11 Immediate & Easy Ways to Relieve Stress

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Looking for some easy and quick ways to relieve stress and anxiety naturally?

You’re not alone! Some people I know don’t seem to get stressed at all (my husband, the Professor), and I’m glad there are people like that in the world.

They annoy me sometimes, lol, but I try to use them as inspiration and realize that we definitely don’t want a world full of people like me- who overthink and stress eat about everything!

Stress and anxiety are unfortunately a big part of my life- but then what busy mom isn’t stressed out, right?

But all of us can take some comfort that we’re in this together and share our tips. Here are 11 immediate and easy activities for stress relief that will also fit in your busy schedule.

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Woman with a coffee cup and phone, smiling. Text says 11 Immediate & Easy Ways to Relieve Stress

1. Listen to Music

Music is powerful! One research study said that listening to a particular song reduced the anxiety of listeners up to 65%!

If you’re stressed or anxious, play your favorite song (unless it’s something that will made you sad- don’t go there!), or a song that you love to sing along with. Something catchy that will pull you in and completely distract you. To help you relieve stress at work, wear headphones and listen (if possible).

If you have a playlist already set up on your favorite music streaming service, go straight to it! At work, I use Amazon Music and at home, I love having the Amazon Echo to play something whenever I want.

The Echo is also really useful in that you can just ask it to play different kinds of songs, like “catchy songs” or “happy songs” when you just want something to help lighten your mood.

If you don’t have a playlist already, make a playlist or multiple playlists of your favorite songs for certain times. In the article from above, there’s a list of the top 10 most relaxing songs that you could start out with. Just don’t listen while driving!

2. Laugh Your Stress Away

The other day I wasn’t having a great day for reasons, and discovered this compilation of animal Vines that made me laugh SO.HARD.  It’s now my go-to stress relief video. Find some funny videos, or look at gifs, memes or pictures of baby animals- they will definitely change your mood! You could also try laughter yoga when no one else is around (trust me on this one).

3. Think About What You CAN Control

We tend to focus on what we can’t control, what we’d like to change. Try thinking about what things you CAN control, and the comfort that you get from those things.

Also remind yourself that you can always control your attitude towards something. When I have a hard time with this, I recall one of my grandpa’s favorite sayings: “Attitude is everything!”

Related Post: Self-Care for Beginners [+Self-Care Challenge!]

4. Do a Brain Dump to Clear Your Mind

Physically write down everything that you’re thinking about, everything that’s stressing you out, and you should feel some relief just getting it all out. You might be able to get a different perspective seeing it on paper too.

5. Make a Plan for Stressful Situations

Decide what outcomes there might be for a stressful situation, and make a plan for those. What actionable steps can you take to improve the situation? When you have a plan to handle the outcomes, then you don’t have to worry or stress about them, just remind yourself to follow the plan.

6. Play a Game

Play some kind of game that totally absorbs your attention for a little bit. You probably have a game on your phone that’ll do the trick. If not, this article recommends Tetris to reduce stress, or anything else that will be challenging enough to keep your mind engaged for a bit.

7. Grab a Piece of Candy

Not only will you have something new to focus on besides your worries, studies have shown that eating a piece of dark chocolate, hard candy or chewing on gum may relieve stress and improve mood. Dark chocolate is also reported to improve your memory and immunity!

8. Drink Some Water

Most people don’t drink enough water, me included! According to this article, if your body is dehydrated, it’s under more stress and increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Of course when you’re stressing out, it’s easy to forget to eat and drink right, so it’s like doubling the stress on your body.

Related Post: 6 Super Easy Ways to Drink More Water!

Pretty much everything in our whole bodies need water to function. Studies have shown even mild dehydration affects thinking and mood, so have a glass or two when you feel the first signs of stress rearing its ugly head!

9. Stretch Stressed Muscles

Stress causes your muscles become tight, sometimes without you realizing it! Your shoulders are probably bunched together right now.

Tight muscles can cause a whole host of problems, including migraines, muscle spasms, muscle tears, and more. If you stretch at the first sign of stress, it’ll help those muscles not get too tight and instantly make you feel a bit better.

10. Read

Reading a good book, or interesting article can suck you into another world and take your mind off things.

Being stressed, I wouldn’t recommend reading the news, unless you’re game for some celebrity gossip news, but some interesting articles can be found on Pocket if you need to find something quickly. Free e-books can also be found in a lot of places online. Check out this article for recommendations.

If you enjoy fiction and haven’t tried reading fanfiction- fan writing based on movies, tv shows, books, etc., try out Fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own. Just a warning- be sure to use filters when you search!

Woman holding a coffe cup with the title: 11 Fast & Easy Ways to Reduce Stress

11. Look Outside & Breathe

Take a few deep breaths and look outside a window. Imagine blowing your stress out and letting your body relax. Try looking at every detail of nature that you notice.

It sounds strange, but reminding yourself that there’s a world outside of your own will help you to gain perspective and take your mind off of stressful things for the moment. That is until you hear your children calling your name 50 times again, lol!

Have a Little More Time?

  • Go for a walk.
  • Do a craft. I do enjoy coloring, but have found that Zentangles are a little more fun and relaxing for me. You don’t have to be artistic and it only takes about 15 minutes!
  • Buy/make some stress dough, clay, your child’s Play-Doh or cloud dough. Squeeze it like there’s no tomorrow.
  • Work on a puzzle, crossword, word find, or Sodoku.

You’ve got to determine what works best for you.

