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13 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress

Updated on October 5, 2015
ARRGH! So stressed!
ARRGH! So stressed! | Source

My jaws were tight. My teeth were hurting from having them clenched. My head was throbbing and I was emotionally miserable. Yes, I became another victim of stress.

Stress is lurking around every corner, waiting to pounce on everyone, regardless of age or social economic status. It's a bad enemy that follows you everywhere you go. Stress doesn't let you concentrate, sleep or enjoy life. Stress is bad.

Stress and some of its friends

The worst part about stress is that it doesn't attack by itself. Once you have had stress for a long enough period of time, it can start to have horrible effects in your body. Did you know that stress can cause the following health problems?:

  • Cardiovascular problems - palpitations, chest pain, hypertension, angina, heart attacks, strokes.
  • Skin problems - Acne, rosacea, excessive sweating, excessively dry skin, urticaria, eczema, psoriasis, herpes, hair loss, development or worsening of skin allergies.
  • Menstrual disorders - amenorrhea, infertility, irregular periods, breast problems.
  • Digestive problems - irritable colon, gastritis, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, gases, ulcers, dry mouth.
  • Sexual disorders - stress decreases libido
  • Mental problems - Anxiety, depression, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, panick attacks, neurosis, forgetfulness,
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Hyperthyroidism

Now that we know the some of the many ways in which stress can hurt us, let's look at some ways in which we can relieve stress.

How to relieve stress

So now let's move on to what really brought you here. Let's look at some easy, simple ways that will help you reduce stress and feel better so that you are better prepared to face life.

Source

What is cortisol?

Cortisol is the stress hormone. Your body releases this hormone every time it perceives danger. But high and chronic levels of cortisol leave you exhausted and stressed. The lower the cortisol levels, the more relaxed you will be.

Turn off all cell phones and computers

Sometimes keeping in touch is precisely what is keeping you tense and stressed. The sound of your phone may elicit a stressful response because you know that someone on the other side of the line is requesting your time and attention, or because you know your boss is calling to check on that dreaded project.

You could also get stressed out by checking facebook. You see all your friends looking happy and maybe you feel they are doing better than you are. This can lead to even more stress. So do yourself a favor and turn off all cellphones, computers, iPads, etc...you get the point.

Signs that your cortisol levels are high

  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Lack or increased appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent urination
  • Hypertension
  • Constant tiredness
  • Muscular pains or cramps
  • Constant irritability
  • Urge to cry
  • Feelings of anger
  • Lack of sense of humor

Drink black tea

This drink is not only delicious but it can actually help you fight off the stress hormone known as cortisol. Studies have shown that drinking black tea after an stressful task can help you reduce cortisol levels by 47%.

Sleep

I know you've heard this a million times, but you gotta get enough sleep! Sleeping less than 8 hrs per night can increase cortisol levels by more than 50%, leaving you feeling more stressed out and exhausted.

If you're are feeling super stressed, a nap can also help you reduce cortisol levels.

Make time for tea to relieve stress
Make time for tea to relieve stress | Source

Music

Listening to relaxing music calms the brain and can help you de-stress. Keep in mind that the music has to be relaxing. Don't choose anything that can make you feel more stressed or even angrier. Try to stay away from songs with angry lyrics and heavy beats.

Divide big tasks into smaller ones

Sometimes just thinking about what we have to do makes us feel stressed, especially if it's something big. If that's the case, divide the big activity into smaller ones.

For example, instead of thinking: "I have to clean the house", think: "I have to clean the bathroom (or living room or kitchen)."

Dividing big tasks into small chunks will make you feel more in control of the situation and will help you reduce stress levels.

Type your stress away even if you have to use one of these oldies.
Type your stress away even if you have to use one of these oldies. | Source

Chew gum

Chewing gum helps reduce tension and also reduces salivary cortisol by 12%. Reducing stress has never been so delicious!

Chew basil

Basil is not only good for cooking, it is also good for keeping your brain calmed and relaxed.

Recent studies have shown that basil is rich in calming substances that relax your nervous system and make you feel calmer.

To reap all the benefits this herb has to offer drink basil tea twice a day or chew the raw leaves if you don't like tea. (They're really minty!!)

