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How You Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety (16 Helpful Tips)

Written by: Logan Derrick
How You Can Reduce Stress & Anxiety

Millions of Americans say they deal with stress or anxiety on a daily basis. And with no one-size-fits-all cure for either of these mental concerns, it’s important to identify how to find relief that works for you.

If you are trying to determine how you can reduce stress and anxiety in your life, there is a wide range of options available for you to try. Whether you add one of them to your daily routine or give them all a try, you are sure to lift the weight on your shoulders that stems from these seriously debilitating mindsets.

1. Focus on Yourself

Do you always find yourself being controlled by your surroundings? Whether that means doing all you can to please others at your job, at home, or at school, this can be a key factor in your stress levels. It is paramount to your mental wellness that you consistently take time for yourself as well.

Only you can determine what this looks like and the most effective ways to focus on your own needs. Go for a drive around town, spend weekends on hikes to new destinations, or simply stay home and enjoy a bubble bath. Whatever will help you bring some attention back to yourself and refill your gas tank.

2. Become More Mindful of Your Situation

The common phrase says that people think the grass is always greener on the other side, meaning they’d be happier if their life was more like someone else’s. This mindset tends to distract people from seeing the “flowers” and open fields on their own side of the fence. As you identify how you can reduce stress and anxiety, consider the things you are grateful for and shift your focus to them instead.

Man relaxing at his desk

Find a positive outlook or two…or three. When you look for positives in your life and focus on them more often than any of the negative, you may be surprised at how more good things come your way.

3. Move Your Body

In recent years, the number of fun and engaging physical activities available to us has grown dramatically. There are so many different ways to be active and move your body. Multiple studies have proven that exercise reduces stress and anxiety by:

The most important aspect of this is to avoid feeling like exercise is a chore. Make sure you find physical activities that you enjoy such as running, weight lifting, yoga, dancing, and more. Many video game consoles now offer exercise games you can play at home for extra fun and interaction.

4. Consume Healthy Foods

One of the most surefire ways you can reduce stress and anxiety is by putting good things into your body. Now, this doesn’t mean you can only eat kale and celery all day long. On the contrary, you should be consuming a wide variety of healthy foods including certain items that have been known to help with stress including:

The same mindset also applies to the things you drink on a regular basis. Beyond the simple answer of water, other healthy drinks are milk, herbal tea, fruit smoothies, lemon water, and low-sugar fruit juices like orange juice.

5. Spend Time with People You Care About

Our loved ones are there to both give and receive love. This includes everyone from immediate and extended family members to spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, and friends. Take a moment to think about someone you care for and reach out to them.

Invite old friends out for a lunch. Schedule a weekly (or even monthly) date night with your spouse or significant other to keep the flame kindled. Cuddling, kissing, showing affection, and human touch are all great ways you can reduce your stress and anxiety levels

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Emotion

Do you constantly find yourself asking “how can I reduce my stress and anxiety”? Why not let it all out through your emotions. Too often people think they have to keep their feelings pent up inside until they feel like they’re about to explode.

If you’re feeling weighed down, stressed, or anxious about something, allow yourself to cry and be upset for a time. Crying releases endorphins that fight against cortisol, a stress-induced hormone.

Some people also choose to let out their angry emotions in various ways. This is a good time to get in some rigorous exercise or write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. As silly as it may sound, you could even scream into a pillow every once in a while.

7. Take Healthy Supplements

Going back to putting healthy things into your body, there are many supplements on the market that have been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety for people. This can include anything from beneficial vitamins to healthy protein drinks. Some of the top supplements that may help fight against stress include:

8. Limit Your Caffeine Consumption

While caffeine is widely used across the world for its energy-boosting effects, it also has a significant impact on cortisol levels. Large amounts of caffeine have been directly related to chronic stress. These effects are long-lasting and can even lead to compounded anxiety.

