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101 Ways to Relieve Stress and Relax

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Just about everyone will experience stress at some point in their lives.

Stress can effect many different aspects of our lives, from our work performance to relationships with others to even our health. Learning ways to relieve stress is very important for self care!

Sometimes stress can be a big thing, such as moving to a new home, changing jobs, getting married, or losing a loved one.

Other times we are faced with “small stress” which over time can be just as damaging as the stressful big events.

Stressful events in our life can also cause all sorts of problems both internally and externally. You may find yourself having recurring nightmares, or even not be able to sleep well.

Many of the dreams symbols we talk about on our website can manifest as a result of too much pressure and overwhelm in life.

If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and stressed out, today I wanted to share some of the different stress management techniques I’ve learned over the years that have really helped me.

I have been in a LOT of difficult situations in my life, so my hope is that this list of ways to manage and reduce stress will help some of my readers here, especially when it is so very common for our struggles to appear in our dreams!

ways to cope with stress

1. Make a List of Everything That Makes You Feel Stressed

One of the first things to do is to make a list of all the things that causes you to feel stress. I know being able to identify exactly what your triggers are can help you think of ways to cope with each of these triggers.

I know it might seem at first like a very big laundry list of complaints, but making a list like this will help you release some of that pent up energy and help identify what causes might play a role to your current thoughts and feelings.

2. Minimize Activities

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when the schedule is full and the responsibilities are stacked high to the ceiling. Sometimes simply clearing the calendar and not doing things that aren’t urgent can help take off some of the pressure.

It’s okay to cancel plans or move things that aren’t urgent to a different date. As long as you aren’t neglecting absolute major responsibilities, often times we can reduce our stress just by not being quite so busy!

3. Make a Schedule and Stick to It

calendar planning

Having a schedule and planning for your life can greatly reduce anxiety over what is about to happen next. Use a calendar or simple day planner, and write out all the things you will be doing at what times.

We as humans are creatures of routine. Starting a daily routine can often help reduce some of the things that unexpectedly catch you off guard. This is one of the reasons for me having a bedtime routine is so important – it helps minimize a LOT of chaos in our family.

4. Use the Power of Saying No

No is an answer, which does not require any additional justification. It is very frustrating when others try to convince you to do something you do not want to do or is not going to help you in any way.

So repeat after me: You do not have to say yes to everyone and everything. Politely decline invitations and don’t take on anything more than you can handle.

5. Stop Making Impossible To-Do Lists

Do you make to-do lists that are impossible for you to do everything on them in one day? If yes, stop! Try to limit your to-do list to only 5 things per day – the rest can wait until tomorrow.

Not only does this help make things more likely to be accomplished, but it will also help you prioritize how you spend your time better.

Knowing exactly what MUST be done compared to what SHOULD be done can help shift your perspective. Make a list of things that are important to you and the responsibilities you have.

If possible, try to minimize the responsibilities and think of solutions for ways to make your priorities less stressful to handle.

6. Avoid People Who Stress You Out

avoid stressful people

Having negative people in your life will not do you any good, and you do not need to have them in your life. Sure, some people you might not be able to avoid all together, but in general if someone makes you feel stressed out, there are ways to minimize how you feel.

For some types of people, this can mean learning ways to minimize your interactions with one another and keeping your times your time together brief. Setting healthy boundaries with others can give you a lot of peace of mind.

7. Declutter and Get Organized

Being disorganized can cause a lot of stress in our lives, especially if you’re searching frantically for something you’ve misplaced and you are late for an appointment.

No one really feels very good when they are surrounded by a cluttered mess. Cleaning isn’t a whole lot of fun, but it’s something we all must do in order to stay organized. The more organized you are, the more relaxed you will feel because you’ll know everything is where it belongs.

Some great books to help you with decluttering are The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and What Your Clutter is Trying to Tell You. Both of these books are excellent!

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Getting organized and keeping your home clean and clutter free can really make a difference in atmosphere and your mood.

