Stress & Anxiety | Written by: Keely

170 Proven Stress Management Techniques to Try Today

Managing stress is something that we all have difficulty with. We encounter stress triggers every single day of our lives. Whether it’s work, family, or school, stress is always present and waving it’s ugly hand in our direction. Despite the way it might seem, stress doesn’t have to rule your life.

Even the richest and most successful people in the world deal with stress just like us.What separates the happy people who enjoy life from the people that are miserable and constantly have headaches is the way that they deal with stress. Since stress is unavoidable, we’re going to work on managing it.

In my efforts to figure out ways to manage stress, I’ve compiled a list of 170 stress management techniques that you can implement in your life to help keep the stress in your life to a minimum. The list includes things you can do to prevent stress and what you can do to help relax once you’re stressed out.

As silly as some of them might seem (like playing paddy cake), you’ll be amazed by how effective they are.

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1. Don't Hold Grudges

Holding grudges leads to a lot of pent up aggression, resentment and unnecessary stress. As uncomfortable as it may be, the best solution to stop holding grudges is to confront the issue.

2. Don't Procrastinate - Do it Now!​

Do you have a tendency to procrastinate and put things off for the last minute? If so, it's probably causing you a lot of unnecessary stress. Instead of procrastinating, get in the habit of doing things as early as possible. If you find out about a homework assignment, start it the same week. If you have to prepare a presentation at work, don't wait until the day before.

3. Watch YouTube Videos of Cute Cats

When you're bored or trying to waste time, what's one of the first things you do? If you're like most people, it probably involves heading over to YouTube to watch a funny or entertaining video. But did you know watching those videos is also a great stress management techniques? The reason we're specifically mentioning cat videos is because the cuteness tends to calm you down, relax you and distract you from your stressors!

4. Smile

Sometimes just projecting positivity can give you just the boost you need to stress less. Research has shown that simply smiling can help decrease stress levels and improve your mood!

5. Don't Be Afraid to Say No

If someone asks you to do something, don’t’ feel obligated to say “yes.” Instead, look objectively at your time and decide if you can fit in the task that they are asking you to do. If you have to say “no” don’t feel guilty about it. Your time is just as valuable as anyone else’s and you can’t do everything for everyone. It is impossible and you shouldn’t have to feel guilty about not being able to do the impossible.

6. Scream

Sometimes, screaming is enough to reduce some stress. Find a place where no one is going to be able to hear you and then scream until you feel like you have released something. If you cannot find a place to scream, you can always scream into a pillow, which will allow you the same release while muffling the sound.

7. Drop an F-Bomb (Curse!)

Sure, swearing is crass and impolite in certain company, but sometimes, just dropping an F-bomb, especially if you aren’t used to it, can be very therapeutic. Go into the bathroom or somewhere else that people won’t be able to hear you if you’re somewhere where swearing would be inappropriate.

8. Think About Your Achievements

Think about things that you have achieved in the past if you are feeling depressed or stressed out. Sometimes, we forget about all of the good things that we have done, especially when faced with a bad situation. Take a minute to go over your achievements and be proud of yourself.

9. Don't Try to Be Perfect

No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and if you are trying to be perfect you are always going to fall short. On the other hand, if you try to be excellent, you have a much better chance of succeeding. In fact, since you get to define excellent, you can choose whether you have succeeded or not.

10. Do Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy may seem like an worthless herbal remedy to many people, particularly those who don’t put any stock in holistic health, but the truth is, several studies have shown the effectiveness of aromatherapy at reducing stress, making it pretty much science.

11. Breathe Slowly

Take slow deep breaths. When you breathe slowly, your body slows down, your brain activity lessens and your body stops producing hormones and chemicals that can contribute to stress. When you feel yourself getting stressed, take 60 seconds and try breathing slowly for a while.

12. Use a Stress Toy

Have you ever seen those rubber toys that you can squeeze to build hand strength? They also are great for relieving stress. In fact, they make some toys that are actually intended for reducing stress rather than improving hand strength.

13. Create a Stress Support Network of Friends & Family

When you are stressed, you need to talk to someone. Sometimes, just having someone listen to the problems that you are experiencing will put them in perspective and allow you to feel better about them.

14. Avoid Secondhand Stress

Secondhand stress means hanging out with other people that are stressed. Your brain can read other people’s body language and expressions and mimic their stress. Plus, the negative energy makes it hard to see the positive side of things.

15. Go to Work Earlier

If you find yourself stressing at work, particularly because you are nearing the end of your workday and you haven’t yet finished your tasks, then try coming to work a little earlier. Even an extra 15 minutes might make all of the difference.

16. Set Aside Time Every Day To Do Something Fun

Every single day, you need to have fun. A perfect life is a balance between hard work and fun, and without fun, you get depressed and are less motivated, which makes work even harder. Even if you only have an hour a day for fun, make the most of it.

