Lifestyle

Nearly Effortless Ways to Relieve Stress

Stress is a word that everyone knows. You might feel stress because you’re laid off due to the current crisis or because you’re stuck at home… Trista - April 23, 2020

Stress is a word that everyone knows. You might feel stress because you’re laid off due to the current crisis or because you’re stuck at home trying to help your children with homeschooling. Stress is a part of life that seems to latch on to you and not know when to let go. The biggest issue is, the more you internalize stress, the more it builds. 

Even if you don’t feel stressed, you can have so much stress in your body that you’ve become immune to the effects of it. It’s essential to take a few steps back and do what you need to limit stress, but how can you do this when you’re stuck at home, have little money, or simply don’t have the energy? This article will help you as here are 35 effortless ways to reduce stress from your life.

Reaching into your inner child and taking a nap when you can is a great way to relieve stress and get some extra zzzs. Shutterstock.

Take A Nap

It’s not always something people can do as adults, but something that most of us dream about daily – taking a nap. If you’re at home and start to feel overly stressed due to financial problems or just having a bad day, it’s time for a rest. You don’t need to take a long nap, but laying down for about 20 minutes can help reduce your stress naturally without lifting a finger. 

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When you sleep, your body slows down, which allows your heart rate and mind to go at a slower pace. It makes you feel more relaxed, which will reduce your stress. 

Washing dishes by hand can help you relieve stress because of the mix of soap and warm water. Freepik

Wash the Dishes

No, this isn’t a joke. Don’t press the back button yet because it’s true. Washing the dishes, not placing them in the dishwasher, but washing them by hand, can help you feel less stressed. One reason for this is because the smell of soap, along with the warm water, decreases anxiety. One study showed a decrease of 27%. 

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Try it for one night. If you’re feeling overly stressed, push aside your dishwasher and wash your dishes by hand. Focus on the smell of the soap and the warm water on your hands. If you have a window near your kitchen sink, take time to snoop a bit. 

Your thumb is a great way to help you relieve stress right where you are. Image via Sf.co.ua

Let Your Finger Become Your Reset Button

Using your finger is probably a technique you’ve never heard of before, but it works great when you feel so overwhelmed you don’t know what to do – and you don’t want to move at all! While it’s embarrassing to look like you’re sucking your thumb in public, it’s a proven technique that works anywhere. 

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All you need to do is lift your thumb into your mouth. You don’t need to put your whole thumb in your mouth, but you want to at least get the tip up to the edge of your fingernail into your mouth. Then, you want to take a deep breath and blow. 

There is more than one way to relieve stress with your thumb. Shutterstock

You Naturally Start To Feel Less Stressed With The Finger Technique

You wouldn’t think there’s a correlation between your thumb, blowing on it, and your vagus nerve, but this is precisely how you feel less stress instantly. What happens is by placing your thumb in your mouth, you block your air passage. Once you breathe out, you activate your vagus nerve, which makes you feel more relaxed by decreasing your blood pressure and heart rate.

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If you are in public, you can use your fingers by putting a bit of pressure between your second and third knuckles on one of your fingers by using your thumb. Just don’t use your nail!

If you’re feeling stressed at work, don’t grab some caffeine. Take water instead as it could make you feel less stressed. Shutterstock

Drink Less Caffeine

No one is telling you to stop drinking caffeine as it’s vital for many people so they can function throughout their day. However, if you find yourself drinking caffeine throughout the day and start to feel your heart rate increase or you just feel more stressed as the day goes on, you’ll want to look at limiting your intake. 

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Instead of drinking soda or coffee throughout the day, look at drinking a bit in the morning, and you’ll start to feel less stressed. 

Cook and bake new recipes or teach your children the basics. Shutterstock

Cook and Bake

Depending on your view of cooking and baking, you can find this as a way to relieve stress. Look for a new recipe that has ingredients you have at home and have a little fun. Have your children help you, if this won’t bring on more stress, and don’t worry about making any mess. Look at it this way – after making memories, you can all clean up together.  

