Social media is an enormous factor that impacts many people’s stress levels and mental health because it makes us feel like we have to keep up with what everyone else is doing which can take a toll on your self confidence and overall physiological health. In today’s day and age, everyone has some level of stress or anxiety in their day to day life. Thankfully, mental health awareness is becoming more of a conversation! This article will provide dozens of ideas on how not to be stressed – some may be relevant to your lifestyle and others not so much!
*If you are experiencing extreme emotions and thoughts that might lead you to hurt yourself or someone else, please call the Suicide Hotline (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish 800-273-8255) Gotta keep it real – the recommendations in this article are not to be used as medical advice. Please consult a professional psychologist or mental health advisor for further help on this matter. We hope that one of the recommendations on this list can help relieve some stress in your day!
The Science of Stress in a Nutshell
Adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline rush through the body when we get stressed. You instantly start to see physiological changes in your body. The emotional processing section of your brain, the amygdala, sends a “fight or flight” signal to to the hypothalamus, which is the command center of your brain. From this point, sympathetic nervous system is on overdrive and the hormones kick in from your adrenal glands. Sometimes, like in life or death situations, this can help you focus. However, day-to-day stress on the regular, otherwise known as chronic stress, can take years, or even decades off your life. Being stressed can negatively impact your energy levels, sleep, immune system, and even your skin.
Quick Statistics About Stress
- Of Americans who reported stress in 2020, 78% relate their stress to the pandemic (https://www.statista.com/chart/19897/biggest-stress-factors-us/)
- 82% of American men report experiencing moderate to extreme stress in 2021 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1248287/stress-anxiety-or-depression-past-year-among-us-men/)
- Sixty-five percent of Americans surveyed said that the current uncertainty in the nation causes them stress (American Psychological Association, 2020)
How Not to be Stressed: 30+ Ways to Turn a Frown Upside Down
1. Squeeze a stress reliever ball
Squeezing a stress relief ball is one of the simplest ideas for how not to be stressed because they also relieve tension and anxiety. It may seem contradictory, but the stress of squeezing a stress ball can actually relieve mental stress. You can carry a stress reliever ball with you in your car, backpack, or gym bag and fidget with it when you get stressed. Some of the top benefits of squeezing stress reliever balls:
- Improve concentration and creativity
- Increased positive energy
- Improve sleep
- Relieve arthritis pains
- Enhance emotional stability
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Strengthen muscles
- Lower blood pressure
2. Take a warm bath with epson salt or magnesium
Sometimes a warm bath with epson salt or magnesium can help relieve stress. You can set the vibe by dimming the lights, setting some music, lighting a few candles, and burning some incense or essential oils. You can order epson salt or magnesium bath bombs online where you’ll find an endless selection. Some of the top benefits of taking a warm bath with epson salt or magnesium:
- Soothes your the skin
- Reduces pain and soreness
- Boosts your mood
- Helps with relaxation and sleep
3. Hang out with animals
Hanging out with animals is another great way to relieve stress because it’s been shown to reduce cortisol levels and improve heart health. While adopting pets is one approach, another one is hanging out with a friend or family member who has a dog, cat, or pet that you like to hang out with. Animals will never judge you like humans will which is another huge plus about hanging out with animals! Some more benefits of spending more time with animals:
- Pet owners are less likely to suffer from stress and depression than people who don’t have pets
- Spending time with animals means you get more exercise and walks which in turn helps reduce stress
- Animals help connect people to other animal lovers which helps build meaningful relationships
4. Journal about your goals (or your trials and tribulations)
Journaling about your goals, trials, and tribulations is a proven way to reduce stress! You can write down your thoughts and feelings about stressful events in your life. Some people have a gratitude journal where they list 5-10+ people and experiences they are grateful for. Other people journal as an emotional release, where you free flow write any stressful thoughts that come to mind with no self-judgement. This can help you process your life experiences without getting caught up in the emotions, stress, or anxiety. Some benefits of journaling:
- Helps you battle your problems and stress without judgement
- Helps you track common issues that occur on the daily or weekly
- Helps you develop a plan to overcome your goals
- Helps you distance from negative thoughts by writing them and leaving them behind
- You have full control of how you organize your journal
5. Go for a long drive
Going for a drive is a great way to relieve stress. You can drive to a place you haven’t been to before, or you can even head out with no direction in mind to see where the road takes you. You can go on a drive with a friend, family member, or significant other if you feel like you want company. You can even phone a friend or listen to an audiobook or podcast to feel a stress transformation on the drive.