17. Take A Nap

Did you know that Chinese corporations encourage their employees to take a nap around noon every day? That’s because they know that a nap can completely rejuvenate you and make last half of the workday just as productive as the first.

18. Unplug

We spend way too much time on our laptops, computers, mobile phones, tablets and other devices. Sometimes, all it takes is unplugging from everything, going into a room with no electronics and just existing for 10-15 minutes.

19. Plan Ahead

Don’t let the things you have to do come up on you suddenly. Even if you aren’t a planner by nature, take a few minutes a day and sketch out a basic one.

20. End One Bad Habit

You don’t have to work miracles. All you need to do is end one bad habit. It can be something as difficult as quitting smoking or something as basic as chewing on pen caps. Just pick a habit and try to end it, and if you mess up, just start again.

21. Clean Your Room

You would be surprised how much a dirty room or house can affect your mood. Some people find that they have been depressed all day and when they decide to clean up their space they suddenly feel better.

22. Stop Trying To Control Everything

If you try to control everything you are going to fail, and then you are just going to feel like a failure. Control what you can and let go of the things that you can’t.

23. Don’t Take Everything So Personal

Remember, 95% of the time when someone says something that you take personally, they probably didn’t mean it. This has been demonstrated in business seminars and study groups. Don’t take it personally, because it probably wasn’t meant that way.

24. Stop Over Analyzing Situations

You can definitely get stressed out by overanalyzing. Instead, analyze once and make a decision and then take action. You can always reevaluate later on.

25. Focus On One Task At A Time. Try Single-Tasking

Multi-tasking can cause all kinds of stress. Instead of multi-tasking like you normally do, just do single-tasking for a while. Forget about all of the other tasks that you have to do and then go ahead and complete the single task you have decided upon.

26. Don’t Worry About Things That Haven’t Happened Yet

When you worry about things that “might” happen, you are wasting your time and energy. You have no idea if it will actually happen, and while having a game plan for rough spots down the road can be useful, worrying about them constantly can be destructive.

27. Be Honest With People

You might think that the world wants you to lie to them, but honesty is really refreshing. Even if you tell someone something that hurts their feelings, they will probably appreciate the fact that you were honest, even if takes them a little while to see it.

28. Take 10 Minute Breaks At Work

If you look at a block of time that you need to be working, it can be very intimidating and disheartening. Instead of looking at a four hour block until lunch, take a 10 minute break every 90 minutes. That way, you are only looking at 90 minute blocks at one time.

29. Stop Judging Others

If you are the type of person to judge other people, you might be causing your own stress. It’s very human to judge, but divine to forgive. Try to look at other people objectively, without any judgment whatsoever. Imagine that you are them and try to find reasons for the actions that made you feel judgmental.

30. Don’t Grind Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth can definitely be a symptom of stress, but it can also cause stress because your brain figures if you are grinding your teeth, there must be stress somewhere. If you notice yourself grinding your teeth, take a breath and stop. Not only will you feel less stressed but your dentist will thank you as well!

31. Don’t Add New Tasks To Your To-Do List Until You Do One Thing On It

If you are the type of person to make a to-do list and add things to do it but have a hard time completing things, then you might want to consider forcing yourself to complete one task before you add anything new. This will reduce stress in a big way.

32. Don’t Invest Your Time In Energy Into Everything

Sure, you might want to study Spanish, learn how to play the guitar and take those real estate courses on DVD you bought six months ago, but if you don’t have the time and you are feeling stressed because of your busy schedule, don’t be afraid to drop them.

33. Exercise At Least 3-4 Days A Week

Sure, it’s a cliché. But it’s a cliché for a reason. Exercise is probably the number one thing that people can do in their daily lives in order to reduce stress. Even 30 minutes 3-4 days a week will go a long way towards de-stressing.

34. Stop Stressing Over Bad Decisions You’ve Made In The Past. What’s Done Is Done

Every single person has made mistakes in the past and believe it not, most of them were probably way worse than yours. You made mistakes, now learn what you can and forget them.

35. Hug Your Loved Ones (Hug Therapy)

Some families don’t hug and those are the families that have the most stress and arguing among themselves. Consider adding more hugging to your life. Not only will it let your family know you love them, it will reduce your own stress too.

36. Start Believing In Yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself then no one else is going to believe in you. That’s such a trite saying, but it’s absolutely true and the reason is: people can tell when you don’t believe. It’s all over your face and in your body language. If you believe, they’ll believe.

37. Quit Being A Pessimist

If you find yourself always looking for the negative in everything then you should really try to change that habit. Look for the positive every time you think of something negative. You’ll be amazed how much this positive energy can help your stress.

38. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

You’re not superman or superwoman. You’re just a human being, and like every other human being, sometimes you need help. It doesn’t make you weak or vulnerable – it makes you human.

39. Take A Break When Things Get Too Difficult

When things are overwhelming you because they are so difficult, just stop whatever you are doing and then step back from the situation for a few minutes. Trying to solve the same problem for hours on end will do nothing but stress you out. A break can be all you need for a new perspective.