Depending on what’s going on, sometimes something that only keeps my hands busy lets my mind run rampant and stress more. If you need something that keeps your mind busy, then try something more mentally challenging.

Stress and anxiety can have horrible effects on your health. If you’re experiencing them frequently, please talk to someone about it– be it a friend, family member, or a professional.

Let me know if any of these work for you, and what you’ve found that helps you deal with stress and anxiety!

Printable worksheet with 4 Week Self-Care Challenge on it, blank lines to write in your goals, and a place to check off each day of the week that you do a self-care activity.

Do you have a self-care routine?

Take the 4 Week Self-Care Challenge!

Use this free printable 4 Week Self-Care Challenge Chart to help create your self-care routine.

  • Pick one self-care practice and do it for a week.
  • Each week add another, until you get to four a day. If you don’t know what to pick, start small and use the easy, quick ideas here.
  • After four weeks, take a look at the routine you’ve created and decide if you feel more balanced. Do you want to continue the same routine, mix it up a bit, or add more?

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  1. Jacki
    April 25, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    Excellent advice! I especially love the brain dump and make a plan ideas.

  2. Joanne
    April 25, 2019 / 2:01 pm

    I love going for a walk to not only receive stress but to clear my mind

  3. Malia
    April 25, 2019 / 2:39 pm

    I gotta say, I kinda zoned out for a second there when I read the tip on reading hard candy and dark chocolate 🙂 The fact that they are beneficial is the best news I’ve heard all week!

  4. April 25, 2019 / 3:49 pm

    Mmm.. candy. I am definitely an emotional eater….So effective!! haha I liked the other ideas on this list too!

  5. Angelina
    April 25, 2019 / 4:44 pm

    Great ideas and suggestions! I forgot how much I loved Tetris…I will be revisiting this old favourite!

  6. April 25, 2019 / 7:11 pm

    Brain dump and make a plan are right up there with exercise for me in dealing with stress. I find all 3 so helpful.

  7. April 25, 2019 / 7:19 pm

    Music always works for me! I love this!

  8. April 25, 2019 / 7:45 pm

    First, I LOVE your logo – so uplifting! Second, I’m all about the dark chocolate and agree it can certainly raise my mood and relieve stress!

  9. April 25, 2019 / 8:48 pm

    All very effective ideas. I have tried all of them. My favorite is sticking in my headphones and going for a walk while listening to music. I don’t think about anything, just enjoy the outdoors, the exercise helps and makes me feel awesome.

  10. April 25, 2019 / 8:49 pm

    I love this! These are some great things I can take back to my dental office and help staff de-stress!!

  11. April 25, 2019 / 11:05 pm

    Nice! I do a lot of these with my kids. They have all come from trauma and live with anxiety. I will show them this, so they can see that a lot of people do this. Thanks.

  12. April 26, 2019 / 6:14 am

    My favorite ways to de-stress are going outside, listen to music, and make a plan. I haven’t done a brain dump, I think I will try it.

  13. April 26, 2019 / 8:35 am

    Wonderful suggestions! Linking body movement with breath & stretching = one great yoga practice 🙂 Love the hydration tip!

  14. April 26, 2019 / 9:06 am

    Great ideas. Definitely need to try the brain dump!

  15. April 26, 2019 / 11:28 am

    Great tips! I love playing music in my car and going for a drive. It’s amazing how much that changes my whole mindset and mood. Chocolate is also helpful!

  16. April 26, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    Music is my thing!!!

  17. Lisa
    April 26, 2019 / 4:29 pm

    Awesome, Great ideas!

  18. April 26, 2019 / 6:49 pm

    Great tips! Music can be such a mood changer for me.

  19. April 26, 2019 / 7:11 pm

    These are great ideas. My husband’s job is very stressful, so we also like to go for walks, family games, I give him CBD oil and also diffuse oils to help him relax and sleep better. Yeap, he is a spoiled husband!

  20. Lina
    April 26, 2019 / 9:35 pm

    Great tips! Music and going for a walk are my go-to.

  21. Jenny
    April 27, 2019 / 7:35 am

    I love these ideas. Doing crafts or making art is my favorite!

  22. Liza
    April 28, 2019 / 7:40 pm

    SO IMPORTANT. Number 8 is my favorite. Yoga is so good for stress relief. We have to take time for ourselves!

  23. April 29, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    These are great tips! I accidentally drank 2 cups of caffeinated coffee this morning, so I have been working on relaxing. I typically do not have any caffeine. LOL. I love to do a brain dump. For me it is the the best way to calm down, revamp, and get back on a good path.

  24. Kim
    April 29, 2019 / 9:08 pm

    I deal with anxiety too and these are great tips. I just have to find a way to get out of my mind and then I relax

  25. April 29, 2019 / 10:07 pm

    you know I started laughing when I’ve been stressed lately. It really does work!

  26. May 1, 2019 / 8:54 pm

    These are all excellent suggestions! Getting outside and going for a walk is my best stress buster.

  27. Pauline
    May 3, 2019 / 9:47 am

    What a good list of coping skills. Music is definitely my number one.

  28. May 3, 2019 / 1:39 pm

    Brain dumping is great. And drinking water really does help! It always helps me through anxiety attacks. Exercise works well for me too!

  29. May 3, 2019 / 10:20 pm

    I love these ideas! Cleaning also helps me relieve stress. Haha!

  30. May 4, 2019 / 10:38 am

    I need to go employ all of these right now….great list!

  31. Nicki
    May 8, 2019 / 12:00 pm

    Brain dump. I’m going to try this.

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