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As long as you find this task enjoyable, you’ll find it more relaxing than stressful. Another benefit of enjoying the job and having fun is that you won’t feel that cooking and baking are work. 

Writing it down can help you feel less stressed. Freepik

Write It Down

Even if you’re not big on writing or keep a journal, taking the time to write down what’s on your mind is a great way to help relieve stress. If you don’t want to focus on what’s bothering you, then you can look at writing down what makes you happy or what makes you grateful. It is a way of getting things off of your chest without actually having to tell someone your secrets.

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You might even surprise yourself and create an awesome children’s book that rhymes, an epic poem, or a candid comic strip. Another option would be writing your own life story, since everyone has value and purpose. The world might be dying to here all about it.

 When you focus on what you’re grateful for, your mind looks at the world more positively, and you start to feel less stressed. 

One of the best ways to say a mantra is to close your eyes and focus on your calming words. Shutterstock

Say A Mantra

It doesn’t take much effort to talk. You don’t need to say anything out loud if you don’t want to. Thinking a mantra tends to work just as well. What is a mantra? Well, it’s a form of meditation that helps your mind feel at ease when you’re stressed.

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If you have children, you might have thought over and over, “Just have a little more patience.” This phrase is an example of a mantra. Another popular one is, “I love my job. I love my job.” You can also work against any negative feelings by saying, “I am better than anger” a few times. 

Crying helps relieve the internal tension that stress brings. Shutterstock

Have A Good Cry

Showing emotions is a great way to relieve stress. The problem is that people try to ignore the feelings that come with anxiety because they’re seen as unfavorable, but this only increases your stress level. While you don’t want to go as far as hurting someone or something, taking a moment to cry can help. 

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Crying is not a sign of weakness; it means that you’ve held on too long and now need to release some tension. You do this by crying as stress tightens muscles, and crying releases them. 

Spending time with people you enjoy being with can help you create a bond that makes you feel less stressed. Shutterstock

Spend Time With People You Love 

A great way to relieve stress without much effort is to spend time with your friends and family. It not only makes you feel like part of a network, but you’re comfortable talking about your troubles with them. You might also find that they give you good advice. 

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During your time with others, your body releases the hormone oxytocin, which focuses on bonding and togetherness. This action makes you feel less stressed naturally as you think as other people care about you. 

All you need to do is get your device and press “play” to start listening to music. Shutterstock

Listen To Music

Grab a device with music and turn on a YouTube playlist. You can also open iTunes and set all of your music on random. It’s even more beneficial if you find your earphones to listen to the music as you won’t hear much of the outside world, also if it’s your own home. 

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When listening to music to relieve stress, it’s important to notice your emotions and connect them to certain songs. However, it’s not helpful to listen to music that seems angry when you’re trying to relieve stress. It’s best to listen to songs that give you a relaxed feeling. 

Looking up at the sky can help you feel connected to nature. Shutterstock

Look Up At The Sky

If you can find yourself outside, lay down in the grass and look up to the sky. You’ll notice how less stress you feel as you’re watching the clouds or looking up at the stars. 

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If you can feel the warmth of the sun, this will further help you relieve stress. If you can’t get outside, look out your window toward the sky, and you’ll feel the same effect. The atmosphere can help you feel at one with the universe, which helps you feel connected to nature. 

Putting your head below your heart is a great way to relieve stress in any situation. Shutterstock

Get Your Heart Above Your Head

Putting your head below your heart is a great way to relieve stress. It’s not something that people think they can do easily, but you can do it effortlessly with one of the most popular Yoga poses. All you need to do is stand up and then bend down and touch your feet. You can also place your hands on the floor while keeping your legs straight.

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Another way to do this is by getting on all fours and putting your head down, making sure it’s below your heart. The point is to get your blood to rush to your head over your feet, which makes you feel calm.