40. Play Paddy Cake With A Kid (Or Adult)

How long has it been since you played ‘Pat-a-Cake’? Too long to remember? Well, it’s time to sit down and get those hands ready. Play with a kid if there is one available and if not, find a willing adult. It really does reduce stress.

41. Drink Tea

In 2009, several newspapers in the U.K. reported on studies that showed that not only does the act of drinking a cup of tea relieve stress – the entire ritual reduced stress as well.

42. Watch A Great Movie

Have you had time to go to the movies recently? If not, consider checking out one of the new releases. If you can’t find time for that, just pick a good movie from one of the millions of “top ten” movie lists and watch it on Netflix.

43. Try An Adult Coloring Book

Yes, they exist if you know where to look. Not only are there books like “Go %$#@ Yourself I’m Coloring” but there are books on religion, pop culture and even automobiles. Get some and break out the crayons. Hide in the closet with a flashlight if you have to.

44. Cry

Crying has amazing therapeutic value. In fact, people that don’t cry often grow up to be serial killers. Okay, I just made that up, but the truth is, there have been studies by independent researchers that prove people feel better after they cry.

45. Stop Stressing About Why You’re So Stressed Out

If you are stressing about the reason that you’re stressed out, then you’re basically a cat who won’t stop chasing his own tail. You can’t make good decisions when you’re stressed out, so you need to relax before you start thinking again about whatever it is that is stressing you.

46. Get A Massage (Or Do It Yourself)

There are lots of people in this world who have never had a professional massage. If you’re one of those people, go and find yourself a massage therapist immediately. No matter how much stress you had when you got on the table, it will be gone when you get up. If you’re ticklish, then try giving yourself the massage.

47. Go For A Run

If you’ve never put on a pair of jogging shorts, running can be really fun – maybe not the first, second, third or even fourth time – but eventually, you will enjoy it, and as far as stress reduction goes, go for a jog and your cares will just fly away in the wind.

48. Leave Work Early If You Can

If you’re stressed and you think you can leave work without getting in trouble, then play hooky! Go to the park and check out the squirrels. Go home and soak in the bath for an hour. Go ahead and get out of there. That report will still be there tomorrow.

49. Watch A Cooking Channel

Maybe you don’t have the time – or the talent – to cook an amazing meal. But watching a cooking show can have the same stress reducing effect as actually cooking the meal.

50. Cut Negative People Out Of Your Life

You might love that negative person in your life, but they are adding to your stress, and at some point, you have to make a choice – is your life yours or theirs? You don’t need negativity when you are stressed out.

51. Stop Checking Facebook And Twitter So Often

Do you really need to check and see if anyone liked the picture you posted of your lunch ten minutes ago? Do you really need to see what Beyonce is tweeting about today? You really don’t, and if you want to reduce stress, then consider just checking those networks once a day.

52. Think Of Yourself As A Winner

Do you feel like a winner? That’s the first step to becoming one. Every successful person that has ever made a million dollars thought they were successful before they actually got there. You get what you concentrate on. If you want to win then think of yourself as a winner.

53. Start Writing A Journal

A journal is a great way to relieve stress, and the best part is, you can go back and read it years from now and remember what your life was like. You’ll be surprised how much comes back to you from reading your old journal entries.

54. Don’t Rely On Chemical Substances

You know what almost every overstressed person has? A deep addiction to caffeine. You don’t need chemicals to deal with stress because they actually cause more stress than they prevent.

55. Stop Trying To Memorize Everything. Write Stuff Down

Slow down, Captain Mnemonic, you don’t need to remember everything. Paper is cheap and your phone doesn’t charge you anything to enter reminders. Worrying about remembering stuff causes stress big time.

56. Backup Your Computer Regularly

Do you have an online backup that stores you important files off-site regularly in case of a computer crash? If not, then it’s no wonder that you’re stressed. Sign up for one of the many $5 a month online backup services.

57. Have Someone You Can Vent With

Make a pact with a friend. When you’re feeling stressed, angry or frustrated, you can come and vent to them. Then when they need to blow off some steam, they can come to you. Just remember that you agreed to be each other’s listening post and make time to do it.

58. Learn A New Hobby

Have you ever thought of learning a new language, or taking a cooking class? Hobbies can be one of the best ways to relax. Many people say gardening is their all-time best de-stresser but any hobby will do the trick. Except maybe skydiving.

59. Set Attainable Goals

Are you setting a goal for yourself that you’re going to make your first million dollars this year? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you’re probably not going to get there that soon. Striving for something you know you can’t reach will stress you out. Set goals that you know you can achieve.

60. Make Funny Faces

Your face won’t get stuck like that, no matter what your mother told you. Parents who make funny faces with their kids have less stress, but you don’t need to run out to Kiddo Mart and buy a rug-rat. Just make funny faces at your best friend, your co-worker or that weird guy who is always at the copier when you walk by.

