammatical errors or language. In this way, you can create a safe space where you can express yourself through your writing.

10. Let Music Do Its Magic

Playing instruments or listening to your favourite songs can release tension. It eases the muscles, diverts the mind and reduces stress chemicals.  Music also tends to get us into a jovial mood hence, listening to music is one of the most popular ways of reducing stress. 

11. Contact A Guidance Counsellor

If your stress levels are hindering your ability to perform day to day activities, It is advisable to get in touch with health practitioners or counsellor. Therapy can help you decrease stress and help you get back on track. Professional counsellors can assist you in forming new coping strategies which further aid you in future.

12. Gratitude

Being grateful serves as a powerful reminder that you have all the tools at your disposal to handle stress. It opens your eyes and helps you acknowledge all your blessings. Those who are appreciative have less stress and a higher standard of living. Hence cultivating a habit of appreciating on a daily basis can help you fight stress.

13. Get Adequate Sleep

Our sleep schedule tends to get ruined when we have too much on our plate. However, sleep is the time where both our body and mind rejuvenates. An average adult needs at least 6-7 hours of sleep every night.  Your energy level, concentration and general functioning is influenced by how well you sleep. Sleeping seems like a trivial daily activity but it is actually beneficial for regulating stress levels. In case you have trouble sleeping you can try putting your electronic devices away, listening to some calming music and lying down in a dark and silent environment.

14. Get Away With Unhealthy Ways

Many individuals resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms while dealing with stress. This includes inappropriate lifestyle patterns such as skipping meals, increased alcohol consumption and substance abuse. All these habits are dangerous and can cause health hazards, which ultimately leads to increased stress levels.

15. Make Time For Fun Activities

Engaging in activities that you like doing is an excellent stress-buster. No matter how busy your schedule might seem, making time for activities that are enjoyable is always worth it. These activities can be anything that you fancy. Be it, gardening, sewing or trying out new cuisines. Additionally, feeling at ease can lead you to perform better as well and improve your productivity for the day.

16. Focus On Time Management

Time management is like the axis around which stress rotates. Your tendency to get stressed out, depends on how you allocate time to different responsibilities.  A structured schedule will allow you time for breaks which can promote a better work life balance, in turn decreasing stress. A proper balance of work, quality time with family and leisure is most befitting if you wish to master time management.

17. Minimise Your Screen Time

Although smartphones, laptops and tablets are important, using them too often may increase stress levels. Excessive screen time can lead to information overload, headaches, eye strain and neck or back pain. On the other hand, limited screen time allows you to take part in active and healthy activities and encourages better sleep quality. Minimised screen time promotes an improved balance between digital engagements and natural world activities, eventually boosting mental and emotional well-being.

18. Learn To Forgive

Realise the negative effects of anger and learn to forgive. Taking offence and holding on to grudges can disturb your mind causing pointless stress. Let go, forgive and free yourself from resentment and the burden of anger. Forgiveness can lead to a sense of calmness and emotional healing, allowing you to move on with greater resilience.

19. Accept Things You Can't Change

No matter how much you want to, there are some things in life that are beyond your control. Rather than worrying about these things, it’s better to recognise them and focus on the things you can control. Unleash the need to control everything and make peace with the situations you can’t change.

20. Hug Your Furry Friend

When you give a tight hug to your pet, you experience a sense of comfort, affection and security which immediately lifts you up. Spending quality time with your furry friend can divert your mind and provide that much needed break from a stressful day.

How To Deal With Everyday Stress

Still pondering over how to manage stress in your daily life? Let’s find out more about dealing with daily stressful situations.

1. Manage Work Stress

The best way to cope with stress at work is to simply respect your work life balance. A balanced work life is the key to success. It is important to meet deadlines and be up-to-date with your work but at the same time, taking breaks and stress leave from work can help you deal with work-related stress.

2. Stress At Home

Managing a household is definitely not an easy task. It consists of its own challenges which can give us stress at times. Their nature might seem unimportant, but they have the ability to weigh us down. Meditation, proper scheduling, consuming the right nutrients and some good amount of sleep are a few ways to battle the minor hassles of everyday lives. Constant communication with family members, taking short walks, establishing a routine and getting a good amount of sleep can also help you to deal with stress.

3. Everyday Stress For Women

In recent times, women are constantly juggling between family obligations and the demands of their jobs. These additional roles become a source of stress for most women especially when they are unable to fulfil their duties. Stress can affect women mentally, physically, emotionally as well as socially. Prolonged exposure to stress can also lead to issues in pregnancy, menstruation and bowel movement. Women should practise self care and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Taking small breaks to slow down or to indulge in enjoyable activities can also help. It’s essential for women to express their feelings and ask for help from friends, family or a therapist whenever needed. Regular sleep and exercise can also contribute to stress reduction.

4. Everyday Stress For Men

Just like women, men also face stressful situations in their occupational, social and familial life which affects their physical health.  A.U.S national study reports that 60 to 80 percent of doctor’s visits by men may have a stress-related component. Stress in men can lead to Cardiovascular diseases, Prostate cancer and Male infertility.  Some coping strategies to handle stress include regular exercise, mindfulness, setting realistic goals and seeking support from loved ones or professionals if needed. Emphasising on self-care and adequate amounts of sleep are also important activities to keep up with.

5. Before And After Exam Stress For Students

Student life can become tedious at times due to examination stress. The desire to perform efficiently in exams is a pivotal source of stress. Students feel the pressure before, as well as after the exam as they wait for the results. Some tips to reduce stress during exams include, preparing timely, taking adequate breaks, meditation and a dose of positivity. Deep breathing, proper hydration and a positive mindset also contributes to stress reduction. Additionally, rewarding yourself as you complete tiny milestones while revising is also an effective way to cope with stress.  It is normal to feel stressed out before exams ,but adopting a healthy perspective on coping mechanisms can make the entire experience more manageable and stress-free.

When To Seek Professional Help

It’s imperative to seek professional help for stress when it considerably starts impacting your every-day life, relationships, work performance or physical and mental health. If you are finding it difficult to deal with symptoms like depression, anxiety or insomnia or if your stress is consistent despite trying self help strategies, it’s  a good idea to reach out to a mental health expert. Moreover, if you find yourself getting inclined towards harmful coping mechanisms such as self harm, excessive smoking or drug and alcohol abuse, it’s extremely important to extend your hand for support. Professional help offers support, guidance and tools to help you manage your stress more effectively. Always keep in mind, seeking assistance is a symbol of power and strength.

If you are still wondering how to reduce stress, remember that stress is common, but it’s significant to keep looking for simple steps that will help you handle the highs and lows of life in a healthy way. Keeping stress at a controllable point is vital for your health and wellness. Remember, little changes can make a huge difference in reducing stress.

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Reference

  1. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Meditation for Work Stress, Anxiety and Depressed Mood in Full-Time Workers – Reference Link
  2. The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise  – Reference Link
  3. Influence of Fragrances on Human Psychophysiological Activity – Reference Link
  4. Women and Stress- Reference Link
  5. When Physicians Counsel About Stress: Results of a National Study – Reference Link

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Disclaimer

This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. For emergencies please immediately contact 000.