What are the Best Ways for Reducing Stress?

B. Miller

Stress is a part of everyone's life, but sometimes it can be a hindrance when you are trying to accomplish something. Reducing stress may seem impossible, but you can take some small steps to make your life easier. It is also important to reduce the stress in your life as much as possible for health reasons.

Keeping a journal can be a good stress reliever.
Keeping a journal can be a good stress reliever.

An important first step in reducing stress is determining what the root causes of your stress are. Are you stressed at work, at home, or even on the commute to work? Are you stressed about weight gain, or trying to get your kids out the door for school in the morning, or by trying and failing to get everything done by the end of the day? Anything, no matter how insignificant or how large, can be a cause of stress, and narrowing down the problem can often begin to make you feel better.

A power walk can reduce stress and boost endorphins, which improve overall mood.
A power walk can reduce stress and boost endorphins, which improve overall mood.

Once you've determined the cause or causes of your stress, you can begin reducing stress. These are some general tips that some have found helpful; you may try all of them or just a few. One great tip for reducing stress is to plan ahead. For example, if you know the morning is a stressful time in your home because everyone is trying to rush out the door, you might get some things ready the night before. Lunches can be made in advance, clothes for tomorrow can be picked out, and any keys or important papers can be placed by the front door.

A relaxing bath at the end of the day can reduce stress.
A relaxing bath at the end of the day can reduce stress.

If possible, getting up a few minutes earlier can make a big difference. Even though the time you gain may not be much, your perception will change and you will feel as if you have a lot more time. It is also important to get enough sleep, however, so going to bed at a reasonable time is important. Rather than letting stressful thoughts run through your head all night and keep you awake, make a list before you go to bed and get things off your mind.

Stress management techniques emphasize the need for adequate sleep and good nutrition in order to stave off stress and fatigue.
Stress management techniques emphasize the need for adequate sleep and good nutrition in order to stave off stress and fatigue.

Exercise, yoga, and meditation are great stress relievers. Make time to take a relaxing bath at the end of a difficult day, or go for a short walk if you don't have time to get in a full workout. Some find that writing in a journal helps relieve stress. Making time for fun with friends and family is also important, but feel free to say no if you don't have the time. Cutting back on caffeine and sugars can also help in reducing stress and in helping you get healthier. The key to reducing stress is realistically assessing your life and determining what works best for you and how you can best manage your time and responsibilities -- every person's method may be different, and that is normal.

Meditation is considered to be a great stress reliever.
Meditation is considered to be a great stress reliever.
Reducing stress begins with determining the cause.
Reducing stress begins with determining the cause.
It's important for people dealing with stress at school or work to avoid bringing the stress home with them.
It's important for people dealing with stress at school or work to avoid bringing the stress home with them.
Spending time with friends in a casual setting can help reduce stress.
Spending time with friends in a casual setting can help reduce stress.
Stress management may include using aromatherapy.
Stress management may include using aromatherapy.

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Discussion Comments

surfNturf

@Subway11 - I heard that yoga really relieves stress because it takes so much concentration to do each move that you are forced to think about your body and not anything else. Painting has the same effect on me. I have to focus and concentrate so hard on my painting that I don’t have time to think about anything else.

I think that a hobby that you enjoy would really change your spirits as well as reaching out to a friend. This can help as well because chances are your friend has experienced stress many times as well and probably has tips to reducing stress that might help you.

subway11

@Cupcake15 - I know exercise really helps to reduce stress, but what I also like to do is to take a break and look for a change of scenery. Sometimes I will go to a bookstore and have a cup of coffee and other times I will take a walk in the park.

After a while this becomes really therapeutic for me because I am able to think things through in a clearer manner. It also helps to do breathing exercises when you can’t leave the office. Deep breathing exercises where you are taking in deep breaths and exhaling outward helps to soothe your anxiety level for the moment.

cupcake15

@Oasis11 - You have a good point. You can only do so much in a day and if you get an early start you tend to feel better about the day.

I have to say that I exercise everyday and this keeps me a little calmer and allows me to think clearly which offers immediate stress relief.

Before I exercise I might be feeling a little stressed but by the time I finish I can't remember what I was stressed about. That is how healing exercise is when you are stressed.

I think that it is the best way to reduce stress and allows you to sleep better as a result.

oasis11

I think that I develop stress when I am overwhelmed and have so much to do in so little time. In order to reduce stress and anxiety I try to prioritize my day and wake up as early as I can. When I prioritize I try to do the three most important things and if the other things don’t get done I leave for the next day.

I think that allowing yourself the ability of not being perfect all of the time offers a good level of stress reduction that lets you cope with your day.

I also think that if you allocate extra time that you would normally need this would be a great way to reduce stress and be more in control of your day.

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