61. Cook A Real Meal And Enjoy It

Braised Leeks with Mozzarella. Pappardelle with Sea Urchin and Cauliflower. Beef Stroganoff with Giant Meatballs. Gobblygook Covered in Rice and Parmesan. Mmmmm. Cook a real meal that will take at least an hour and then enjoy it. Also, I may have made the last one up.

62. Stop Talking So Much And Start Listening

Have you heard the well-worn adage, you have two ears and one mouth, so you should be listening twice as much as you talk? Well, most people seem to think they have four mouths and half an ear. Try listening for a while and see what you learn.

63. Don’t Be The Center Of Attention

Unless you’re a rock star, you’re standing on a stage, and all these people came to see you, you don’t have to be the center of attention. In fact, if you just melt into the background for a while, you’ll be surprised how much stress you’ll release.

64. Wake Up 10-15 Minutes Earlier Than Usual

Do you wake up at 6:00AM every morning? Try 5:50AM or 5:45AM. You won’t miss that extra 15 minutes from your sleep but you will definitely notice it benefitting your morning. That extra 15 minutes might just be enough to keep you from getting stressed before work.

65. Go To Sleep 30 Minutes Earlier

Do you find yourself at the computer, trying to accomplish just one more thing before bed, even if you’re yawning and the Sandman is waiting impatiently at your bedroom door, tapping his watch? Knock off 30 minutes earlier and lay down. That extra sleep or relaxation time is a big de-stresser.

66. Develop A Sense Of Humor

This may seem like a tall order for those who will need to have a funny bone surgically installed. But laughing and having a sense of humor about life will keep you from getting stressed, and allow you to deal with it when it happens.

67. Realize That Not Everyone Will Like You

If someone doesn’t like you, then don’t worry about it. Stressing about someone who seems to dislike you is not only a waste of time, it is also a good way to multiple your stress.

68. Break Large Jobs/Tasks Into Smaller Manageable Ones

How do you eat an elephant? With salt and a side salad. Also, one bite at a time. If you’re trying to do something big – like get rich or start your own business, then break down your tasks into small, bite-sized steps and start eating. Also, FYI, elephants taste terrible.

69. Learn More About What You Need

Have you ever sat down and actually tried to figure out what you need in order to reduce some stress. If you can figure it out, and then get that thing you need, you’ll have a lot less stress.

70. Compliment Someone

It’s difficult to break the ice the first time, but once you try it out once or twice, you’ll love complimenting people. Watching their faces light up will reduce your own stress.

71. Stop Waiting For Tomorrow

If you are waiting to live life or do the things you want until ‘X’ happens or until you finish ‘Y’ you probably aren’t very happy. Live today and forget about tomorrow. You might find you like today better.

72. Realize That The Grass Is Not Always Greener

We have this terrible propensity for thinking that the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. But often, when we make the climb, we find that it’s yellowed and dry and we wish we had our own grass back. Love what you have; It’s probably better than what you don’t.

73. Make Sure You Have A Plan B

While you definitely shouldn’t stress over the future obsessively, having a Plan B is the best way that you can relax about uncertain events. You know what Plan A is, but if it doesn’t work out, you have a Plan B. You now have permission to relax.

74. Make Being Happy A Priority

What are your priorities? Making a lot of money? Making sure that your responsibilities are met? What about personal happiness? It isn’t something that you hope will come along someday. It won’t. You have to make it a top priority. Your stress will magically disappear if you do.

75. Don’t Worry About Getting Ahead At Work

Whether you get ahead at work or not isn’t really up to you. You think it is, but the truth is, you could worry about it every day for the next six months, and do everything you can think of to get ahead, and Brian from sales could still get that promotion you wanted. Just do the best possible job you can.

76. Whistle Or Hum A Catchy Tune

Your co-workers might not appreciate you breaking into song at your desk but hum something fun under your breath or go into the bathroom and let your singing voice free. Music makes the heart soar, and that means your stress levels reduce.

77. Dance

Yes, you heard that right. Find a private patch of grass and kick off your heels or dress shoes and just dance. Dance like no one is watching. Dance like it will be the last time you ever get to dance again.

78. Practice Moderation

Addiction can be a major cause of frustration and stress. Try not to become addicted to anything – no matter if it’s good for you or not. Everything in moderation which includes things that are good for you and others that may not be.


79. Spend Less Time On The Internet

Sometimes the internet sucks. Advertisers are triggering pop-up ads when you’re trying to check the weather, trolls are trying to make you angry by taking extreme positions on ridiculous things and hackers are trying to get your credit card so that they can sun themselves in Key Largo. Spend less time on the internet. You’ll be happier.

80. Step Outside And Just Breath In The Air At Least Twice A Day

Is the only time you get any air when you walk from the elevator to your space in the parking garage? You need sunshine and sky! Get out and breathe the air a couple of times a day.

