Ongoing stress can do all kinds of harm to our bodies and minds. There are times in life when stress seems to be manageable and other times when it seems to be out of control. It’s not realistic to say stress is completely avoidable, but there are some simple ways to relax and get relief. Here are 30 simple ways to relieve stress that can be done in 30 minutes or less!
1. Think about something that makes you laugh
We all have those photos, objects or memories that makes us laugh. There is research that says laughter produces endorphins, which is the opposite of stress inducing hormones like cortisol. So find something that makes you laugh for an instant mood changer!
2. Go for a walk
Going for a walk is a way to disconnect from everything around us and take in a different scene. Walking is both good exercise and a good way to relieve stress. It’s a win-win!
3. Listen to your favorite song
If you think about some of the times that you have felt most relaxed, chances are they involved music! Listening to music, especially upbeat songs, puts us in a different frame of mind. Music is powerful!
4. Watch your favorite t.v. show
It is easier than ever to find a current or past episode of your favorites. There’s a reason people say “I just want to veg out in front of the tv” after a long, hard day at work. TV is entertainment at home that gives us a chance to do nothing, which may be just what we need after a stressful day.
Whether it’s simple quiet thoughts or prayer, meditation is a form of healing. It tells your body and mind to slow down and focus on positivity. Sometimes letting yourself get lost in your thoughts gives you a way to find answers that you didn’t think of before.
6. Drink some herbal tea or a cup of coffee
Slowing down to drink a warm cup of tea or a cup of coffee can be a type of therapy. It’s calming to to sit and sip for awhile. It’s even better when it’s time spent with a friend who can offer another perspective on life’s stressors.
When we’re stressed, we hold in negative energy. Exercising is a way to release some of that energy. It restores our health, which improves our outlook on just about everything!
A journal gives you a way to put whatever is stressful at the time a place on paper, which helps take it off of your mind. Writing is a creative outlet for all seasons of life. Journaling allows meditation to becomes memories.
9. Take a bath
Do you remember, “Calgon, take me away!” A warm bath is an opportunity to unwind and re-energize. It can provide a quiet time to clear your mind and even improve your sleep.
I’m not sure of a better way to relieve stress than to pick up a book and take a mental vacation. Reading provides a temporary escape from the daily to-do’s and lets you explore topics of interest right from home.
11. Get a massage
A massage can relax tense muscles and relieve pain associated with stress. It can put you in a state of deep relaxation and help you sleep better. Simple massage techniques, like applying pressure to your back with a tennis ball, can be done at home for some quick relief.
12. Play a board game
Play a board game or an indoor game with the kids. It’s time well spent making memories and decompressing from the day.
13. Take a nap
Give your body and brain a break! Sometimes a short 30 minute power nap is just what you need to regroup.
14. Call a friend
Call a friend who is always willing to listen. Call a friend who always makes you laugh. Being with our friends and having a good time can instantly give us a positive outlook.
15. Pet a furry friend
Our furry friends love unconditionally. They respond to our attention with enthusiasm and joy, which makes us take things a little less seriously. Pet therapy is highly recommended by the experts!
16. Peruse your favorite store
Retail therapy! As long as you don’t go overboard and blow the budget (leading to more stress) a trip to your favorite store might be just what’s needed to decompress.
17. Light a scented candle
Bring some aromatherapy into your home. The glow from the flame combined with a favorite scent creates a relaxing environment. It’s a simple way to improve your mood.
18. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths
Taking some deep breaths is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to relieve stress. Close your eyes, inhale and exhale slowly, and your body will respond by calming down. Deep breathing gives quick relief from built up tension.
19. Do a crossword puzzle
As explained in this article from Lifehack devoted to the surprising benefits of crossword puzzles, “This racking of your brain can actually help you to deal with your regular troubles in life and help you to solve problems, since you are practicing thinking clearly.”
20. Pop some bubble wrap
The next time you order something that comes sealed in bubble wrap, save it for a stressful day!
21. Eat a healthy snack
Give your brain a boost with a healthy snack. Sometimes it’s just what you need to get a burst of energy and feel better. Keeping some healthy snacks on hand also curbs hunger, which can be another way to lower stress.
Let your mind go wherever you want it to go! You can be laying on the ocean or taking a skydive within seconds. It’s dreaming while you are awake and you are in complete control, so have fun!
23. Plan a vacation
Planning a vacation gives us something to look forward to in the future. It gets us excited thinking about a change in pace and taking a break from the everyday routine. Plan the details so that, when the time gets closer, you don’t have the added stress of getting prepared at the last minute.
24. Practice positive self-talk
Saying out loud “I can do this” gives us an advantage over those who dwell on “can’t.” Positive self-talk can make all the difference in the outcome of our day to day situations. Find simple ways to fill your day with positive!
25. Doodle or color
There is a good reason that those adult coloring books have become so popular. Coloring is not just for kids! It’s a great way to relieve stress and be creative too.
26. Look at pictures
Do you find that time passes quickly when you are perusing Pinterest or skimming through a magazine? Pictures appeal to our visual senses and can be a fun distraction.
Baking fills our homes with savory smells and lets us lick the bowls. It doesn’t get much better than that!
28. Take a scenic drive
Going for a scenic drive without any particular destination is a reminder to slow down every once in awhile and enjoy beauty around us.
Have you ever watched a child dance? It will make you smile and is a gentle reminder that life has some sweet, precious moments. It’s a great way for adults to have fun too.
30. Perform a good deed
One of my most favorite quotes is Gandhi’s “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Doing something good for someone else is self-healing. Depending on the situation, it can remind us to count our Blessings.
If we practice simple ways to relieve stress, it will get easier to recognize the signs and control it instead of it controlling us. Relaxing is good for our bodies and minds and doesn’t have to take much time. Make time to reduce stress and relax because you deserve it!