Simple Ways to Relieve Stress

April 6, 2017

Group of seniors celebrating.You probably know that managing your stress level is good for your health. Try adding some of these simple practices to your daily routine to help alleviate stress and anxiety, and promote a more positive mood.

Reboot Your Breath

Focusing on your breath directs attention away from fearful and stressful thoughts. Try this exercise: breathe in deeply and slowly through the nose. Allow your chest and abdomen to expand and fill with air. Breathe out slowly, for as long as you inhaled, repeating a phrase or word mentally that makes you feel calm and peaceful. 

Tune In

Music can help keep you calm. Participants in one study had lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) when listening to Latin choral music than when they just listened to the sound of rippling water.

Smile Like You Mean It

Smiling creates a little tension in facial muscles that helps reduce stress. Smiling can also help an elevated heart rate recover faster once a stressful situation has passed.

Get Moving

Physical activity can help take your mind off everyday worries. It also releases mood-boosting endorphins.

Get Outside

Studies show that spending a few minutes outside, even close to home, can provide a mood boost. Not only do natural settings induce calm, being outdoors often means being active, too.

Break out the Bubble Gum

Research suggests that chewing gum can help relieve stress and anxiety. It may be that the rhythmic motion of chewing helps boost blood flow to the brain. An alternative theory suggests that it’s the taste and smell that elicits the relaxation response. 

Tell A Friend

Seek the company of others who are dealing with similar challenges. Sharing your experiences with others who can truly empathize will help you feel less alone. 

Write Your Stress Away

Writing about your problems in a journal can help you feel calmer and help you arrive at solutions you hadn’t thought of before. Just be honest about your feelings to reap the biggest benefits.

Source:, February 2017

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