81. Realize That There Is Always Another Option

If you feel backed into a corner, sit down and list your options – all of them, not just the ones that you would prefer. You might see that things aren’t as bad as you thought and you’ll feel less stressful.

82. Stop Having All The Answers

If you have all of the answers all of the time, it probably means that you’re wrong quite often. You’re not expected to have all of the answers – just the ones you know. You’ll feel a lot better once you take that pressure off of yourself.

83. Don’t Be Afraid To Say You Don’t Know Something

The person who speaks up when they don’t know learns something new. But if you don’t speak up, people will assume you know, and you’ll never learn it. In addition, you’re going to look foolish later if someone calls you on it. This is not a good thing for stress.

84. Listen To Calm Soothing Music

Everyone has music that they find calm and soothing, but try to find something that actually makes you slow down, your mind unwinds and you feel calmer just by listening to it.

85. Don’t Hold In Farts, Urine, Or Bowel Movements

Believe it or not, holding in your bodily functions can affect your health, and will actually add to your stress. Holding in gas can contribute to digestive problems like bloating and abdominal pain and can even affect your breath. Plus, your body physically gets more stressed when you hold that stuff in.

86. Screen Phone Calls Sometimes

You don’t have to answer the phone when it rings. Whether you are answering your mobile or a landline, you can almost always tell who is calling. If you don’t want to talk to them, don’t answer the phone. It’s your phone. You’re allowed to not answer it sometimes.

87. Stop Trying To Reply To Every Email Immediately

Your email isn’t going to self-destruct if you don’t get to it within the first five minutes of it arriving in your inbox. If it’s not an emergency, let it sit in there and marinate in the bits and bytes of your mail client.

88. Become More Aware Of Your Surroundings And Nature

Every day for six months, a man took his lunch outside with him to a park bench, along with his tablet and briefcase, so he could eat and work. One day, he forgot everything but his lunch, and sat down to eat and realized that there were birds making beautiful music in the trees behind him. He’d never noticed it before. Nature relaxes you. Make some time for it.

89. Eat Foods That Help Fight Stress

There are some great foods out there that fight stress really well. Here are a few that you might want to add to your grocery list: dark chocolate, wild Alaskan salmon, blueberries, pistachios and many more. Also, sunlight gives you vitamins that help reduce stress so open a window!

90. Do Something Nice For Someone Else Every Single Day

Have you done something nice for someone today? You would be surprised how better you feel about your own problems when you talk to someone about theirs – and especially if you can help them with their problem. Whether it’s a compliment, a favor or just a cup of coffee for a stranger, do something nice for someone and reduce your stress.

91. Drop Unnecessary Commitments

Do you have commitments that you don’t want to keep, but you feel obligated to keep them, even if they are only to yourself? Drop them. Unnecessary commitments that aren’t required are going to stress you out and you need to concentrate on the ones that really do matter.

92. Tell Your Loved Ones You Love Them As Often As Possible

Garth Brooks had a huge hit in 2002 with a song called “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” If you haven’t heard it you should. The message is that you should tell your loved ones you love them as often as you can – because you never know when “tomorrow” isn’t going to come.

93. Have Someone You Can Confide In

Do you have someone that you trust, that you can talk to when you get stressed and you know that they aren’t going to laugh at your or betray you by telling others what you told them? If not, then see if you can find someone because everyone needs someone like that. You’ll drop some major stress that way.

94. Don’t Let Others Pressure You

When others pressure you, you get stressed out, but here’s the thing: you don’t have to let them. You choose whether or not you feel pressured by them; if you don’t want to do what they are asking you to, then just tell them no.

95. Don’t Invite Drama Into Your Life

Drama causes stress and when you see someone who is looking for attention and is creating drama – run the other way as fast as you can. Don’t invite drama into your life and kick it to the curb straightaway if it does squeeze in somehow.

96. Don’t Live Vicariously Through Others

Do you know why people watch television shows like “Keeping up with the Kardashians” or the various “Real Housewives” incarnations? Because they are unhappy with their life and are living through those people. That not only causes them stress, but it also probably destroys a few hundred brain cells as well. Be happy with your own life and don’t live through others. If you are always looking to others, you’ll never be happy with your own life.

97. Play A Video Game

How long has it been since you played a video game? Did you know that it’s one of the best ways to release a whole bunch of stress? Playing video games can make you forget about your own world and get lost in another for a while, and these days, you even have virtual reality if you want to try it.

98. Take 10 Deep Breaths Once Every Hour

Taking deep breaths actually lower your blood pressure, your pulse and decrease the rate of brain activity. Believe it or not, it also affects your digestive system, your immune system and most importantly, your stress levels. Every hour, take 60 seconds or so to take 10 deep breaths. You’ll feel better all over.

99. Help Others When You Can

Helping someone else will definitely relieve your own stress. When you find someone in need and you have the ability to help them, then go ahead and do it when you can. Don’t compromise yourself by doing so though, or else you’ll just add to your stress.