8. Think About How You Currently Cope With Stress

What habits do you engage in to cope with stress now? Are they good habits or bad habits? Sometimes bad habits can actually contribute to some of the reasons you feel so stressed out, which creates a vicious cycle!

For example, some bad habits would be overeating, zoning out on the computer or watching TV, chain smoking, or drinking alcohol. Good habits might include going for a walk, talking with a friend or journaling about your feelings.

Make a list of all the things you are doing currently.  If there are any bad habits try to think of some ways you can replace anything that’s not healthy or productive with something that is!

Not sure what to do instead? Don’t worry – We’re only on #8 on this list of 101 things to do! Keep reading because we have many ideas for actionable things that can help replace some of those not-so-good ways of coping towards the end of this article!

9. Change Your Environment

Sometimes just the environment we are in can be toxic. Obnoxious or irresponsible housemates can really make you feel like you are carrying too much of the burden in responsibility.

While moving somewhere else isn’t always possible, there are ways to manage right where you are. One thing to do is really focus on a way to have your own personal space and to spend some time there each day. This could be a place in your home, or it could mean going to your favorite spot at a nearby park.

You can also make a few little improvements just around the home. For example, you might wish to paint a room a calm and soothing color such as blue, or you might add a fan as white noise to help you relax if others you live with are noisy. Diffusing some essential oils for aromatherapy can also really help improve the space you are in!

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10. Don’t Read the News Today

One of my biggest stress triggers is the news. It seems to be everywhere and very hard to get away from. Often times very heavy topics are brought up, and these things are enough to make me think the whole world’s gone mad.

Of course, it helps to remember what we see on TV or read in the news is only a VERY small sample of everything as a whole. Most news stories are only the account of a very small select number of people – for every “bad guy” there are at least a few hundred thousand, if not more, good people still out there in the world!

If watching, reading, or listening to the news triggers you, then don’t read or watch it. I don’t even own a TV and I generally try to avoid any kind of negatively polarized media channels. I’m not saying you need to live under a rock or stop paying attention to current events completely – but it seems silly to fixate on everything going wrong in the world.

11. Find Alternatives to Reduce Stressful Situations

Often times there is a better solution to reduce the amount of time we spend dealing with things bothering us if we are willing to look at some creative alternatives.

Find traffic stressful? One option is to take the scenic route home that doesn’t use any major roadways. Sure, it might take a little bit longer, but if you are relaxed and happy the whole drive it may not be a bad idea. Listen to your favorite music, podcast or audio book. {Check out Audible on Amazon – a great way to find all sorts of great audiobooks!}

Hate shopping? Buy everything online or order a grocery delivery service. Hate housework? Hire a maid or enlist the help of family and friends to help you get everything you need to get done.

Many times with a little creativity you can find some ways to cut down on the things that demand your attention, energy, and time.

 

12. Learn to Keep a Healthy Balance

finding a healthy balance

There needs to be a healthy balance between work, family, friends, and your own emotional and mental needs. Often times many people seem to dive into one specific area while neglecting the others.

Doing too much of any one activity can cause burn out in a big way. Decide what a healthy ratio balance might be for you and your needs.

For example, you might divide your time equally among responsibilities or you might take a few days or even a few weeks off from something that has demanding a lot of your attention so you can focus on self care and other important things!

13. Accept You Cannot Control Everything

This is a hard stress management technique to master, because we all want control of our lives and the things that happen. Unfortunately, life can be surprising and unexpected and there are things that happen we have absolutely no control over.

Often times anxious feelings of worry stem from a fear of losing control. Practicing mindfulness and radical acceptance can sometimes help us put things into perspective.

When everything is overwhelming, just remember: we’re all just hurling through space on a giant rock spinning 1,000 miles an hour each and every day.

14. Practice the Art of Letting Go

Letting go of past emotions and feelings isn’t easy. It can really be a challenging experience to let go of the things in your past that have caused you stress or have hurt you previously. But when you let go, it frees you to enjoy the things in your life that you can do.

