16 Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety

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Feeling stressed or anxious? You’re not alone. Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety. These methods range from physical activities, dietary changes, mindfulness techniques, social support, to lifestyle adjustments. Keep reading to discover 16 simple ways to reduce your stress and anxiety levels.

Key Takeaways

  • Physical activities like exercise and yoga can help relieve stress.
  • Dietary changes and supplements can support mental health.
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help manage emotions.
  • Social and emotional support can provide relief from stress.
  • Lifestyle adjustments can help reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.

Physical Activities to Relieve Stress


Lowers body’s stress hormones

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 (source).

Releases endorphins for mood improvement

Exercise also releases endorphins, chemicals in your brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. This is why you might feel happier and more relaxed after a workout.


Combines meditation and physical movement

Yoga, which involves a combination of physical movement, meditation, and controlled breathing, is another great way to manage stress. This ancient practice promotes relaxation and reduces stress, making it an excellent stress management tool.

Promotes controlled breathing for stress relief

Controlled breathing is a significant part of yoga. Deep, controlled breathing helps the body and mind to relax, reducing stress and anxiety.

people practicing yoga

Dietary Approaches and Supplements

Reducing Caffeine Intake

Lowers cortisol levels

Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. High doses can increase anxiety and stress. Try to limit your caffeine intake to see if it reduces your stress levels.

Decreases stress and anxiety

Reducing caffeine intake can decrease stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone.

Functional Foods and Supplements

Provides nutrients to reduce stress

Certain foods and supplements can provide nutrients that help reduce stress. For example, lemon balm, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea, and dark chocolate can all potentially reduce your stress levels.

Supports overall mental health

Functional foods and supplements not only reduce stress but also support overall mental health. They provide essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly and maintain mental well-being.

healthy food and supplements

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques


Allows expression of thoughts and feelings

Journaling is a great way to manage stress and anxiety. Writing down what you’re feeling can be a therapeutic way to unload your thoughts and emotions. It can also help you identify what’s causing your stress and find ways to manage it.

Helps in understanding and managing emotions

Journaling can also help you understand your emotions better. By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you can gain insight into your emotional state and learn how to manage your emotions more effectively.

Practicing Mindfulness

Encourages being present in the moment

Mindfulness is a practice that involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help reduce stress and anxiety by preventing overthinking or worrying about the future.

Reduces overthinking and future worries

Mindfulness encourages you to focus on the present moment, reducing overthinking and future worries. This can significantly decrease stress and anxiety levels.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Activates body’s relaxation response

Deep breathing exercises can help activate the body’s relaxation response, leading to reduced stress and anxiety. It’s a simple yet powerful technique that can be done anywhere, anytime.

Reduces stress and anxiety levels

By focusing on your breath, you can help calm your mind and reduce stress and anxiety levels.

woman practicing deep breathing

Social and Emotional Support

Spending Time with Friends and Family

Provides emotional support

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.

Allows sharing of feelings

Spending time with friends and family allows you to share your feelings and thoughts, providing a sense of relief and reducing stress.

Using Intimate Gestures

Releases oxytocin for stress relief

Physical contact can help reduce stress by releasing oxytocin and lowering cortisol levels. This can be as simple as hugging a loved one or holding hands.

Improves feelings of safety and security

Intimate gestures not only reduce stress but also improve feelings of safety and security. This can significantly decrease stress and anxiety levels.

Playing with Pets

Increases oxytocin levels

Playing with your pet can help increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol.

Decreases cortisol production

Pets also provide companionship and unconditional love, which can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

woman playing with her dog

Lifestyle Adjustments

Laughing More Often

Reduces cortisol levels

Laughter can help reduce stress. The act of laughing releases endorphins in the brain, our natural feel-good hormones, which can improve mood and reduce cortisol levels.

Releases endorphins to improve mood

So, find something that makes you laugh and enjoy it. It could be a funny movie, a joke, or funny videos on the internet. The more you laugh, the less stressed you’ll feel.

Learning to Say No

Helps avoid overcommitment

One of the reasons people feel stressed is because they’re overcommitted. Learning to say no can help you avoid this. It’s important to understand your limits and stick to them.

Reduces feeling overwhelmed

By saying no to tasks that aren’t necessary or don’t bring you joy, you can reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and thus reduce stress.

Avoiding Procrastination

Staying organized

Procrastination can lead to stress. Stay organized and manage your time effectively to avoid feeling overwhelmed by tasks. This can significantly reduce your workload stress.

Managing time effectively to reduce workload stress

Effective time management can help you stay on top of your tasks and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. There are many strategies to manage stress and anxiety every day, and avoiding procrastination is one of them.

Engaging in Leisure Activities

Listening to Music

Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body. Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum can be a quick way to beat stress. Studies show that people who chew gum have a greater sense of wellbeing and lower stress levels.

Burning Scented Candles or Using Essential Oils

Certain scents can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Burning a scented candle or using essential oils can create a calming atmosphere, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

In conclusion, stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people, but there are many simple ways to manage these feelings. From physical activities, dietary changes, mindfulness techniques, social support, to lifestyle adjustments, these strategies can help you reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Remember, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if your stress or anxiety becomes overwhelming or unmanageable. For more tips on how to reduce stress in daily life, check out this post.

16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Ease Your Mind: FAQ on Relieving Stress and Anxiety

What are some quick methods to reduce stress and anxiety?

Quick methods to reduce stress and anxiety include deep breathing exercises, listening to soothing music, taking a short walk, or practicing mindfulness meditation. These activities can help calm the nervous system and promote a sense of relaxation.

Can physical exercise help with stress and anxiety?

Yes, physical exercise is highly effective in reducing stress and anxiety. Activities like walking, jogging, yoga, or any form of aerobic exercise can release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators, thereby improving overall mental health.

How does a healthy diet impact stress and anxiety levels?

A healthy diet can significantly impact stress and anxiety levels. Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help regulate mood and energy levels. Avoiding excessive caffeine and sugar is also beneficial as they can increase anxiety symptoms.

What role does sleep play in managing stress and anxiety?

Sleep plays a crucial role in managing stress and anxiety. Lack of sleep can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and stress levels, while a good night’s sleep can help the mind and body recover and regulate emotions more effectively. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

Can writing help in dealing with stress and anxiety?

Yes, writing can be a therapeutic way to deal with stress and anxiety. Journaling or writing down your thoughts and feelings can provide an outlet for expressing emotions, identifying stressors, and reflecting on solutions. It can also help in tracking your progress over time.

How does social support affect stress and anxiety?

Social support is vital in managing stress and anxiety. Talking to friends, family, or a support group can provide emotional comfort, reduce feelings of isolation, and offer different perspectives on stressful situations. Sometimes, just knowing you’re not alone can make a big difference.

Are there any natural supplements known to help with stress and anxiety?

Several natural supplements are known to help with stress and anxiety, including omega-3 fatty acids, green tea, valerian root, and chamomile. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any supplements, as they can interact with medications and may not be suitable for everyone.

When should someone seek professional help for stress and anxiety?

Someone should seek professional help for stress and anxiety when it significantly interferes with daily life, becomes overwhelming, or when self-help strategies are not effective. A mental health professional can provide personalized treatment options, including therapy and medication if necessary.

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