Secrets of a Stress Proof Life
Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the US say they feel stress or anxiety daily. Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who don't exercise (1).
2. Consider Supplements
Several supplements promote stress and anxiety reduction. Here is a brief overview of some of the most common ones:
3. Light a Candle
Using essential oils or burning a scented candle may help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety.
Some scents are especially soothing. Here are some of the most calming scents:
4. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. High doses can increase anxiety. People have different thresholds for how much caffeine they can tolerate. If you notice that caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, consider cutting back. Although many studies show that coffee can be healthy in moderation, it's not for everyone. In general, five or fewer cups per day is considered a moderate amount.
5. Write It Down
One way to handle stress is to write things down. While recording what you're stressed about is one approach, another is jotting down what you're grateful for. Gratitude may help relieve stress and anxiety by focusing your thoughts on what's positive in your life.
Shop for journals online.
6. Chew Gum
For a super easy and quick stress reliever, try chewing a stick of gum. One study showed that people who chewed gum had a greater sense of wellbeing and lower stress. One possible explanation is that chewing gum causes brain waves similar to those of relaxed people. Another is that chewing gum promotes blood flow to your brain.
Additionally, one recent study found that stress relief was greatest when people chewed more strongly.
7. Spend Time With Friends and Family
Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.
One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called "tend and befriend," and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response (13Trusted Source).
It's hard to feel anxious when you're laughing. It's good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:
Relieving your stress response.
Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.
In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (15Trusted Source).
Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.
9. Learn to Say No
Not all stress are within your control, but some are.
Take control over the parts of your life that you can change and are causing you stress.
One way to do this may be to say "no" more often.
10. Learn to Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality (16).
11. Take a Yoga Class
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal — to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
12. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness describes practices that anchor you to the present moment.
It can help combat the anxiety-inducing effects of negative thinking.