One of the things that helps me with letting go is to practice a release ceremony. This is a simple visualization and prayer technique that is adaptable for nearly any belief system. By releasing my troubles, worries, and regrets, I am better prepared to move forward in life.

15. Make Room for Forgiveness

Just as we must learn to let go of the negative things that have happened in our past or are happening in our lives, we must also learn to practice forgiveness. Forgiveness extends not only to others, but also to ourselves. Sometimes we are most angry at ourselves, which then becomes reflected onto others.

Forgiveness is certainly NOT an easy task to achieve, but it does make a very big difference in your attitude and ability to work through life.  No one is perfect, and even some of the worst people on earth still have redeeming qualities if we look carefully enough.

Journaling about forgiveness and the people who you need to forgive is a great way to help your heart make room for things that make you happy!

16. Look at the Big Picture: Is This Worth Stressing Out About?

Many of the things we get upset over are generally NOT major life-changing things. While the big things can play an underlying role in how much duress we may experience, often times it’s the little things that are the ones we get the most upset about.

When something frustrating or overwhelming happens, ask yourself: Is this worth being upset about? Usually we just need to remind ourselves that the little things aren’t usually nearly as important as staying well and happy.

17. Stop Being a Perfectionist

Do you set high standards for yourself and others? Do you constantly strive to make things perfect? Being a perfectionist can be detrimental to your health and well-being. Learn to lower your standards a little and help yourself by realizing that things are probably good enough just the way they are.

As a recovering perfectionist myself, I know this is another one of those things much easier said than done! Still, it can make such a huge difference when you accept and embrace everything as-is.

ways to stop stress

18. Practice Mindfulness and Live in the Moment

Life is made up of small little moments in each day. Some of these moments are great and to be treasured and thankful for – some of these moments are difficult ones we would much rather forget.

When you practice mindfulness and live in the present, you’ll find that you experience these little moments differently – and the good moments will greatly outnumber the negative ones.

There are many mindfulness activities you can do to help you stay calm and focused in the present moment.

19. Talk About Your Feelings

Whether you talk about your feelings with a good friend or family member or licensed counselor or therapist, it can greatly help you reduce the amount of stress you experience.

Talking about how you feel might seem cheesy, but it really works. Sometimes we just need a good vent session!

20. Look at Life With a Sense of Humor

Sometimes life is so crazy it’s almost downright hilarious. It might not be easy to laugh when you are in the thick of it, but learning to appreciate the absurdity of a moment can help you relieve some of your stress just with a good dose of laughter.

There are a number of great ways to find funny things that make you laugh out loud – I even have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to funny things. It’s great for me to look at that anytime I don’t have much energy or know I need a little bit of humor in my life!

21. Remember That Life Happens One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time is a mantra for a number of recovery programs. I’ve often felt that even people who don’t have addiction concerns for themselves or their loved ones should attend AA or Al-Anon meetings. The philosophy of taking things one day at a time can benefit almost anyone who finds life to be a struggle!

Living one day at a time can really make a difference in how one feels about things as they happen. Don’t worry about tomorrow, or next week, or next month now – but focus on today.

relaxation techniques

22. Prepare for the Worst, Expect the Best

What’s the saying? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We can’t always prevent many things from happening, but often times we can prepare ourselves both physically and emotionally for anything life might throw our way.

This can be as simple as practicing some very basic daily habits, such as setting out all the things you need in the morning the night before or keeping an emergency safety kit in your car. Being prepared for these types of things can help you feel some sense of readiness to overcome stressful situations.

I also like to practice this for situations where I might have to face difficult people. I might spend a few moments thinking about how I will handle the different types of triggers I often experience with others.

23. Learn to Love, Accept, and Act Like Yourself

Trying to be someone you’re not, or doing things that don’t resonate with yourself can only be a recipe for disaster. It’s sometimes hard to let others see us for who we really are, but it’s much easier to be ourselves than anyone else!

Loving and accepting yourself can be a difficult challenge, but it can make a difference in how you perceive the world and handle stressful moments.