Salvia

Another great herb to help you reduce stress levels is salvia. This might be a less common plant than basil, but it's also very minty and relatively easy to find.

Drink 2 cups of salvia tea daily and let the pressure slide right off your back.

Chewing gum can reduce your salivary cortisol levels by 12%.
Chewing gum can reduce your salivary cortisol levels by 12%. | Source

Write (or type) your stress away

Sometimes we just need to vent, and the best way to do it without offending anyone is to do it in writing. Write down everything you are feeling, the reasons you are feeling stressed out, and everything else that comes to mind.

Write without thinking. Let your brain and hand communicate without you interfering as a filter. You might be surprised to find out what is really troubling you, and you will surely feel relieved at the end.

If you don't anyone to find out what you just read, shred the paper or burn it. Repeat the process every time you feel like you are about to explode.

Learn to say "no"

If we keep saying yes to everything that comes our way, we are going to end up feeling overloaded and very, very unhappy. Don't feel guilty when you say no. Remember that we all have our limits. We are not super heroes and as much as we would like to take the weight of the world on our shoulders, we simply can't do it.

Laugh

Laughing is one of the best remedies for feeling well. Read or watch something funny. Let yourself laugh at anything and don't be intimidated by what others might think.

If you're not feeling in a laughing mood, just make yourself smile. Your brain will detect the smile and think that you are actually feeling happy, and it will follow.

Spicy food can help you release endorphins and make you feel calmer.
Spicy food can help you release endorphins and make you feel calmer. | Source

Eat spicy food

Spicy foods help your brain release endorphins (feel-good hormones) that make you feel happy. Your brain gets a rush of endorphins from eating spicy foods and you will forget all about your stresses for a while.

As the spice quiets down on your mouth, you will feel a sense of relief that feels amazing.

Try Mexican, Indian or Thai cuisine. You will not regret it! (Maybe you'll regret it a little when you go to the bathroom.)

Exercise

This is one of the best (and most hated ways) to reduce stress. Exercise reduces tension and loosens the muscles, in addition to releasing feel-good hormones all over your brain.

You don't have to go out and run a marathon. Simply going out for a walk can help you release stress and see your problems from a different perspective. If you can't go out for a walk, do some stretches at home or some light cardio activity. Concentrate on the exercise and let the stress melt away.

You only have one body, so take care of it. Don't let stress ruin it by making you worry about unnecessary things. Learn to relax and to take life as it comes. Happy living!

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    • Kevina Oyatedor profile image

      kevina oyatedor 3 years ago

      Writing, music, sleep and drinking tea are my top four stress reliefs. Great hub.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi Kevina Oyatedor:

      I also love tea and writing. They're great stress relievers. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and informative hub and you have mentioned some simple, helpful tips!

      Music is a great way to relieve stress, that's what I feel. Thanks!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      For me, deep breathing is a great stress reliever. I also like swimming, walking, listening to soft music, and talking to a friend. Writing helps me to find out what is stressing me, and that is always helpful!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi Denise:

      You're right, deep breathing is a wonderful way to relieve stress. I don't know why I didn't add that to the hub. Thanks for the tip!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi ChitrangadaSharan:

      Thank you for your kind words. I find music to be very relaxing as well. Thank you for commenting!

    • gajanis786 profile image

      gajanis786 3 years ago

      Very informative hub.....no doubt stress is the mother of many other diseases, so one should try to kill it at the very onset and the ways mentioned in your hub are workable. Thanks.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi gajanis786:

      Yes, stress can be a silent killer. It's important that we all learn how to spot it and fight it. Thank you for commenting and reading!

    • prithvitheprime profile image

      Prithvi 3 years ago

      Very useful hub; nice to see lot of methods to make yourself happy (means living without stress). As i follow hearing music every time i do it as well. But for me the most impressive things are little bit different.

      This is what i do

      1.Planting (tress and flowers in my garden)

      2.Fish (love to spend time with my aquarium)

      3. Pets

      4.Music

      5.Prayer (whatever religion you may be this one is a better thing to control your emotions).

      As situations differ in all part of our life; the better things you start follow; you can live a beautiful and happy life.