Cuddling, hugging, and being close to someone you love helps relieve stress. Shutterstock

Cuddle

You might cuddle with a partner that can help relieve stress. Don’t worry about if the cuddling leads to other activities, such as kissing, hugging, or sex, because all of these can help you feel less stressed as well. 

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It happens because your body releases hormones that help you feel connected to another person. This process enables you to feel like you’re not alone in the world, and you have someone by your side, which is an instant stress reliever. 

As long as you like gum, it can make you feel more at ease with life. Shutterstock

Chew Gum

You probably don’t know all of the fantastic benefits gum holds for you. A 2012 study looked at how chewing gum can help your well-being and release stress at home and work. In conclusion, the researchers noted that once participants started chewing gum, they became happier and felt less stressed. 

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But this isn’t the only thing the study noted. Researchers also realized that people felt less depressed, held a more positive mood, felt less anxious, and didn’t complain about fatigue as often. If you’re not a gum chewer, you should look for a pack and put in the little effort of chewing a piece a day. Just don’t swallow it!

Waterfalls are a great way to help you relieve stress because of the sounds of running water. Pixabay

Listen To Running Water

If you have a fish tank, you can shut off all devices and listen to the sounds of your fish tank. Other ways to listen to running water include turning on your faucet for a bit or using an app. You can usually find running water sounds on calming apps, and it’s known to help many people relieve stress. It’s a soothing sound that can make you feel relaxed. 

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You can also look for waterfalls on YouTube as watching something beautifully built by nature can aid in your relaxation. For some people, however, it might increase your desire to use the restroom.

When you hug yourself, you release a hormone that helps you feel calmer. Shutterstock

Hug Yourself

Sometimes we just need a tight squeeze to feel better. Usually, people think that this means they need a hug from a spouse, friend, or family member. While people can help with a hug and it’ll relieve stress, you can get the same effect from hugging yourself. 

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Lift your arms in an ‘x’ and squeeze your arms or shoulders. This works because a physical touch releases the hormone oxytocin, which is linked to the formation of bonds and love. Plus, hugging yourself provides you a sense of security that helps in easing stress. 

Laughing can help reduce stress as it triggers the release of endorphins. Shutterstock

Laugh Even If It’s Fake

You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine. According to several studies conducted by researchers, this saying is true. When you laugh, even if it’s fake, your body releases endorphins that help you relieve stress. Endorphins are chemicals in your body that you need to maintain a healthy mental state and happiness. 

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Any type of laugh will trigger the release of these chemicals, which will help you feel better without much more work. Increasing your blood flow happens naturally when you laugh because oxygen is going through your organs. Just think about how laughing helps you decrease your stress. 

Petting your furry friend can help boost your immune system and lower your blood pressure. Shutterstock

Spend Time With Your Pet

If you have a pet or a companion animal, you know that they are a great way to help relieve stress. For example, you automatically feel better after a bad day when you go home and see your pet coming up to you for some attention.

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When you pet your furry family members, your brain releases feel-good hormones that help you feel loved and put your mind at ease. It naturally makes you feel less stressed and puts a smile on your face. Let your pet cuddle by your side and take time to play with them. Don’t worry about any chores or work you need to do; just focus on your little companion. 

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Create Works Of Art

It doesn’t matter if you think you’re good at drawing or painting because you don’t need to do this for anyone else’s eyes. All you need to worry about is helping yourself feel less stressed, and one way to do this is by taking the time to create works of art. 

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You can draw, paint, make a collage, or color. Do something that you consider fun and relaxing, and this will help you feel better overall. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; coloring with crayons in a children’s coloring book might be enough to relax. If you get really into it, you might even upgrade to watercolors or sculptures. Don’t worry about making money off of your works of art; you can be your own Picasso and adore your masterpieces.

Deep breathing is sometimes a part of meditation, and it becomes a great way to relieve stress quickly. Shutterstock

Deep Breathing 

Another effortless way to relieve stress is to focus on breathing deeply. You can do this whether you’re sitting or standing. You can even do this while driving. Simply take a deep breath, hold it for a couple of seconds, and then release it slowly. 

