11 Immediate & Easy Ways to Relieve Stress

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11 Immediate & Easy Ways to Relieve Stress. Use these tips when you feel stress & anxiety start to creep up on you & you'll feel better right away!

There are some people I know who don’t seem to get stressed at all (ahem, 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 cannot have a world full of people like me, who overthink and stress eat about everything!

Stress and anxiety have been unwanted companions of mine for most of my life.  Unfortunately it seems that I’m not alone in that, but also all of us who deal with stress and anxiety can take some comfort that we aren’t alone!

Here are 11 immediate stress-relievers that I’ve used over the years to help me calm down or stop the stress spiral before it gets out of control:

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.

If you have a playlist already set up on your favorite music streaming service, go straight to it! At work, I use Amazon Music or YouTube for 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 play.

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 use to start out with. Just don’t listen while driving!

2. Laugh

The other day I wasn’t having a great day for reasons, and I came across this compilation of animal Vines that made me laugh SO.HARD.  Find some funny videos, or look at gifs, memes or pictures of baby animals- they will definitely change your mood!

3. Do a Brain Dump

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.

4. 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. I have a hard time with this sometime, and recall one of my grandpa’s favorite saying “Attitude is everything!”

5. Make a Plan

Decide what outcomes there might be in a situation, and make a plan for those.  What actionable steps can you take to improve the situation? When you have a plan, then you don’t have to stress about it, just follow the plan.

6. Grab a Piece of Candy

Not only will you have something new to focus on, 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!

7. Drink Some Water

Most people don’t drink enough water, me included! According to this article, stress over long periods of time can wear out your adrenal glands. Tired adrenal glands produce less of the hormone that regulates your fluid levels, so you get dehydrated. 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!

Need help drinking more water? Check out this post: 6 Super Easy Ways to Drink More Water!

8. Stretch

Stress causes your muscles become tight, sometimes without you realizing it! 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.

9. 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.

10. Read

Reading a good book, or interesting article can suck you into another world and take your mind off anything going on in your own. Being stressed, I wouldn’t recommend reading the 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!

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.

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!

33 Comments

  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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