Last Updated on June 18, 2022 by Lori Geurin
Stress is something that affects us all, and it’s part of our everyday lives. You may be working from home for the first time, homeschooling your children, or worried about becoming ill. But whether you’re dealing with work deadlines, financial hardships, relationship challenges, or caring for the needs of your family, you’re going to encounter stress. Fortunately, there are several strategies proven to relieve stress and help you relax.
Some people are better at handling stress, but in general, we share some common symptoms. Many people assume stress only impacts our emotions and behaviors. But it can also cause physical symptoms. Let’s have a look at them now.
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Physical Symptoms Of Stress Include:
- Aches and pains in various parts of the body
- Feelings of exhaustion
- Tense muscles and clenched teeth
- Constant headaches
- Upset stomach and digestion problems
- Being unable to sleep
- Sweaty hands and feet
- Chest pains
- Feeling run down, leaving the body more prone to infection and colds
Often, we’re unaware that our stress can cause these symptoms. In fact, we can get caught up in a cycle where we become more stressed because we’re feeling unwell. Often, there will be no further cause for alarm, provided we find ways to deal with our stress.
In fact, your body is intended to handle stress. But only in small amounts. When stress is ongoing (chronic) it’s essential to learn useful strategies for handling it so it doesn’t get the best of us.
It’s important to seek medical advice for prolonged symptoms because they can lead to more pressing health conditions if they’re not addressed. These include high blood pressure, heart disease, sexual dysfunction, and the risk of a stroke.
Holistic Stress Relief
It’s important to deal with stress holistically. Emotional pain can lead to physical pain, and vice versa. So, it’s imperative to deal with all aspects of your life, both physically and mentally, in your efforts to fight the symptoms of stress.
When you ease these symptoms in one part of your life, you’ll also make a positive impact in another area. Here are 5 proven tips to deal with the problem of stress.
5 Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Relax
1. Exercise more.
Physical activity releases endorphins, which regulate our feelings of stress. Moving your body can help you feel stronger and more confident too.
It can also help you get a better night’s sleep, dealing with insomnia that’s often caused by stress. I’ve found that even a little bit of movement helps me feel so much better! Try some gentle stretches or go for a relaxing walk in the sunshine and you’ll feel your tensions melting away in no time.
Related: 16 Quick Tips To Help You Sleep Better
2. Get a massage.
Your muscles can become tense and knotted because of the stress you feel. A massage is a form of physiotherapy that can ease aches and pains in the body. While a friend or loved one can give you a massage, you may also consider visiting a physical therapist who can give you ongoing advice and support.
I always feel so relaxed after a deep tissue massage. And if you’d like the feeling of a massage without going out of your house you might like this Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow. I bought it for a loved one for a gift and he loves it.
3. Avoid stress.
Easier said than done, but if you can get to the root cause of the problem, you may be able to take steps to avoid people or situations that make you feel unwell. As much as possible, surround yourself with positive people who are encouraging to be around.
Learning to set healthy boundaries is one of the best things you can do to handle stress in your life. If you’re a person who can’t say “no” you likely find yourself burnt out, overcommitting to people and projects just because you don’t want to upset anyone. Ever heard the words, people pleaser?
I know because I used to be just like this. But that all changed when chronic Lyme entered the picture. I was no longer physically (and sometimes mentally) able to do much of anything and had to learn to be okay with people being understanding OR disappointed because I was unable to fulfill all the roles and responsibilities I had up to that point in life. It was out of my control.
But hear me when I say that there is more to life than trying to make everyone happy – because, newsflash – it’s never gonna happen. So, just be your beautiful self and learn to say “yes” only to the causes you’re passionate about or are able to do without causing your health unnecessary harm.
4. Smile more.
Okay, so being stressed does not put you in a happy place. But, smiling is like exercise. It releases chemicals in your brain that can relax you. Try finding things you enjoy doing, and be with people who make you laugh. Distracting yourself from stress isn’t always a bad thing.
So watch those funny dog and cat videos on YouTube (see video below). Call up your best friend who always makes you laugh. Or catch your favorite sitcom with the family. Enjoy the little things in life. Try to remember what made you smile when you were a child and do more of that.
Related: 10 Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Upgrade Your Life
5. Try relaxation techniques.
There are several techniques you can try, whether you do them at home, outside in a quiet place, or when you’re right in the middle of a stressful situation. Taking action to relieve your stress and strong emotions, such as anger, is healthy.