100. Don’t Check Your Phone While You’re Eating

When you’re eating and looking at your phone, you don’t even know what your tasting or digesting. This makes your brain pay little attention to your food and you’ll be hungry sooner and not as satisfied. Make it a rule. If you’re eating, your phone stays off.

101. Don’t Check Your Phone During Bed Time

The same thing goes for your bedtime, which means that once you decide to go to bed, you can’t answer your phone, read or send texts or browse the web. If you can teach your body to disconnect at bedtime, you will feel stress melt away when your day ends.

102. Play With Your Children Or Pets Every Day

Both children and pets elicit relaxation responses, as long as you aren’t chasing them or scolding them. Pets in particular are highly recommended to relieve stress, and many mental health patients have “therapy pets” that help their mental state.

103. Try To Get Your Body To Learn To Wake Up So You Don’t Rely On An Alarm Clock

Waking to an alarm adds stress to your day because you feel like your sleep was interrupted. You have to obey because you know you have to go to work, school or some other commitment. But when you wake up naturally, without an alarm, your body feels fully rested.

104. Don’t Blame Other People For Your Mistakes Or Problems

Some of your problems might be the fault of someone else, but it’s like not entirely their fault, and it won’t help your stress levels to blame them. Instead, see your own part in the problem and accept responsibility. You will have less stress by doing so.

105. Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously

Don’t take things so seriously. It’s just life, and it’s meant to be enjoyed. You may only be here for a little while so try to enjoy life as much as you can, even if you don’t particularly like every activity you do throughout the day.

106. Try To Be Early For Appointments

Showing up early for appointments is one of the best habits you can create. When you start showing up early instead of late for everything, your stress levels will drop considerably.

107. Try To Have Peace Of Mind

Peace of mind can be hard to achieve. You have to look at yourself and see objectively how far you are coming along and whether you are giving it your best effort. If you are, then relax. Be at peace. All you can do is your best.

108. Don’t Think About What You Could Have Done

When you have made a decision and the moment passes, there is absolutely nothing to be gained from thinking about what you could have done. If you made a mistake, learn from it, and then move on.

109. Find Your Creativity

Everyone has something that flexes their creativity. Yours might be painting, singing, writing, cooking or tens of thousands of other things. When you find out what it is, exercise that creativity to reduce stress.

110. Surround Yourself With Positive People

Find positive people in your life and make sure that you approach them. Just make sure that you are positive too or else they won’t want to hang around you very long. Positive people will make you feel happy which will reduce stress.

111. Complain Less

Everyone has things in their lives that suck. But when you complain, you just increase your stress. You give yourself permission to feel stressful because you are confirming that your life sucks. When you avoid complaining, you might be able to convince yourself that life is good.

112. Eat Slow And Savor Your Meals

Did you know that the taste of your food is important to your mental health? That’s because when you are eating as fast as you can so that you can get back to work or make some other appointment, your body goes into “fight-or-flight” response – otherwise known as “stress response”. Take your time and eat slowly. Tell your body that you’re not having an emergency and your stress levels will go down.

113. Don’t Try To Rush Through Life

This is a huge one, and a really simple instruction. Don’t rush through life. Savor every moment. Take every opportunity to enjoy whatever you are experiencing.

114. Keep Your Energy Levels Up

Keep your energy levels up and your stress levels will go down. But you have to do it right. Don’t use caffeine or energy drinks. Instead, eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep.

115. Inhale Calm, Exhale Tension

When you breathe in and out, imagine that every breath you take is bringing calming energy into your body and that every breath you exhale is pushing out the stress that you are feeling.

116. Identify Your Stressors And Try To Avoid Them

If you can identify what is stressing you, and especially the triggers that cause that stress, you can try to avoid them. This is a great strategy for reducing the amount of stress you have.

117. Drink Less Coffee

Coffee is a stimulant and no matter how much you might think it’s relaxing you, the truth it, it’s raising your heart rate, blood pressure and putting your nerves on high alert. None of that is stress-relieving.

118. Stop Smoking

You know smoking is bad for you. Therefore, every time you smoke another cigarette, your stress levels rise, because you know that your chance of getting cancer has just increased again. Plus, smoking raises your heart rate and blood pressure.

119. Don’t Get Involved With Issues That Don’t Involve You

It might be tempting to try to help a friend or co-worker out with a problem, but if they don’t bring it to you, don’t get involved. You have enough to deal with and it will just cause more stress. Of course, if they ask for help, then by all means help them.

120. Don’t Engage In Gossip

All gossip does is create an “us against them” mindset and that sends your stress levels through the roof. Instead, try to avoid gossip and ask others not to gossip to you.

121. Think Positively

Always think positively. That’s hard at first, but once you get into the groove, you’ll find that the sun is a little brighter and each day is a little better for it.

122. Get Regular Checkups At The Doctor

According to scientific studies, between 75% and 90% of illnesses can be traced back to stress. In addition, five out of the six leading causes of death are stress-related. Make sure you are getting regular checkups.

