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5 Quick and Easy Ways to Relieve Stress

relaxed, deep breathing

I get asked all the time, “Taylor, what are some quick and easy ways to relieve stress?” When you’re working full-time, taking care of a family, working your way through school, or doing some other time-consuming thing, you don’t always have the luxury of taking a “me day” (although I do recommend you take one every now and again), so quick and easy ways to relieve stress are crucial.

There are tons of ways to relieve a bit of your everyday stress without putting in a lot of time, effort, or money. Below I’ll discuss a few of my favorites that can work for pretty much everyone. Let’s get started!

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All this means is, if you buy something, I get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you. Think of it as a tip for me for writing such an awesome article. If you want to know more about affiliate links, see my Affiliate Disclosure.

Breathe

There’s a reason people always say this to you when you’re upset… It works. The main characteristics of relaxation include a slower metabolism, relaxed muscles, lower heart rate, and slower breathing.

When you’re stressed out, your breathing can be fast and erratic. This tells your body that the threat hasn’t passed and you need to keep on high alert. This is fine if you’re fighting a tiger, but when you’re getting stressed about an assignment and there is no imminent threat, it’s not great.

Next time you feel yourself getting stressed out do some breathing exercises. If you force your breathing to become slow and deep, your body will get the hint that you want it to chill out.

The key to this is focusing all of your thoughts on your breathing, whether that be saying, “in” and “out,” or counting the seconds our breath in and again when you breath out. If you’re a real breathing exercise pro, you can let you mind go blank and just let your breathing take over.

However you do it, it’s important not to let your mind wander. If your mind stays on what is stressing you out, you’re not going to be able to calm down.

Stand Up and Stretch

stretching on the beachYa gotta love a good stretch. It just feels so satisfying! That’s because when you stretch, you relieve muscle tension built up over time by stress. When you relieve that muscle tension you feel, whether in your neck, your back, or elsewhere, you’re sending a message to the body that you want it to relax.

Stretching also helps to improve circulation, bringing more oxygen to the muscles and decreasing the amount of waste byproducts in the body. The better the blood flow throughout your body, the better you’ll feel.

Take a Walk

Trying to push through the stress is one of the worst things you can do. You’re only serving to add more stress and decrease your productivity even more.

feet walking on copper colored sand

One of my favorite things to do when I start to get really stressed out is taking a walk. Sometimes that means just getting up and walking down the hall or taking a lap around my family room.

Other times, I actually go outside and take a short walk. The sun and fresh air are added stress relievers.

On my walk, I do my best not to perseverate about whatever it is that’s causing me stress. I try really hard to be completely present in the moment. I focus on the things that I can hear, see, smell, and feel. Just like when you breath, and even when you stretch, it’s important to bring your thoughts away from what is stressing you out.

Whether you’re walking away from whatever it is that’s causing you stress in that moment, or you’re just taking a walk to clear your head, you will find relief in that walk.

Close Your Eyes

This one is especially good for those that can paint pictures with their minds.

The goal is to close your eyes and picture your “happy place.” For me, it’s looking out over the lake from the deck of the Pocono house my family used to rent when I was a kid. I close my eyes and try to picture every little detail of that view.

This technique brings your focus away from what is stressful and places it on something that is happy and calming. You can pair this with your deep breathing for an even more effective stress reliever.

Grab Your Thinking Putty

If you’re totally stuck and you can’t stop what you’re doing for even a second, grab your thinking putty. This will help bring your body back to sensory homeostasis.

When you experience stress, your body tenses up. The goal of squeezing something like thinking putty or a stress ball is to encourage your body to tense up like it wants to, and then release that tension. Without this intentional tension and release, your body will likely just tense and hold, causing you to keep feeling stressed.

So, next time you’re stressed, grab your thinking putty and start squeezing!

If you have a favorite quick and easy way to relieve stress, let us know by commenting below!

Taylor

8 Comments

  1. This post has been for so much help for me right now. My wife always do everything to get me in a peace conmfort because my stressful job, not in the internet but in my second job. Always I thought is possible to get out of the stress going on holidays or rest for one day, until my wife came with the breath technique, I have to say that I thought it will not work, until I start to see the results after a time, and now that I’m reading this post, I’m definitely will try this techniques that you mentioned.

    Thank you for this very useful post.

    • Emmanuel, I’m sorry to hear that you’re stressed out but so happy to hear you have the support of your wife. Breathing is one of the most powerful ways to relax the mind and body. Good thing it’s so simple!

      Going on holiday or taking a “me-day” are both good ways to relax, but, unfortunately, those aren’t always possible. I’m glad to know that I have provided you with a few more in-the-moment- stress relief techniques!

  2. Cool!  Meditation is a great way to relieve stress.  I should know.  I’m one of the world’s most stressed out people! Lol.  Stretching is good, too.  I actually try to find new ways to stay unstressed.  

    I wonder if you’ve tried herbal teas.  There for a time I was getting massively stressed out and I couldn’t calm down.  It was just a difficult time in my life and I started researching ways to calm down and destress.  One of the ways was herbal teas.  Chamomile was one of my favorites.  I’m not crazy about the flavor as a favorite, but I would mix it with rosehip and hibiscus.  That gave a nice flavor and then I never added sugar or honey or cream.  It helped a lot!  I was able to start teaching my body to calm down.  

    At that time I was so wired it was difficult to even think about relaxing music as well.  So, the music I listened to was high energy and stuff.  Now I’m finding it much easier to calm down, take a breather and then get back in the game of things again.

    Well done with your content 🙂  You give some really great advice!  Really good stuff there 🙂  Thank you 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment! I have tried a few teas, chamomile being one of them. I find that they work better with some types of stress than others. If I’ve hit that point of exhaustion from my stress, it didn’t seem to help, but when I was amped up and needed to calm down, it was a good go-to.

      I’m glad you found my article useful! If you have any other questions, feel free to stop by again 🙂

  3. Would going into a quiet room with no outside distractions like telephone or TV and just sitting or deeply breathing reduce stress quicker than just breathing? It seems that getting away from the stress agents, things causing stress, would reduce stress. 

    Playing with my cats or dog seems to help reduce stress. But then I could never take animals into the office when I was in the workforce in a demanding, stress-inducing job.

    • Glen, it is certainly ideal to find a quiet place away from all of the stressors. It’s hard to fully devote your thoughts to your breathing or to the picture in your mind when there are so many other things going on around you, but, with practice, it gets easier to shut out all of the other noise and focus solely on your breathing.

      Playing with pets is another fantastic way to reduce stress. Coming home to my cat and dog after a long day is the best. Unfortunately, most workplaces don’t allow animals in the office but there are those rare few, and it is also possible to have your animal trained and certified as a therapy pet if need-be.

  4. I really like this list. Stress is a very real threat to many people of all ages. Stress arises as a response to the stimulus around us. When we feel like they pressure of the world is closing in on us it is no wonder we would get stressed out. These simple (yet hardly used, let be honest) ways to reduce stress are brilliant ways to alleviate some stress.

    I think people only value stuff they have to pay for. So free, useful advice like this is actually rejected. Crazy right? I think these tips are easy, effective, efficient and convenient. You can do these anywhere (you have to breath anyways right?)

    • Renton, you’re absolutely right, stress is a major threat to so many people. I like to try out the tips that I suggest before I write about them and I have to say, I was skeptical at first because they were so simple and free! After just one day I started to feel so much more relaxed in general and I was able to handle in-the-moment stress a lot better.

      I love the fact that these techniques are so quick and consist of things we do naturally anyway. I think that’s what makes people overlook them. They’re always there, we just haven’t harnessed their full potential!

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