Girl drinking an energy drink

For those of you who crave your daily cup of coffee or energy drink, this certainly doesn’t mean you have to cut out caffeine altogether. You will simply see an improvement when you limit your consumption. The benefits of lowering your daily intake of caffeine could boost your ability to combat stress and improve your mood from day to day.

9. Use Essential Oils

Although they have become an increasingly popular trend over the last few decades, essential oils have been around for centuries. They have long been used by people for everything from headaches and insomnia to inflammation and aromatherapy. But arguably the most popular use for essential oils has been to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Keep in mind, some scientists still believe that the evidence of this is inconclusive, citing that the use of aromatherapy only works for the temporary moment it is physically being used.

10. Listen to Calming Music or Ambience Sounds

With so much noise in the world, it’s nice to silence it every now and then with some peaceful music. Relaxing tunes and other forms of ambient noise are a great way to take a break and allow your mind to calm down for a moment.

There are many great apps out there that offer playlists and streaming services with calming sounds and soft music you can listen to whenever you want. A monthly subscription to services like Spotify or Apple Music is a good way to have it readily accessible on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

11. Watch Funny Movies or Videos

It has long been said that laughter is the best medicine. In fact, a good chuckle can help boost your immune system, improve your mental wellness, as well as reduce stress. And thanks to video sites like YouTube, it is easier than ever to find hilarious clips that will have you laughing out loud in no time.

Father and his young son laughing at a funny movie

Whether you watch videos of funny kids, silly pets, stand-up comedians, or friends playing practical jokes on each other, these are great ways to help yourself feel good and fight against anxiety.

12. Don’t Take on Too Many Responsibilities

We’ve already mentioned how busy the world is and it’s up to us to ensure that load doesn’t become overbearing. One of the most crucial ways to reduce stress and anxiety is by learning to say “no”. It is always good to serve others but not to the detriment of your own mental health.

Be aware of your own to-do list and make sure you are always “filling your own bucket” before adding to your workflow at work, school, or home. If you are already bogged down by responsibilities it is okay to say no until you are able to gain some ground and get caught up on other tasks you are presently focused on.

13. Practice Breathing Exercises

Oxygen is the source of life for our lungs, heart, bloodstream, and more. Learning breathing exercises is a great way to calm your mind and relax when you’re feeling stressful thoughts start to take over. Some of the most popular breathing exercises include:

14. Spend Time with Your Pet

Animals are easily one of the best stress relievers in the entire world. Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, parrots, horses, reptiles, ferrets, you name it. Whichever animal you’ve decided to join your family, take a moment every day to play with them.

Spending time with pets is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety

You’ll find this boosts your mood almost immediately. Pets often give love without any expectation of anything in return, making them a great source of joy.

15. Look for Volunteer Opportunities

Serving others offers stress relief that is two-fold. You get to provide people with a kind act while also boosting your own mood and temperament. Volunteer opportunities can be found all over the U.S. in pretty much every city on the map.

These chances can be found by reaching out to local churches, contacting nearby shelters, or looking up resources on websites like JustServe and VolunteerMatch.

16. Make the Decision to Be Happy & Stress-free

You may think this is easier said than done, and initially it will probably feel that way. But you should never underestimate the power of your mind and its ability to change itself. If you really want to know how you can reduce stress and anxiety, it is by adjusting your thinking and focusing on the positive.

As you make up your mind to be happy and drain out the negative thoughts, you’ll find it is much easier to achieve a stress-free lifestyle. This positive mindset paired with the suggestions listed above will be the key to feeling happy and being mentally healthy.

Know Other Ways How You Can Reduce Stress & Anxiety?

There are many other techniques you can use to minimize stress and lower your daily anxiety levels. The more you focus on following these strategies, the better you’ll feel all around.

Keep up with the Steel Wellness blog for more tips and ideas you can use to improve your mental and physical health!

Logan Derrick

Logan Derrick is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Steel Wellness. He is a professional health & wellness writer with a vast amount of industry knowledge. Logan uses his background, personal history, and expert research to help others learn the best ways they can improve their wellness journey.

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