    • lilcupcake profile image

      lilcupcake 3 years ago

      Sometimes dividing the bigger tasks makes me feel overwhelmed, because my "to-do" just got a lot longer haha. But it does help with control, and it eliminates the stress of not knowing where to begin. (using the house as an example)

    • janderson99 profile image

      Dr. John Anderson 3 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

      Exercise at pace provides a 'Brain flush' or reboot. They key is to exercise out in the open and to let nature revive your spirits. Walk, cycle or jog through a forest, besides a lake, climb a hill. Remember that exercise itself can be stressful, so you need to chill-out at the same time. IMO Cheers,

    • Steve Burgess profile image

      Steve Burgess 3 years ago from San Juan Capistrano, California

      Practice deep breathing to relieve stress. For this you need to take long deep breaths several times, youmay keep a track of breaths. Using this deep breathing technique, you are actually slowing down your breathing pattern, it eventually reduces stress.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi janderson99:

      That's a great tip! You're right, cool down is a must! Thank you for commenting!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi lilcupcake:

      Yes, the to-do list gets bigger, but it has smaller tasks that are easier to tackle. What helps me is creating a bulleted list with sub-bullets. That way I can still see just the big tasks while still keeping in control of all the little ones. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi prithvitheprime:

      That's a very nice list! And yes, all the activities you mentioned are very relaxing! Thank you for this great addition!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi prithvitheprime:

      That's a very nice list! And yes, all the activities you mentioned are very relaxing! Thank you for this great addition!

    • caretakerray profile image

      Ray Van Hoff 3 years ago from Michigan U.S.A.

      This is a very well written Hub! Stress is one of the leading health problems in the modern world.

    • April Garner profile image

      April Garner 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Oh, thank you! I have never had an issue with stress until recently. These are some tips I hadn't heard before. And, yes, I know I need to get more sleep - working on it! Thank you again for a well-written succinct article - a very timely topic for me.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi Caretakerray:

      Thank you very much for your kind words. And yes, stress seems to be on the rise, we need to find ways to control it before it controls us. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi April Garner:

      I'm glad my article was of some help to you. We all need to get more sleep, but I understand how hard it can be. Keep working on it :)

      Thank you for commenting and reading!

    • AvineshP profile image

      Avinesh Prahladi 3 years ago from Chandigarh

      The above discussed points certainly helped me in relieving my stress. The best thing is that these methods are not out of this world and can be followed by everyone easily.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi AvineshP:

      I'm so happy these tips helped you! Thank you for commenting and reading!

    • Marchello profile image

      Marko Vucinic 3 years ago from Cuprija, Sebia

      Nice hub. my ways are long walks, exercises, less time on facebook and on internet, mobile phone turned off.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      A very nice hub and very timely. Just think of the ancient time, people used to dance and sing after a great toil. This was a great way of busting all stress out of life. You have suggested very simple and useful ways to usher in calmness and peace in our life. Excellent work.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      This was great, and I love your suggestions as well as the tips from several commentators like Harishprasad above. I've got one other tip - turn off the TV. We are so blasted with awful stuff - the news, the violent shows, and the constantly changing scenes on the electric screens can mess you up and cause anxiety.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      a vacant mind is advisable, void drives away worries!

    • rainsanmartin profile image

      Rain San Martin 3 years ago from Fort Wayne

      Sleep is the most underrated stress buster. I remember in the 1990s it was in fashion to sleep as little as possible so that you could supposedly get more things done. Studies have now shown that productivity wanes dramatically, and we get irritable and depressed when we are sleep deprived.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Congrats on Hub o the Day-- what an important topic, too. The silent killer, indeed. These are really great tips, I'm going to look into doing a couple of these things I didn't know about, like drinking more black tea. Nice work, congrats again.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I came back to Congratulate you for HOTD! I had complimented earlier too, for your nicely done hub on methods of relieving stress.

      Great hub!

    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 3 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Congrats on HOTD! I would agree that saying "no" is an effective approach to reducing stress. All too often I find myself loading my plate with various responsibilities and then end up chasing my tail to get things accomplished. Over the years, however, I have learned to say "no" more often which has greatly reduced my stress while improving my quality of life.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Great Hub. Am going to FB this.