- Related Article: Road Trip Conversation Starters for Couples
6. Steam wash and scrub your face
Steam washing or scrubbing your face can be a great way to relieve stress! You can wipe away the dirt and oils from your face while also enjoying the feel of warm water rubbed on your forehead and cheeks. When you get stressed, you can reset the vibe by scrubbing your face with warm water on a cleanser or serum. This will open up your pores which can help get rid of unnecessary toxins and help relieve stress. Other benefits of steam washing and scrubbing your face to relieve stress:
- Hydrates your face to help absorb nutrients in your skincare products
- Affordable and accessible for most people to do at home
- Can help with sinus issues or congestion
7. Drink coconut water
Coconut water is a delicious and refreshing beverage that can help regulate your blood pressure and in turn impact your stress levels. Luckily, coconuts grow on trees, so if you live near the beach, you could even go for a walk to find a fresh coconut off a tree! Coconut water tastes even better refrigerated because it’s cold and refreshing. Coconut water is more than 90% water and has very little fat content. In fact, the nutrition facts of coconut water are worth mentioning:
According to HealthLine.com, one cup (240 ml) of coconut water contains 60 calories, as well as:
- Carbs: 15 grams
- Sugar: 8 grams
- Calcium: 4% of the daily value (DV)
- Magnesium: 4% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 2% of the DV
- Potassium: 15% of the DV
8. Call someone that will never judge you
Calling someone that respects you for you are is a great way to relieve stress because communicating with another human can help bring another perspective to your current challenges. You could go on a long walk, drive, or bike ride to give you something to do while you catch up with a friend or family member. In fact, strengthening your relationships with friends and family is actually shown to improve overall cardiovascular health. Some more benefits of calling someone who would never judge you:
- Improves your psychological health
- Helps you cope with emotions like anxiety and stress
- Gets your mind outside of your typical perspective
9. Make a juice shot or a healthy smoothie
Juice shots are the closest things you could get to a zen genie in a bottle, because you truly feel the magical difference from the inside out when you drink an immunity juice shot or a healthy smoothie! Your body deserves fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables because a balanced diet can promote positive emotions and limit the amount of cortisol and stress in your life. Immunity juice shots and healthy smoothies may not be a cure-all that can replace modern medicine, but they can certainly boost your vitamin D levels and fill your body with essential nutrients to feel your best!
- Related Article: Immunity Juice Shot Recipe with Apple, Ginger, Lemon
10. Clean your house or your car
Every now and then we need a reset in the cleanliness sector of our lives – detail cleaning your house or car is a great way to reset and feel a sense of pride in your day. This in turn can help build your confidence and reduce stress and cortisol levels. You can put some headphones on or blast some music in your car to get the vibe going while you clean! It may seem tedious and boring at first, but you’ll eventually get into the groove of things and lose track of time!
11. Watch your favorite movie (or a movie that you’ve been excited to watch)
These days it’s easy to stream your favorite movie on a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Video! Watching a movie could help relieve stress because you lose track of time and forget about your own life for 1-2 hours. You could get inspiration from a movie or feel nostalgic by going back in time and watching one of your childhood favorite films. You could even watch a movie with a friend or family member so you can connect with them!
12. Do a breathing exercise
Deep breathing exercises can relieve stress and anxiety by getting your body into a relaxed state. All the bad things that come with stress, like raised blood pressure and heart rate, start to simmer down when you breath in and out long and deep. You can try different breathing exercises like belly breathing or roll breathing to get different impacts on your current emotional state.
According to UofMhealth.org, here’s step by step how to do a roll breathing exercise:
- “Put your left hand on your belly and your right hand on your chest. Notice how your hands move as you breathe in and out.
- Practice filling your lower lungs by breathing so that your “belly” (left) hand goes up when you inhale and your “chest” (right) hand remains still. Always breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Do this 8 to 10 times.