24. Remember You Cannot Please Everyone

You cannot make everyone happy, and doing things trying to please others often leads to more difficulties ahead. People who are not happy with anything are not happy with anything! It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do – you cannot make others happy, this is their choice to make!

In situations like these, aim for a compromise where at least you are not suffering more than necessary to find a resolution. Even if you cannot control or even influence someone else’s feelings, you CAN help yourself find serenity and peace of mind.

25. Take Things Slowly

In a fast paced world where everyone is rushing about, taking time to slow down can make a world of difference. Often times if we do not slow down on our own accord, the universe will certainly nudge us to take rest if necessary.

Most of our daily activities we’ve learned to plan around the usual rush. For example, if we need to go downtown, we drive after the morning rush and before the evening traffic starts. We go to the grocery store at times when others are not shopping in a hurry.

For larger decisions, we almost always take the old adage sleep on it – especially because we know how to use the power of our dreams to transform our lives!

26. Write it All Out

Keeping a journal where you write about everything that causes stressful moments in your life can really help you feel better. You can write anything you want in your journal and don’t need to worry about spelling or grammar or even trying to be a good writer. You don’t even need to write in complete sentences.

If you’re afraid someone will read your journal, consider keeping it password protected on your computer or writing it electronically and then deleting it when finished. There are also many ways to write cryptically.

Sometimes, when I am *really* upset, I don’t even bother worrying about whether what I write is legible. Scribble is a perfectly acceptable form of writing out your thoughts and feelings, especially if you are in a scribbly mood!

27. Wash Away Stress With a Bubble Bath or Shower

One of the sad truths about being stressed out is that we can feel like we don’t even have time for our personal needs like taking a shower.

While a relaxing bubble bath is great, even just a quick shower in the middle of the day can help give you a much needed break or interruption from the stress of the day. It’s also helpful to visualize as the water comes down all of your worries and troubles washing down the drain.

28. Try Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is all the rage right now, and for good reason! Scents and smells are one of the few things that activate the limbic system of our brains. Sometimes smelling calming scents can help you refocus your thoughts and uplift your mood to reduce any stress you might be experiencing.

Some of our favorite calming scents to use in an essential oil diffuser are tangerine and lavender. If you need to recharge and find some focus, you may also enjoy peppermint. You might just be surprised at how well this can help adjust your mood and reduce your stress levels!

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29. Meditation

There are many benefits of mediation, and you’ll find this is a great way to relax and unwind every time you feel a stressful situation happening. Learning meditation techniques will help you to manage stress efficiently, as well as promote a healthy sense of self awareness.

30. Sing or Play a Musical Instrument

Music is often soothing and relaxing. Expressing yourself through song, dance, or a musical instrument can help you express some feelings and minimize stress in your life.

Don’t play an instrument? It’s very easy to learn how to play the ukulele. Sometimes strumming along can help you get your mind, body and soul into a peaceful rhythm.

31. Make Some Art

make art to relax

Whether you doodle, draw, or paint there are lots of ways that making art can help you reduce your stress levels. It’s a great way to express your feelings and thoughts – and no fancy art supplies or art skills required.

32. Be With Nature

Going out and being with nature can help you to meditate or relax or find some inspiration on how to cope with the problems in your life you may be facing. Listening to the birds, sight seeing or going to a local park or indoor garden might just be what you need to help you relax.

If you can’t get outside, you can consider growing some houseplants or start a herb garden. You can also always watch some great nature documentaries on Amazon Prime.

33. Get a Massage

Stressful events can cause a lot of tension in the body, and a massage is a great way to relieve the tension and any physical pain you may be experiencing from the emotional stress. You can either consider going to a spa or massage therapist, or you can ask your partner or a close friend to give you one.

34. Read a Book

Reading can be a very relaxing activity and serves as a great, healthy escape from the routines of daily life that cause us to feel overwhelmed. Browsing the Amazon bestsellers list is a great way to find a good book to read!

You can also check out your local library or swap with friends to find a good book to curl up and relax with.