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When you take a few deep breaths, your diaphragm lowers cortisol levels. In response, you start to feel less stressed and anxious. You don’t need to take a lot of deep breaths or count. Just follow your mind and body. When you feel better, then you can stop. 

When you blow up a balloon, you use your diaphragm for breathing deeply and slowly, helping you ease tension. Shutterstock

Blow Up A Balloon

Along with deep breathing, you can also have a little fun and use this time to blow up a balloon. It is another way to relieve stress. Most people see this as a job that you have to do before a birthday party, so it’s essential also to make sure you’re in the mindset to have fun and don’t see it as a chore. 

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This method works because when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to take short and shallow breaths. However, this increases your anxiety, and you need oxygen to help your body relax. Therefore, any task that makes you take a deep breath is great for relieving stress. 

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Massage Your Ears

You know that a massage helps you feel less stressed, but you can’t always get away to get a professional massage. You also can’t do this every day, and sometimes you need to take time to de-stress daily. When you find yourself struggling with your stress, and you need to create a calmer mindset, you can massage your ears. 

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This action is like a reset button, and all you have to do is rub your ear lobe, and you’ll start feeling the stress leave your body. Don’t knock it until you try it. You never know what will help you feel less stressed until you give it a try!

Keeping a plant near you can help reduce your blood pressure and stress. Shutterstock

Keep A Plant Near You

Plants are magical. Not only do they help with oxygen in the room, but they’re also known to help people feel better. You don’t need to have a green thumb to set a plant on your desk if you feel overly stressed at work because many stay alive with very little care. 

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Recent studies have shown that when employees keep plants at their desks, they work harder. Plants are also known to help reduce blood pressure, which automatically helps reduce stress. Keep one in your home office, your living room, and then bring one back to your office to help you feel at ease throughout the day.

Procrastination will increase your stress level. Shutterstock

Stop Procrastinating

Let’s face it, like most people, you probably procrastinate on specific tasks and then feel stressed when the deadline is close. Instead, work on developing a plan so you can work on the job every day for a certain amount of time. 

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This change will help limit your stress when it comes to one task, which in turn can help limit the amount of stress you feel overall. When you follow this method with all your projects, you’ll start to feel less stressed immediately. 

Yoga is well-known to help relieve stress. Shutterstock

Practice Yoga

Like a few other techniques on this list, you need to enjoy yoga to make you feel like it’s effortless. When you practice yoga, your mind goes into meditation mode, and it helps soothe your emotions. You’ll start to relieve your stress as you hold your poses, focus on breathing, and keep to a quiet location.

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Of course, with the current crisis, it’s not always quiet, and most people can’t take too long of a break away from children, working at home, and homeschooling, but it’s possible to take a few minutes to relieve your stress. Your self-care is just as important.

Take a couple of seconds to hold a fun pose to help relieve stress. Shutterstock

Strike A Pose

Take a cue from Madonna and strike a pose. You don’t need to go full-on yoga to relieve stress. You can simply find a comfortable place in your home and strike a pose. You can put your legs up against the wall, act like you’re jumping, or hold a dance pose. 

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Doing a fun and silly pose is one of the best ways to relieve stress, and it only takes a few seconds! Putting a smile on your face or giving a fake laugh at your silliness can further help relieve stress. Don’t feel the need to post your pictures on social media, though. This action might increase your anxiety, which will leave you checking for likes all day long.

Always remember that “no” is a sentence all by itself, and you don’t need to include a reason. Shutterstock

Realize It’s Okay To Say No

Sometimes the stress you feel is because you want to help everyone. While this is an excellent characteristic, you can’t forget about yourself. If you think that you’re taking on too much work, you need to remember that it’s okay to say “no.” 

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Even if it’s your boss asking you to pick up another project when you’re already overworked. You don’t need to state a reason; you just need to say, “no.” 

