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12 Ways to Relieve Stress

feeling stressed?

Stress is a normal, healthy part of life, and it can actually be helpful sometimes.  However, when it becomes overwhelming and all-consuming, things can take a turn for the worse.  No matter what is currently causing you stress in your life or how much that stress is affecting your life, it can help to relieve some of those feelings in some way.  Here are my top 12 ways to relieve stress; I hope these help you, too!

12 ways to relieve stress

get some fresh air

Whenever I’m feeling anxious, upset, stressed, antsy… basically anything that negatively impacts my mental state, going outside and getting some fresh air can be game-changing.  You don’t even have to do anything outside; just go take a seat or lay down somewhere comfortable and take in all your surroundings.  

change your scenery

Whenever I’m feeling bored or unproductive, I like to change up my scenery.  If I feel as if I can’t get myself to sit down and work while I’m in my normal work zone, I know it’s time to move.  While at school, I usually switch between working in my dorm and the library, and just that small switch can make a huge difference in my mood, attitude, and productivity levels.

brain dump

This is another great way to relieve stress… get a piece of paper and a writing utensil and write about everything on your mind.  Don’t be afraid to write your honest thoughts, feelings, and opinions because no one is going to be reading this except you!  This is a really nice way to de-stress, do some problem-solving and/or planning, or just get all your thoughts on paper.  It really works wonders in clearing your mind and helping you gain some perspective on what you’re going through.

know your limits

This is more of a long-term solution to decreasing the amount of stressors in your daily life, but it’s a great practice to start nonetheless!  Knowing your limits and establishing boundaries can improve virtually every aspect of your life.  One of the ways this has helped me was adjusting my expectations in school and work to be more realistic for me while also setting aside a certain amount of time for myself to rest and recharge.

find a relaxing hobby

One of the most popular ways to relieve stress is to find an enjoyable, relaxing hobby and make that a part of your routine (whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly).  For me, it depends on the day what I think sounds like the best way to relax and recharge; sometimes it’s working artistically (like painting or coloring), and other days it’s getting some light movement in (such as a walk or bike ride).  Whatever works for you is what’s best!

move your body

Partaking in exercise might not always be a great choice in relieving stress – which is totally okay! – but sometimes it can make an enormous difference in the way you feel, both physically and mentally.  A lot of the times when I’m overwhelmed with stress, light movement is a better option than a more intense workout, but no matter what kind of workout you do, it’s sure to help a lot! (:

sleep it off

This is definitely not the solution to all your problems, but it can help sometimes.  Taking a quick power nap or even heading to bed early to get some extra rest can help relieve a lot of built-up stress.

create an enjoyable environment

Create a relaxing, enjoyable environment for yourself to relieve some stress in.  Whatever that environment is for you, use it to your advantage.  Create a spa day for yourself, make a yummy meal and watch your favorite show, go out with friends… whatever you like! (:

surround yourself with people who make you feel good

Like the physical environment that you create for yourself, you have to pay attention to what affects your emotional environment.  Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good is so important and can impact every aspect of your life.  If you are always around people who are optimistic and uplifting, you will feel so much happier and less stressed than if you constantly spend time with people who are the exact opposite.

find a playlist you love

Listening to a playlist full of songs that I love is one of the fastest mood-boosters for me!  Turn on some upbeat jams and have a mini dance party, or sit back and relax to a super mellow playlist.  Either way, listening to music you love can help a ton in relieving stress.


I’m sure you’ve all heard this suggestion before, but that’s because it really works.  I know how hard it can be to get yourself to sit still and calm your mind, but I think it can be a great way to de-stress.  Try listening to a guided meditation (they can be found on Headspace, YouTube, and many other places) or, if you don’t want to do a “regular” meditation, finding somewhere comfortable and just “zoning out” can help a lot too.

positive self-talk & gratitude

Another long-term suggestion that can greatly relieve the amount of stress in your life is positive self-talk and practicing the expression of gratitude.  I have found that speaking to myself in kind ways and learning to express gratitude for everything I have has a much more positive impact on my productivity, ability to deal with stressful situations, and has overall just made life more enjoyable.  Try writing down compliments to yourself and things you’re grateful for everyday. (:

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