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35. Do a Puzzle or Play a Game

Doing puzzles or playing games can be an enjoyable activity for many people that can help you get your mind off of the things that are bothering and worrying you.

36. Think Positively

Looking on the bright side of life and being optimistic will help you to feel better when stressful situations present themselves. Practice positive affirmations or read some inspirational and motivational quotes that help you feel positive about your life.

37. Pet Therapy

Pets can be a calming influence in our lives and can often make for excellent companions when we may feel overwhelmed or alone regarding a situation that’s happening.

If you do not have a pet or unable to commit to owning a pet, often times your neighbors, family members or friends would be glad to let you pet sit for them!

38. Make a Gratitude List

Life has so many wonderful things to be thankful for – sometimes we just have to take a moment to pause and reflect on what they are! Make a list of things you are thankful for and read over it anytime you need some extra encouragement.

39. Practice Deep Breathing

Slowly, as you count to three inhale deeply. Then exhale slowly as you count to three. Do this ten times, and you’ll likely feel your body much less tense and your mind will feel a lot clearer.

40. Listen to Music

Music is very soothing and calming and can help you to relax and relieve stress. Put on one of your favorite playlists and listen away! I love apps like 8tracks.com, where you can even browse music based on the mood you’re in.

41. Take a Nap

Sometimes when we do not get enough sleep the night before, we need to take a small rest to recharge our batteries. Try not to nap for more than 45 minutes however, as napping longer than this may disrupt your sleep cycle the following day.

42. Watch a Really Good Movie

It’s hard to justify taking time to watch a movie when life is crazy, but sometimes that’s exactly the reason you SHOULD take the time to watch a really good movie.

I like to watch something funny or lighthearted. There are all sorts of great movies you can watch online for free as part of an Amazon prime subscription.

43. Use Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a great visualization technique that can help you use the power of your imagination to relax and unwind in stressful situations.

Imagine yourself in a calm, peaceful place or one of your favorite places to be. Close your eyes and really envision that you are there – imagine all the sights, smells, and the feeling you feel while there.

44. Have a Cup of Tea

There is something soothing about boiling water, placing a tea bag into that water, and watching the tea dissolve into the water. Drinking it is equally as enjoyable and can help you calm down. There are even several stress reducing and relaxation teas available on the market you can try – check your local grocery store aisle.

45. Add a Little Romance

If you are in a committed, loving relationship with someone, close physical contact can really help you reduce and minimize the amount of stress you are experiencing.

46. Explore Your Spirituality

Even if you are not a religious person, spirituality can help you in tough times. Explore spiritual beliefs to find one that matches your beliefs and practice spiritual exercises to help you learn to cope with and manage stress effectively.

47. Do Something Kind for Others

Doing an act of kindness for others can help you forget about your own problems for awhile, as well as benefit a good cause. Consider volunteering at a local organization, donating to charity, or just helping a complete and total stranger.

48. Learn Something New

Learning something new can be a productive way to relieve stress, as it will help your mind to focus on something positive. You can learn a new language, or a new hobby, or take classes to finish up your college degrees.

49. Change Your Clothes

Sometimes just changing into different clothes can greatly make a difference in how you feel. Choose something comfortable and relaxing to wear, or switch into something that makes you feel special.

The clothes we wear can help reflect our mood AND even help uplift our mood. So, if you’re having a really bad day, try changing into something different and see if it helps you feel calmer or more relaxed.

50. Schedule Time to Worry

Experts suggest that if you schedule your worrying time, it will cause you to worry less throughout the rest of the day – and especially before bedtime when worrying may cause you to lose sleep. So go ahead, set aside 10-15 minutes each day to worry. But don’t worry the rest of the day – when a worried thought enters your mind, acknowledge it and worry about it during your scheduled worry time.

51. Play or Watch a Sport

My husband loves listening to baseball whenever he is experiencing stress, as the announcers have a soothing voice and the game gives him something to focus on other than the worries of life. Playing sports can also have a great effect on the mind and body.

52. Eat Healthy Foods

There are many foods that are proven to help improve one’s concentration and focus as well as help manage stress better. Look for foods that are high in B Vitamins and potassium for some extra energy.

