Stress is bad for you. C’mon, this is obvious. But it’s not exactly easy to get rid of stress and relax. In fact, it might even seem impossible.
There are like a billion studies that show that stress is terrible for you and your body. But you’re not here to read about the negative effects of stress(1).
You know them. You’ve been suffering from them for a long time. And you want it to stop.
So here are 10 easy and inexpensive ways to get rid of stress and start feeling better now:
1. De-Stress Your Muscles
A lot of the time, your body will hold stress in the form of tension in your muscles. This can leave you feeling exhausted. Luckily, there’s an easy way to get rid of that.
Try using a heat wrap and putting it around your neck and shoulders. Keep it there for 10 minutes while you close your eyes and focus on relaxing all the muscles above your waist – like your neck, face, back, and upper chest.
Next, use a foam roller to roll out the tension from your muscles. You’ll be feeling less stressed immediately.
2. Laugh More!
Did you know that belly laughs aren’t just good for feeling good – they also actually lower the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body(2).
It’s true! Watch your favorite funny tv show or movie and let out all the gut busting laughs that you want – it’ll help lower your stress levels by a lot.
3. Listen To Your Favorite Music
Studies have found that listening to your favorite music (particularly if it’s calm and relaxing) can reduce anxiety, lower your heart rate, and bring your blood pressure down(3).
So don’t feel guilty about starting up iTunes and blaring out your favorite music! It’s for your stress!
4. Get Up And Active
Any exercise you do is going to trigger the release of endorphins and chemicals in your brain that just make you feel good . And if you want to burn calories the lazy way you can do that too.
So if you don’t want to run, you can try yoga or walking – but whatever you do it’s going to help out with depression and reduce anxiety. Although running really is great! Either way, you’re getting exercise and de-stressing, win win!
5. Try Meditating
Meditation is a great way to reduce anxiety and help yourself feel better. In fact, studies have shown that meditation can actually alter your brain’s chemical pathways, reducing the effect that stress has on you.
All you have to do to mediate is sit up straight in a chair and keep your feet flat on the floor. Focus on a positive mantra – which can just be any phrase that’s positive and that you like repeating, like “I feel good” or “I’m happy right now”. Allow your mantra to sync up with your breathing and relax.
6. Focus On Breathing Deep
When you’re stressed out, chances are you’re taking shallow, short breaths – and not really thinking about it. Unfortunately, that creates a feedback loop that actually makes you feel more stressed out.
Instead, calm yourself down by taking a break for 5 minutes and focusing entirely on your breathing. Make sure to sit up straight and close your eyes, then take slow, deep inhales through your nose. You want the breath to fill up all the way down to your belly.
Let the breath out slowly through your mouth, and feel your body decompress as the breath leaves it. It’ll lower your blood pressure and slow down your heart rate, which is good for stress.
7. Take Breaks From Worrying About The Future
If you’re constantly worrying about what’s going to happen in the future, it’s going to destroy your ability to live in the present.
And living in the present is one of the most important things you can possibly do for your stress. When you live in the moment, all other worries fall away – because you’re fully present with yourself and your body.
Try being in the moment while doing something pleasant, like eating your favorite meal or sitting outside on a nice day. It will lower your tension – and your stress.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Help
Your friends and family want to support you – that’s what they’re there for. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, don’t hesitate to reach out to a good friend or a family member and ask for help.
They’ll be able to show you the brighter side of things – as well as show you where you’re over-worried, and help you reduce your stress level.
9. Get In Touch With Your Body
It’s easy to read that stress affects your body, but that’s different than understanding it. If you want to understand it – you’ve got to allow yourself to feel it.
Lie down on your back and start at your toes. Slowly allow yourself to feel every part of your body – especially the parts that you feel most when you’re stressed out. You’ll make some discoveries – and help yourself with your stress.
10. Use Gratitude To Help Yourself
One of the easiest ways to get rid of stress is to remind yourself of how much you have to be thankful for.
Try keeping a journal that you can write in during the day and before you go to sleep of all the things you can be thankful for that day. That way, when you’re falling asleep, you’re not obsessing over things you’re stressed out about – you’re reflecting on how things went right for you that day.
Relaxation Techniques To Reduce Stress Fast
- De-stress your muscles
- Laugh more!
- Listen to your favorite music
- Get up and active
- Try meditating
- Focus on breathing deep
- Take breaks from worrying about the future
- Don’t be afraid to get help
- Get in touch with your body
- Use gratitude to help yourself