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Great article. I too have written about stress but did not know about some of the foods that help. I will have to try some of your suggestions. I like spicy foods so that is one I will try.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi Marchello:

      Yes, less time online is always a nice way to let the stress melt. Thank you for commenting!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi Harishprasad:

      You're right! People in ancient times really knew how to live life. It seems we have forgotten about what it means to live. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hello Dolores Monet:

      Television is one of today's constant problems, and I have noticed that as soon as I turn it off I feel lighter and my head seems to clear up. Thank you for the tip and for commenting!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi sujaya venkatesh:

      You're right! we should let our mind relax. Thank you for reading!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi Ransanmartin:

      Yes, sleeping today is almost seen as a sin, and we believe that the less we sleep, the more productive we will be. Nothing further from the truth! Thank you for sharing this important point!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi WiccanSage:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope some of these tips will help you reduce the symptoms of this silent killer.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi ChitrangadaSharan:

      Thank you for your kind compliments! I'm glad you liked the hub.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hey DreamerMeg:

      Thank you for commenting and sharing!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hey lisavanvorst:

      I love spicy foods! They're like a drug and really help you release all your worries!

    • moronkee profile image

      Moronke Odugbesan 3 years ago

      This is a hot topic, I like your presentation. I use exercise, praise worship and prayer to also de-stress.

      Thanks.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi moronkee:

      yes, those are all awesome ways to de-stress. Thank you for adding them!

    • ramseysusan profile image

      Susan Ramsey 3 years ago from Killen, AL

      Very great hub Silver! So informative and useful.

      I will take exercise and writing your stress away as my best picks for the 13 ways that you have listed. These 2 are really helpful and effective. Keep posting! :)

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Nice hub, and congrats on HOTD! Very useful and I enjoyed learning some new de-stress tips like the basil and spicy foods. My husband will love hearing how spicy food can benefit :) Voted up!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi ramseysusan:

      Thank you! I know exercise and writing will help you relieve stress. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi Better Yourself:

      Thank you! I'm glad you benefited from reading this hub. Yay for spicy foods!

    • zeemarriage profile image

      Zee Marriage 3 years ago from Australia

      Its my favorite task when i am in stress .Writing, music, sleep and drinking tea are my top four stress reliefs. Great hub.

      But i think so you put images on wrong title.So if you put the image in the right place its looks nice

    • MunecaBlanco profile image

      MunecaBlanco 3 years ago from Jennings, Louisiana

      As I sit here with my teeth clenched so tight that my head aches...

      Hey! I enjoyed reading this and am actually smiling now. Thank you for such an informative hub.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi MunecaBlanco:

      I'm glad this hub was able to put a smile on your face. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi zeemarriage:

      I'm glad you have found awesome ways to relieve stress. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • theBAT profile image

      theBAT 3 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this hub. Another simple way to relieve stress is simply to get a pet. Relax and enjoy life. Thanks for sharing.

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi theBAT:

      That is an awesome way to relax! I don't own pet, but I love playing with my brother's puppy, and whenever I'm playing with him I feel all warm and cozy inside, and stress is out window during that time. Thank you for that tip!

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 22 months ago

      meditation tops my list to combat stress!

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 21 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Silver - Your stress tips are out of this world. I try everything like meditation, breathing, laughing, but your hubs have new ideas. I like writing to relieve stress and also massaging your thumb which may have been in another of your hubs. You have all sorts of techniques. If a person stresses you, I have tried pretending he has green hair and a long nose to make it be funny. A hubber suggested that trick. Sharing, Blessings, Audrey

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 21 months ago

      Hi, Swalia,

      I'm glad you've found a way to help you cope with this ubiquitous monster a.k.a. stress!

    • Silver Q profile image
      Author

      Silver Q 21 months ago

      Hey, brake12,

      I love the green hair and long nose idea! I will definitely give it a try!

    • profile image

      Alison 19 months ago

      Thanks so much for this informative and helpful hub! Stress is such an awful thing, and unfortunately it is becoming more and more common. People don´t even really react to it anymore, because it´s such a normal thing.

      I was looking around on youtube, trying to find some nice relaxing music. There´s soooo much, but I especially liked this one channel, which produces several music videos to relax to. Here´s the link to one of their videos, in case you´re interested:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojhA9U8Gzps&li...

      Thanks again and have a great stress-free day!

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