53. Take Up a Hobby

Whether it’s fishing or knitting, taking up a hobby is a great way to reduce stress.

54. Go Swimming

Being in the water can be very soothing and calming and it’s great exercise as well. Whether you jump in a lake or swim laps, getting into the water can be a very good way to release emotions and clear your energy to better handle challenges in life.

55. Go Out With a Friend

Friends and Family and other positive people in your life can greatly help you cope with stress. While you do not want to overburden yourself with activities, it’s also equally important to make time for the people in your life you enjoy and be social with them.

Going out with a friend for coffee or for dinner can help you get some social interaction and give you time to unwind in good company. Good friends must be cherished – keeping social relationships vibrant will help you to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

56. Make a Vision Board

Learning about how to make a vision board – and making one – can be a very therapeutic exercise that can help you reach your dreams and aspirations in life.

57. Read Tarot Cards

Tarot is a wonderful tool for personal development and a great way to better understand your thoughts and feelings. There are a number of ways to get started with tarot. Learn how to read tarot cards here.

58. Take Time to Smell the Flowers

Stop for a minute and smell the flowers or look at them up close. Marvel in their beauty.

59. Travel

If you find it relaxing to do something different from the normal pace of life – then do it! You don’t have to travel to an exotic location or spend a lot of money – sometimes just a road trip to the next town or city is enough.

60. Set Aside Some “Me Time” Everyday:

It doesn’t matter what you do during “Me Time” – what does matter is that you have it! Everyday you should do something fun and enjoyable, even if it’s just 15 minutes.

Make a pact with yourself to enjoy some me time each and every day. Even if it is only for 15 minutes – that 15 minutes can make a world of difference in how stressed out you may feel afterward or the next day.

61. Take a Walk

Walking is a great form of easy to do exercise and has many health benefits. Taking a walk can help you vent out some of your frustration as well as help get your lungs and heart pumping. If you’d like, invite a friend to walk with you and talk about your feelings while getting some exercise.

62. Reframe Your Thoughts

In a negative situation you may have a response such as “This is hopeless” or “why do I bother?” Try re-framing the situation with a positive affirmation, such as “that was challenging, but I got through it”.

63. Cook a Meal From Scratch

I am not a great cook by any means. However, cooking can sometimes help give you a positive distraction from the chaos around you. If you love to cook, making a healthy meal can be a great way to de-stress.

64. Color Your Worries Away

There’s a reason why coloring books for grown-ups became so popular over the last few years – they are a great way to relax and destress! Many psychiatric hospitals offer coloring pages to their patients as a way to relax, so there’s no question that coloring can be good for your emotional and mental well being.

65. Play With a Stress Ball and Other “Fidgets”

Fidgets are a great distraction when you need to cope with stressful situations. A simple stress ball can help you relieve tension, or you can look for other therapeutic toys to play with that will help you to calm down and relax.

66. Stretch

Stretching your muscles and joints can really help relieve any physical tension you may be experiencing. Many people enjoy the benefits of yoga for this reason, but there are plenty of other ways to stretch and feel the physical benefits.

One thing I like to do is to hold my arms out and feel the tension and energy being released from my body. This helps me feel a little more centered and grounded.

67. Do Something Routine and Repetitive

Doing a repetitive activity can help you to focus on the task at hand and keep your hands busy while you are alone with your thoughts. One of the things I like to do when stressed is to have something such as a crochet project to work on, since it’s very repetitive to do the same stitch 100 times in a row.

68. Unplug and Disconnect

Turn off your phone, the TV, and the computer and find something to do with your time that does not involve technology. This is especially good to do before bed time as it will help you to sleep better at night and getting a good night’s rest will help you be ready to face the challenges of the next upcoming day.

69. Watch a Sunset or Sunrise

Taking time each day to reflect and watch the sunrise or sunset can be a spectacular thing to watch. As you watch the sun rise or set it can help you feel very peaceful and calm.