Here are six relaxation techniques to relieve stress from Harvard Medical School. The easiest of these which you can do anywhere is focused breathing.
I like to inhale slowly through my nose for four counts. Then exhale slowly for four counts. Repeat this, in and out four times and you’ll feel more relaxed in no time.
Summary – Ways To Relieve Stress
Don’t let stress overwhelm you. As we have seen, there are positive strategies for relieving stress. Exercise, breathing fresh air, focused breathing, massage, smiling, and hanging out with positive people are all healthy ways to deal with stress.
You may also want to see your doctor for further advice to help you effectively manage stress in your life.
What tips do you have for dealing with stress?
Leave your comments below in the comment section. Your opinion matters to me!
If you enjoyed these reading about these ways to relieve stress, you’ll want to check out:
- How To Boost Your Energy Levels And Fight Fatigue
- 12 Health Benefits Of Low Carb And Ketogenic Diets
- How To Strengthen Your Immune System Naturally
- 10 Habits To Help You Live Longer: Boost Immunity
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32 thoughts on “5 Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Relax”
Whenever I’m feeling stressed, I try to remove myself from the situation that is stressing me. Sometimes that means making a run to Starbucks for a chai. Other times it’s going for a walk around the block. Basically, whatever I can do, even if it is for 15 minutes, to give my brain and body a break.
This is excellent advice, Cindy – thank you!
Stress is just awful and I really should be doing more to relieve it. Exercise is such a great outlet and great for the physical and emotional tolls stress takes on your body.
I hear you, Heather. I always feel better after I work out.
Thanks for the stress relief advice. The last few months in our house have nothing if not stress filled due to health and pet issues.
Hey, you’re so welcome! I hope things slow down for you soon. Thanks!
Stress seems to be a very common problem in our modern world. I find it helpful to unplug often and spend time connecting with people or places you love.
So true! I agree 100%.
I definitely needed this! Stress seems to be an issue for me at the moment, so I need to work on relieving it
I hope this helps! Thanks!
I couldn’t agree more with your suggestions for stress relief. I do most of them and I can say, they do help! Sometimes stress hits at the worst times, so something as easy as a walk or smiling helps!
I’m so glad these strategies help you too! Thanks a bunch!
These are all great tips – especially with the holidays approaching! I do all of the above to relieve stress. I would also add, for people in stressful or high-work-hours jobs, take a week’s vacation if you can. It makes SUCH a huge difference to go away and unplug!
Thanks, yes the holidays do tend to be an especially stressful time of year, don’t they? Thanks for the great tip about taking time off and unplugging – I really should do this more because it really is helpful!
I love how a simple smile can be stress relieving. Yoga is a huge part of the way I destress and I am so thankful I have the ability to go to daily classes.
I agree…smiling has an amazing ability to lift my mood and remind me of all I’m thankful for. So glad you mentioned the yoga too – That’s awesome you have this outlet each day!
These are awesome ways to relieve stress. I could really use some massage right now. It’s important that we learn how to beat stress.
Thanks so much! I’m with you on the massage – it’s been too long.
People think exercise will keep them from relaxing but in reality it’s one of the best ways to put your body at ease. After a good round of exercise, you’ll definitely feel so much better.
I couldn’t agree more, Karen!
Exercise is for sure my stress reliever. I am fortunate to have an amazing gym with childcare. I take the kids. They can play, and momma can have some time to distress!
What a great arrangement! When our kids were little I did the same. I looked forward to my workout time every day. I’m glad you’re able to do this – mommas definitely need to de-stress!
We can all use these fabulous ideas to reduce stress in our busy hectic lives! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much!
The #1 thing to help me when I am stressed and exhausted is a really good workout. There’s something about getting into a healthy routine that just resets everything. I sleep really well and also feel 10x more energized.
This is great to hear – you made some great points about the benefits of working out!
Stress is inevitable. The best way to deal with it is to learn to breath through it and let some of those things just go. A massage is also a great way!
True that! I love your idea of breathing through the stress and letting things go. I probably need to work on this some more. Yes, what’s not to love about getting a massage?!
I know I need to exercise more to help relieve stress. It really works. I could use a few deep breaths too.
So true. These stress relievers you mentioned are super effective!
These are all great suggestions. I know getting in a workout really helps me. I also like taking a bath and reading a book to destress at the end of the day
Thanks, Jessica! Great ideas for de-stressing!