Health & Wellness Articles

7 Ways to De-Stress

Try These Tips When You Feel Stressed


Stress happens. No matter how organized you are, how good your systems are, or how friendly your work and living environments are, stress can find a way to poke its ugly head in from time to time. What can you do? Turn to a convenient Stress Buster – a small, simple activity that clears your head and calms you down. When you feel a stress attack coming on, it’s the perfect time to turn to one of these busters and kick that stress out the door.

Here are 7 of our favorite Stress Busters, but feel free to develop your own:

1. Take a walk
Want a break from the office? Does your house feel like an insane asylum? Slip out the door and let your feet take you somewhere. Not only will walking give you the opportunity to clear your head and take a break from that hectic situation, but it’s great aerobic exercise, too.

2. Call a friend
We all have someone whose voice alone perks us up. Give them a buzz, even for a few minutes. Whether with a joke or a funny story, or just by listening, they will likely put a smile on your face and calm you down. Besides, what are friends for?

3. Write in a journal
Expressing our feelings could be the best way to deal with stress. Keeping a journal is a way to capture those feelings at any moment. You don’t have to worry about what others think or say, just let your pen do the work. By the time you’re done, those feelings will be on their way out of your system.

4. Play a board game
Remember these? Maybe there are a dozen stashed in your closet, waiting to be dusted off. Monopoly probably should be saved until you have a few hours to spare, but quick kids’ games like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Connect Four, or even Twister are always good for a smile.

5. Work up a sweat
Have some pent up frustrations? There’s no better way to get rid of them than by exercising. Pop in a workout tape, hop on your bike or grab your jump rope. You’ll be too busy working up a sweat to worry about what’s stressing you out. Picture the stress leaving your body through your pores.

6. Plan something fun
Is there a trip you want to take but never had time to get it together? Or a dinner you’ve always wanted to make? Now’s the time. Not only will you take your mind off things, but you’ll be spending time eagerly anticipating a great getaway or meal later. It’s a win-win situation.

7. Take a hot bath
A hot bath will initially give your body a kick, which in turn will give your mind a kick too – and then it’ll slow both down. Add bubbles and a few candles and you have the ultimate soothing atmosphere. A rubber ducky is optional.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
Page 1 of 1  
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!

Member Comments

  • I do take walks.....
  • I retired from the failing city school system. That was the greatest stress reducer ever known to man. I then started healing from the stress-induced conditions I had started to develop, and I'm sure it had a beneficial effect on my blood sugar level. Other stress reducers are watching my cats do crazy and cute things, walking and admiring peoples' gardens, doing some work in my garden, online retail therapy, etc.
    I taught Stress Reduction workshops for over 20 years, and created these 22 "stress reduction quickies" that are very effective and take only thirty seconds to three minutes to do. The best way to use this video is to set aside two hours (you may not need that much time, depending on how long you "unwind") and go through the entire sequence in the order they are presented, noticing at the end which exercises had the greatest effect on you, and then practicing these throughout the day and, especially, in highly stressful periods. https://www.youtu
    v=mOmvSQFJgvY. I hope these may prove beneficial to your life. Dale Goldstein, LCSW-R, The Heartwork Institute
  • Perfect timing! THX!
  • I started reading to reduce stress. It works! Last week would have been another stressful week but it wasn't because I was reading and loving it. I love to read but stopped because of life making me so stressed out. Now it is all I want to do. I'm so glad to find my enjoyment again. It is a wonderful feeling to just drift away in my book to new places and adventures. RELAXING!!!
  • NEWME130155
    Exercise has always been a great stress reliever. Gran used to lift all her scatter rugs, hang them on the washing line and batter the life and dust from them with the carpet beater when things were annpying her. Much more effective than using a punch bag at the gym. When she felt better the house was cleaner too
  • Walking outside at work is a fantastic way to deal with all the stupid people. Only issue is sometime people cannot keep up with me as i stride along waving my arms around. Always makes me feel better.
  • Bio and lady, I can relate also. When mine started, I was telling everyone what was on my mind. I had no clue how it was affecting them. It was, badly. The depression lasted about 20 years.

    The shoe as they say, was on the other foot when one of my BFF went into a dark depression. That's when I felt what it's like to be around someone who is so far down. It's not at all easy. I was able to help her see she needed therapy. I also set limits on what she could say,,,well more the amount of time I could listen to what was on her mind. I had learned to NOT say much when I was deeply into mine. I found by not mentioning my feelings,,thought
    s, I was able to make new friends and I became friends with the former friends I wanted to,,, I was very careful with who. The hurt was deep.

    I hope with reading any of this it can be of help.

    I do almost all of these things listed for stress. I found yoga,,, beginners,,,, I have way too many back problems to do more, help to distress myself. At times I do chair exercises, walking to help.

    A hot bath, good book,,,,candles,,
    ,,I have to use the ones with the lights in them. Fire danger in a flight rise. I also use either an air freshener or potpourri.
  • PS: I spend time with the furry ppl who live in my house. I'm a house rabbit advocator and educator. Anytime I'm able to help someone out, I feel good for the rest of the day! I also quit fighting with the cat about whose chair it REALLY is (mine) and plop myself on rhe stationary bike instead. SOMETIMES ; )
  • @ladi_havoc: this is my first day, and while my stressors are very different, I have gone through the same thing. Before I was dx, even tho all of us were in therapy, I went from being a pretty popular founder, club president & sat on board of directors for a (now HUGE) fan/social/charit
    able organization..
    Now, I'm nobody, no friends, my "stress factors" have managed to drive wedges between family members (who I was very close to). So I understand what your going through, to a point. And MY stresses show no sign of improvement, one getting worse even 19 years later (affecting my finances AND my health.
    I WILL BE YOUR FRIEND. I WILL listen ( I dunno the site rules yet, but if the rules allow it, sounds like we could give being friends. Test drive, huh?

    Sorry if I wasn't supposed to say that here, everybody. As I said, fist day. Thanks!
  • Six mile hike today on my Birthday keeps the stress level down for sure! I always feel a lot better after exercise.
  • I started journaling when my "friends" didn't want to hear about my depression over the death of my husband. Now I'm all alone with no friends because I'm afraid to tell anyone how I feel.
  • Taking a walk is one of the best stress busters for me. Start my day now walking our dog and that seems to set me up for a stress free day.
  • I've been de-stressing by walking every day. I also made a promise to myself to write a Spark blog every day. Both are good for me because I'm disabled and don't work. My days can easily spiral into doing nothing. These have been helpful for me.
  • I de-stress by cleaning my house! I turn some music on, get my son dancing with me, & get going! We make a day of it!

About The Author

Zach Van Hart Zach Van Hart
Zach is a journalist who regularly covers health and exercise topics.

x Lose 10 Pounds by May 6! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.