70. Experience Your Emotions

Acknowledging your emotions and experiencing them is important. Feeling numb or apathetic as a response to stress will only cause these feelings to bottle up and make things worse later down the road.

71. Smile

Forcing yourself to smile when times get tough might be hard to do, but it will help you to loosen up your face muscles and help you feel better too.

72. Eat Dark Chocolate

Studies have shown that dark chocolate can be very beneficial in reducing the effects stress has on the body. So if you love chocolate, don’t be afraid to have some when you feel stressed out – just be wary of indulging on too much sugar.

73. Light a Candle

Candles are a wonderful way to meditate and relax. Many people enjoy the meditative nature of candles while others use candle magic to help them feel more empowered in their spiritual and physical lives.

74. Join a Support Group

You are not the only person who experiences difficulties in life. Go to MeetUp.com to find a group near you or check with local hospitals or libraries or churches for activities for support groups in your area.

Meeting with others who understand and can relate is a great way to connect with others who might be able to offer a fresh and objective perspective to your struggles.

75. Read Self Help Books

There are millions of self help books out there on a wide variety of subjects. Reading just one can provide you tons of insight you may have otherwise missed.

76. Take a Stress Reduction Class

There are many free eCourses and eBooks available online about reducing and managing stress that you can try, or you can check with local organizations in your area to see if they offer any such classes or workshops.

77. Beat out a Rhythmic Drum Beat

Drumming can help you de-stress quite a bit, as it helps get your hands and arms moving to a beat. You can drum as loudly or as softly as you’d like to!

If you don’t have a drum, there are plenty of great ones to choose from! There are also a number of things you can use as a drum, such as an empty coffee can or even the top of your table or desk.

78. There’s an App for That

There are many apps for stress relief and meditation. If you have a smart phone or tablet, see what stress relief apps are available for your device.

79. Jump Up and Down

For some people, movement helps. Jumping up and down may seem silly, but it can help you “shake out” what’s bothering you.

80. Practice Tai-Chi

Tai-Chi is a Chinese relaxation practice. Many people find it very beneficial and enjoyable to do. You can often find classes online, watch a few videos on YouTube, or you can also check to see if there is a class available locally in your area.

81. Go to a Batting Cage or Driving Range or Tennis Court

Need to vent out some of your frustrations? Pounding tennis balls or hitting golf balls as far as you can sometimes can help with relief of your symptoms and help you deal with anger or irritability in a productive, non-destructive fashion.

82. Give Someone a Hug

Hugs help! They always help! One of my favorite videos to watch is the Free Hugs video that went viral many years ago. Just watching people give out free hugs can melt some of the worries away.

83. Have a Fire

I love campfires in the summer and having fires in the fireplace in the winter. Don’t forget the marshmallows! Watching the flames can be very soothing – you may just find your stress melting away.

85. Manage Your Time More Efficiently

Are you always in a rush or feel stressed about not having enough time or running late for an appointment? Time management can be a struggle, especially when there are so many things to do and if you are exhausted throughout the day.

Changing the way you currently use time can be challenging, but sometimes it helps to look at the number of hours in a day just the way you would look at a monthly budget for your finances.

When you ask yourself what is the best use of your time and carefully look at what things may not be most necessary, it can sometimes help you find a little more time than you think you have!

86. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep helps us to think clearly, and when we do not get enough quality sleep, you may have difficulty concentrating which can cause you to feel stress in ordinary situations that shouldn’t be overly stressful.

87. Go Star Gazing

There are few things as awe-inspiring and stress melting as staring into a night sky and admiring the stars. You don’t have to be a professional astronomer or astrologist to appreciate when and how all of the stars might align.

88. Compliment Other People

Sometimes spreading a little joy to others can help you feel joy in return. If you notice a co-worker doing a great job, tell them so! If you think your bus driver or mail delivery person is great, let them know how much you appreciate them.

Compliments can go a long way when they are genuine, and it will often help you feel a little bit brighter about life when you notice the good in others around you.

