Stress Relief: 21 Ways to Relieve Stress

Stress Relief: Ways to Overcome Stress
Photo by: Daniel Oines

Stress relief is vital to our everyday lives. Having the tools and ideas to relieve stress may greatly help improve our ability to balance every aspect of living.

Here are 21 ways to relieve stress:

1. Visualize: What is the most relaxing scene you can think of? A warm beach with waves rolling into shore? A picturesque valley, carpeted with yellow daffodils? Whatever scene relaxes you, close your eyes and imagine yourself there.

2. Count backwards: I admit…counting backwards may cause a whole new stress for some. However, I’ve used this method to help relax my mind and it helped.

3. Be thankful: Having a feeling of thankfulness certainly helps stress levels. While all seems to fall apart, think about all the good in your life.

4. Breathe deeply: Perhaps I’m the only one in the world who does this, but when I am stressed or in deep thought, I tend to breathe shallowly. When this happens, I tend to get fatigued quite quickly. (I guess a lack of good, fresh oxygen could do that to a person.) I now make a conscious effort to check my breathing throughout the day. If I catch myself breathing shallowly, I purposely deep breathe. It makes a world of a difference.

Photo by: Umberto Salvagnin

5. Stretch: Spending all day on the keyboard or in any type of stressful situation may result in tightened muscles. Getting up to stretch helps tremendously. I especially like to do neck stretches and leg stretches. If I am on the keyboard for a long period of time, I often stretch my fingers, my forearms and my shoulders. Aaaaah! Feels great!6. Watch a funny movie: This is one of my personal favorites. Laughter is a great natural remedy for stress. I own a few “sure-to-get-me-laughing” movies which I pop into my computer at my whim. Even a few minutes of these movies help to alleviate a whole lot of stress.

7. Exercise: Yup…this is a sure way to get your energy going. Vary your workouts whenever you can. I especially enjoy outdoor exercising when the weather is great. Nothing like getting out in nature!

8. Eat ice cream: Ahem…this works.

9. Eat chocolate: This works, too. Oooooooo! La! La!

10. Eat ice cream & chocolate: Now, this really, really works. Try it sometime. I did!

11. Meditate: You don’t need to go into a special yoga pose to zone. However, it’s sometimes great to have a little “down time” to relax and to think. I like to sit in a chair in the back garden in the evening to watch the birds fly home and the sun go down. It’s a great way to meditate.

12. Read a good book: Choose your genre and go for it!

Read any good books lately?
Photo by: Kate Ter Haar

13. Accomplish something: Sometimes the stress we hold comes from the worry of things yet undone. Start to move towards completing a task and cross it off. Every step forward in accomplishing will lessen the stress from our to-do list.14. Write in journal: I’ve been journaling since the age of twelve. There’s something about expressing your feelings on paper to help sort things out. Every time I journal, I finish with a feeling of accomplishment and with a greater understanding of myself and of what I should do next.

15. Write a to-do list….then put it away: I like to write a to-do list in the evenings, then set it aside with a promise that I will get to my tasks the next day. It takes away the stress of having to remember what I need to get done.

16. Talk to someone: Sometimes talking to someone who actually listens really helps to put it all in perspective. Stress is often lowered when we have a clearer perspective on situations or when we feel we have support.

17. Get silly: Yup…you’ve gotta try it!

18. Connect with others: Joining a club, a service group or having an avenue to connect with others with similar interests may help lower stress. In addition to face-to-face contact, connecting with friends through text or through social networking may also help.

19. Garden: Good old-fashioned gardening still works today. The smell of the earthen dirt and the ability to cultivate brings a satisfaction that is good for the soul. I used to not like doing it…until I really made an effort to try it. Now I love gardening!

20. Dance: When the stress is high, it’s fun to just close the door, turn up the music and dance away. I suppose the stress relief comes partly from the blood-pumping exercise and partly from letting go and just feeling with the music.

21. Play:You know you want to. Go ahead…it’ll be fun!

Wanna Play?
Photo by: OakleyOriginals

Whether you’re at work, at home or you’re just busy with your life, skills to relieve stress are very important. Try some of the ideas above to make improvements towards a more fulfilling time.

Have a stress-free day!


The Happy Balance Girl

Copyright 2011-2012 by Stacey Shimabukuro-Lui. All rights reserved.

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