123. Don’t Focus On What Has To Be Done Tomorrow

While you should definitely be aware of what you have to do tomorrow, don’t focus on it. Once your to-do list is made, forget about tomorrow until tomorrow actually arrives.

124. Don’t Think Of Everything Else You Have To Do, Focus On Everything You’ve Done

Same principle; if you think of all of the things that you need to do, you won’t be relaxing you’ll be getting more stressed. But thinking of what you accomplished has the opposite effect.

125. Listen To Your Favorite Music

Whether your favorite music is pop, rock, country, Broadway musicals or Gangster Rap, listen to some of it when you feel stressed. You’ll feel better after a song or two.

126. Go For A Walk

When you get out into the sunshine and soak up those rays, you get medicine for your stress levels. Several different foods and sunlight all physical affect stress. Plus, walking is exercise, which also reduces stress. In addition, the beauty of nature, the sound of kids playing and the smell of the evening might reduce stress as well.

127. Don’t Worry About Minuscule Details

When you worry about tiny details, you are expending unnecessary energy and increasing stress. It’s like tossing a basketball onto a court and trying to predict exactly where it will end up. It’s impossible.

128. Schedule Your Time Reasonably

If you are scheduling your tasks with no time between them to allow for problems, emergencies or just a simple rest period, then you are not scheduling reasonably. Try to be realistic when you create your schedule.

129. Don’t Live To Please Others

While it’s not bad to try to please others once in a while, don’t live your life that way. Live your life to please yourself. When you’re happy, you’re not stressed.

130. Don’t Try To Change Other People

You can’t change other people. You can only change how you act or react towards them. When you try to change people you are attempting the impossible and that’s a huge stressor.

131. Realize That Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day

Rome wasn’t built in a day and your tasks aren’t going to be accomplished overnight. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to achieve something, as long as you move towards it every day. Trying to make them happen faster just causes stress.

132. Remember That Things Are Never As Bad As They Seem

As human beings, we can see the worst-case scenario as a real possibility, even if it actually pretty remote. Remember that your mind is probably making things out to be way worse than they are, so wait until you actually know before you stress.

133. Practice Acceptance

When you accept things, you tell your body and brain that it doesn’t need to stress about those things. When you are more accepting, you are less stressed about events. Try to practice acceptance, even if you don’t feel very accepting at the time.

134. Don’t Argue With Ignorance

If someone is rude, uninformed and combative, or will not listen to reason, then why do you want to argue with them? Just nod and smile and walk away. You will do nothing by engaging them except raise your own stress levels top epic heights.

135. Project Calmness

Even if you don’t feel calm, take a moment and center yourself. Then try to project calmness. If you practice it enough, your body will get the message and your stress levels will go down.

136. Try To Develop A Stress Free Attitude

It sometimes seems as if that instruction is akin to “try to grow some wings and fly,” but the truth is, with enough practice you can change your attitude, mindset and even your thoughts and beliefs. It takes practice, and it takes commitment. Most of all, it takes a willingness to take the first steps.

137. Use More Positive Words And Less Negative Words

Words have power, whether you realize it or not, both to you and to people who hear you. Children who grow up hearing negative words all the time tend to do worse in school, act up more and have problems as an adult. Kids that hear positive words growing up are much more likely to be positive, happy and successful. It’s the same with grownups. It just takes a little longer.

138. Don’t Try To Do Everything At Once

Do things one at a time, starting with the most important, or starting with the most difficult. The sooner you get those important or most difficult things out of the way, the sooner your stress levels drop.

139. Be Inspired, Not Envious

Don’t be jealous of other people. Instead, be inspired by them. Look at what they did right and try to emulate it. You can have it too, as long as you work for it and do similar things to what they did.

140. Eliminate Things From Your Life That Make You Upset Or Angry

No matter what it is, from an apartment with a leaky roof to a partner that doesn’t show you the respect you deserve, if it gets you angry or upset consistently, it has to go.

141. Stop Trying To Get Everyone To Agree With You

People don’t have to agree with you for you to be happy. In fact, successful people often are at odds with other people around them. Those successful people couldn’t care less. They just do them.

142. Walk Away Sometimes

When you feel yourself getting stressed, politely excuse yourself and walk away. If you leave before things get really stressful, your levels will go down.

143. Avoid “What If’s”

You could ask “what if” about an upcoming event for months and still be no closer to knowing that will actually happen. Instead, just be aware of the possibilities and then await the event.

144. Think Of Challenges As Opportunities

When something happens to challenge you, it can be easy to get frustrated and negative. Turn it around and think to yourself that this is an opportunity that will move you closer to your goal.

145. Remember, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Every event that happens to you in your life makes you stronger and the ones that take you right to the brink are the ones that are really going to mold you into the person that you want to be.

146. Practice Gratitude

Be grateful when something good happens to you, or when someone helps you. This is one of the habits that all successful people share, according to self-help author Stephen Covey.