If orange juice isn’t already a part of your morning routine, you’ll want to pick up the habit as it’s an effortless way to reduce stress. Shutterstock

Drink More Orange Juice

No, it’s not a wine that you want to pick up when you need to feel less stressed. Even though it might work, it’s temporary. One great drink to pick up when you’re looking to reduce stress permanently is orange juice.

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Oranges have a lot of vitamin C, which is known to help manage stress. This benefit works by lowering your cortisol level. When cortisol is high, you feel more stressed, but when it’s low, you’ll feel less stressed. Don’t believe it? Try it out!

Purple, blue, green, and white candles can give you a more relaxed feeling. Shutterstock

Light A Candle

You probably have several candles lying around your home. If you’re feeling stressed and need to find something that doesn’t take a lot of work to help yourself feel better, light a candle. You don’t need to take a nice hot bubble bath, though it never hurts.

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Simply lighting a candle and placing it on your stove or somewhere in the room you’re in can help you feel calmer. Candles are different colors and scents, and some of them will naturally help you more than others. 

Staring into a pattern can help you feel relaxed as you let your mind get lost into it. DIY Genius

Staring Into A Pattern

To make this technique work, you need to choose a pattern that doesn’t look like it has an ending. It’s also helpful to pick one that you don’t mind gazing into as that will help keep you focused. You don’t need to find a picture online; you can look out into nature. You might find the petal of a flower or a spiderweb that keeps your attention. 

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Scientifically, never-ending patterns are known as fractals. Several studies prove that never-ending patterns help reduce stress by up to 60%. Don’t take my word for it; try it the next time you feel overwhelmed. 

Essential oils are natural ingredients that help you in many ways. Pixabay

Use Essential Oils

You’ve probably heard of essential oils and how some people swear by them. In fact, some people have stopped taking medication and just use essential oils. The aroma that the oils give off when they’re diffuse not only makes your home smell good, but it can clear the air, your mind, and make you feel less stressed. 

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Of course, you need to focus on more calming essential oils, such as lavender, to get this benefit. Each one will give you different benefits, so it might take some research to know which ones are best for you. 

Nature can help make you feel calmer, but you don’t need to go into nature to get this stress relief. Shutterstock

Visualize Calmness

Similar to visualizing yourself successful (which leads to success), you want to visualize yourself in a calm state. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a place that brings a wave of calmness over you, like a beach or meadow.

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You can get as detailed as you like, such as feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, smelling flowers, or hearing waves. When you connect with nature, you’ll start feeling calmer as nature is known to ease anxiety and stress. 

Omega 3s are a great supplement that helps maintain your mood, boosts your immune system, and helps you feel less stressed. Pixabay.

Look Into Supplements

It’s important to remember that supplements are not usually considered medication. Some of them are even made from natural ingredients that simply help you sleep well, like melatonin, or will help you relieve anxiety. Some focus on balancing your mood, along with decreasing your stress. 

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Some of these supplements include Lemon lip balm, green tea, and Valerian. You can also find a significant number of supplements in the natural aisle at your local store. Just remember to focus on one. 

Meditation can help bring you peace of mind, naturally making you feel less stressed without much effort. Shutterstock

Meditate

You don’t need to hold your hands in a particular position or say “hmmm” to meditate. You can even listen to calming music as you lay down and just let your mind find peace and quiet. When you take time to meditate for a couple of minutes, you’ll start to feel less stressed. 

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The key to meditation is that you need to find a comfortable position that’ll allow you to focus on a calming environment. It’s the peacefulness that you feel when you’re meditating that’ll help you reduce stress.  

Sources:

“15 Effortless Ways to Relieve Stress.” Marat Nugumanov, Bright Side. 

“16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety.” Kerri-Ann Jennings, Healthline. August 2018. 

“10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast.” Jeannette Moninger, WebMD. 

“Effective Stress Relievers for Your Life.” Elizabeth Scott, Very Well Mind. January 2020. 

“27 Science-Backed Ways to Reduce Stress Right Now.” Timothy J. Legg, Greatist. December 2019. 

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