89. Have a Backup Plan

Somethings things don’t always go according to plan. There are simply many things in life that are out of our control. Much stress can be avoided if we have a backup plan. In fact, I even often joke that by making a backup plan we probably won’t need one.

90. Automate as Much as Possible

What in your life can you put on auto-pilot? For example, maybe you can choose online bill paying service that automatically pays the bills each month. The more you can put on autopilot the more time you will have for things you enjoy.

91. Outsource and Delegate Tasks You Don’t Enjoy

Are there things you just hate doing? This is where it can be very beneficial to outsource and delegate tasks to someone else to do. For example, you might hire someone to clean your house so it gives you one less thing to worry about.

92. Get Plenty of Sunshine and Water

Your body needs sunshine and water just as much as plants do in order to grow and develop to be healthy! So, spend some time outdoors in the sun each day (just be sure not to get sunburnt!) and drink the recommended amount of water each day. The Vitamin D will help your mind and body, and the water will prevent dehydration which can cause a number of side effects, such as insomnia.

93. Love Your Job/Career

If your career or job does not provide emotional satisfaction, try to think about careers or jobs you could do that would provide satisfaction or reduce the amount of stress in your life.

While yes, job hunting and switching careers can be stressful – it may cause less stress in the long run if you have a job you thoroughly love and enjoy.

94. Get Your Finances in Order

financial relief

Money is a HUGE stress causing object in many people’s lives. Having too many bills or being in debt can really cause a lot of problems. Learn how to live within your means and practice saving money whenever possible.

Do you have problems with debt? Consider meeting with a financial consultant, bankruptcy attorney or non-profit credit/debt counselor who can help you get your finances in order so it is one less thing to be worried about.

95. Get a Medical Check-Up

Yearly doctor check-up visits are not just for kids – adults need them too! It’s always a good idea to make sure you don’t have any physical health conditions that may be making it difficult for you to deal with stress.

96. Nurture Plants

Sometimes caring for plants that are growing can help us reduce the amount of overwhelm we feel in our lives. Growing plants can be done easily and even indoors. A windowsill herb garden is a great idea for a way to add some life into your regular routine.

97. Exercise Regularly

It’s hard sometimes to find that motivation to exercise, but exercising is a great way to vent off some of that frustration as well as help your mind and body perform better. Doing some cardio and aerobic exercise is a great way to help you relax and reduce stress.

98. Make a Mind Map to Explore Options

A mind map is a great way to visualize how different thoughts, ideas, and feelings all relate. I almost always start with a mind map when planning or trying to find a solution for a problem. I even use mind maps for dream interpretation!

99. Know What 5 Things You Need Daily

Every person has different needs, and one way to minimize how stressed out you are is to make sure you are aware of your daily needs and plan accordingly so these needs are met.

For example, I know it is inevitable each day I am going to be thirsty and hungry at some point, since food and water are certainly a very basic need we all share. When I know I am going somewhere, I like to make sure I pack drinks and snacks just in case I would need them.

This is good advice to apply to a number of situations, from simply traveling to the office each day or even in your interactions with friends and family members.

100. Try Something New

Know the saying, insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results? It’s important to sometimes try new things. Maybe it’s a new interest or maybe it’s a new habit. It doesn’t have to be something you do forever – just something to try at least once.

This is a great way to explore different lifestyle choices and habits that can help improve your overall well being and happiness in life.

101. Interpret Your Dreams to Improve Your Life

Yes, of course we saved the best for last. As the creator of a dream interpretation site, of course I take dreams very seriously. When you learn what your dreams mean and how to effectively interpret dreams, it is a very powerful way to take control of your life!

There are so many ways our dreams can help us better understand and transform our lives. If you don’t regularly remember your dreams, there are many things you can do for better dream recall.

We’ve also found that learning how to start lucid dreaming can be very beneficial in dealing with stress. Many times I’ve found many answers to my problems through lucid dreams.


I hope these 101 tips and ideas for ways to relieve stress and deal with it are helpful for you. Do you have a favorite thing you enjoy doing to manage and reduce stress in your life? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

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