147. Stop Eating Fatty Unhealthy Foods

Unhealthy foods are the basis of so many modern problems in the United States, and even around the world. Try to learn about what is healthy and what isn’t – and you might be surprised if you haven’t done the research recently – and then try to eat healthy food.

148. Stand Up And Stretch At Least Once Every Hour

When you stand up and stretch, you give your body a signal that it is okay to relax. Your muscles will release tension and you will feel better and less stressed for doing it.

149. Go For a Drive

Driving can be very relaxing if you aren’t battling traffic. Take a rural route and go for a drive in order to reduce your stress levels. Roll down the windows and breathe fresh air and feel the sun on your face.

150. Celebrate Your Accomplishments

No one is more critical of you than you. When you accomplish something, take the time to congratulate yourself and feel good about what you have been able to achieve. This will help you remember your successes which will in turn, reduce your stress levels.

151. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Imagine this. A man lives next to a dry tributary. The river is about a half-mile walk from his house. Every day, he walks to the river and brings back 10 buckets of water for his family to drink, cook, bathe and use for the day. One day, a man comes along and teaches him to build a dam that forces the river to run back into the dry tributary, just fifteen feet from his porch. Now, go find someone to teach you to build a dam.

152. Use A Stress Ball

Stress balls are great. You squeeze them and take out your frustrations on them. Get one and keep it with you, in your purse or briefcase, in your car, and in your desk drawer. Use it whenever you feel stressed.

153. Soak Your Feet In Warm Water

You might have to wait until you get home, unless your job is at a very easygoing workplace, but soaking your feet in warm water can have a marvelous effect on your stress levels.

154. Learn T’ai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient non-combative martial arts form that not only teaches self-defense, but also has enormous health benefits, including reducing stress.

155. Go For A Swim

Most professional adults don’t make time for swimming anymore. But you likely have a local pool near your home or office. Join up and take a trip once a week or so and swim. It’s a great stress reliever and good exercise as well.

156. Watch Stand Up Comedy

Comedians can often make you laugh even when you don’t think you’re in the mood. When you feel stressed, go on YouTube and watch one of your favorite stand-up comics perform. You’ll feel better afterward.

157. Laugh Out Loud

It’s not just a cool text abbreviation; it’s something that we should all do regularly, because it is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Find a way to laugh out loud a little every day. Find the humor in life.

158. Meditate

Meditation has been shown over and over again to reduce stress. It is hard to get the hang of at first, but when you start to practice it regularly, you’ll start feeling a lot more Zen.

159. Organize A Closet Or Cabinet

For many people, organizing something is very relaxing. Just focusing on one task for a half an hour or so can have a wonderful effect on your stress levels. Plus, you’ll have an organized closet.

160. Delegate Tasks

If you have people that can help you with stuff – delegate. If you are a supervisor at work, don’t take on all the work yourself; share it with your team. If you have kids or a partner, ask everyone to pitch in and help.

161. Volunteer When You Can

Volunteering can really reduce stress because you are doing something to help other people, and you feel a lot of the pressures that come with modern life lift away when all you have to do is help out.

162. Join a Social Group

Find a social group that shares your interests and start meeting with them. is a great place to find people who like the same things that you do. Meeting with new friends is a surefire stress reducer.

163. Call A Friend And Chat

When you feel stressed, just call a friend to talk. You don’t have to vent to them. Just ask them about their own day. Just talking to a friend will make you feel better, no matter what you talk about.

164. Go To The Park And Sit On A Bench

Go to the park, bask in the sunshine and take some bread to feed the birds. Just hanging out in a park has been shown to reduce stress levels and feeding the birds will definitely make you feel better.

165. Read A Book

Most adults are so busy that they have basically given up on reading for pleasure, even if they loved reading as a kid or teenager. Find one of your favorite books and reread it, or go to the library and find a new favorite author.

166. Light Candles Or Incense

Scented candles and incense can help you relax, as can sitting in a room with just the glow of candlelight around you. At about $1 each for both candles and incense, this is probably the most inexpensive stress relievers ever.

167. Practice Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations may seem silly to some people, but the truth is, they actually work. If you do them every day, and actually allow them to sink in, they will begin to change your mindset and make your life better, not to mention reduce stress.

168. Take Responsibility

If you are the one responsible for something – good or bad – own it. That’s what successful people who become respected leaders do. Take responsibility for your actions and you won’t be stressing over them.

169. Don’t Live Your Life In Competition With Someone Else

Don’t compete against anyone except your past self. If you are doing better now than you were six months ago, or even three months ago, or if you have progressed at all this week, you are winning.

170. Think About One Of Your Favorite Memories From Childhood

Favorite memories from your childhood will evoke pleasant emotions, and that will reduce stress. Think of a time when you were really happy. Think about where you were, who you were with and what you were doing.

Give these stress management techniques a try the next time you’re feeling stressed out!

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