- When you have filled and emptied your lower lungs 8 to 10 times, add the second step to your breathing: inhale first into your lower lungs as before, and then continue inhaling into your upper chest. Breathe slowly and regularly. As you do so, your right hand will rise and your left hand will fall a little as your belly falls.
- As you exhale slowly through your mouth, make a quiet, whooshing sound as first your left hand and then your right hand fall. As you exhale, feel the tension leaving your body as you become more and more relaxed.
- Practice breathing in and out in this way for 3 to 5 minutes. Notice that the movement of your belly and chest rises and falls like the motion of rolling waves.
- Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.
Practice roll breathing daily for several weeks until you can do it almost anywhere. You can use it as an instant relaxation tool anytime you need one.”
13. Go on a run or long walk
Going on a run or a long walk can relieve stress by releasing endorphins, a brain chemical that stimulates relaxation and improves our overall mood. In fact, you can even put your brain into a meditative state by practicing meditative walking. Walking or running improves your mindfulness and awareness which helps reduce cortisol and stress. When you are experiencing mental or physical stress, consider going on a run or long walk to clear your mind and energy levels!
14. Blast some music with headphones or a good speaker
Blasting some music wit headphones or a good speaker is a great way to destress. Music brings people together and helps people get into meditative or flow states which can slow your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular health. Some people like to listen to classical music or even music in specific frequencies like 440 hz or 432 hz to activate certain parts of their brain that promote relaxation.
15. Limit your amount of exposure to news and social media
Social media has proven to increase stress and anxiety levels for people across all age groups, so it makes sense that limiting your amount of exposure to social media or news can help lower your stress levels. News outlets might be helpful here and there to stay informed, but, when consumed in excess, they can cause an enormous amount of stress on society. Limiting your amount of exposure to news and social media might help you reset your stress levels when you are experiencing too much cortisol.
16. Distance yourself from relationships that no longer serve you
Distancing yourself from relationships that no longer serve you is a great way to lower your stress! Face it, not everybody deserves your presence. Your presence is a gift, so don’t feel pressured into giving your valuable time and energy to people that do not serve you. Keeping some people in your life might actually cause you more stress in the long run. Some modern day ways to distance yourself from relationships that no longer serve you:
- Unfollow someone on FaceBook or Instagram that you don’t talk to anymore
- Block the phone number of someone who calls you but causes constant negativity in your life
- Go on a roadtrip for an undesignated amount of time
- Change your phone number, home address, or even your name – you don’t owe anybody any explanation!
17. Spend time in nature
Spending time in nature is a great way to destress. A great bonus to spending time in nature is it often times doesn’t cost any money to go on outdoor adventures! As little as 20 minutes per day in nature could significantly increase your physiological well being, lower your cortisol levels, and improve your cardiovascular health. A bonus is that spending time in nature often leads to getting exercise or hanging out with animals, which are also proven to increase positive mental health and help you destress.
18. Listen to a sound bowl
Listening to a sound bowl is a great way to destress, especially if you love spending time outdoors or in a yoga studio! Sound bowls are bowls made of glass or metal that create beautiful sound frequencies that activate brain waves and promote positive energy and well-being. They’re often referred to as Tibetan Singing Bowls because they originate in Tibet and they sound like they are singing.
19. Take your shoes off and walk on grass or dirt
Another tip on how not to be stressed is to take your shoes off and walk barefoot on grass or dirt. Practicing this barefoot grounding technique can help connect your personal energy to the energy fields on our planet! This can help get you in a meditative state and reduce stress levels. Feel the fresh air in-between your toes as you take these barefoot steps. You can finish this barefoot walk with an epson salt bath for an extra way how not to be stressed.
20. Have a ritual (or start a ritual)
Having a ritual is a great way to reduce stress. Studies show that people who have a daily or morning ritual are more likely to manage their stress than people who do not have a ritual. Having a morning ritual doesn’t need to be complex – it could be something as easy as washing your face, lighting a candle, and writing down your intention for that day. Or it could be taking a morning walk with your favorite coffee (or an evening walk with your favorite whiskey)!
21. Watch sunset
Watching sunset is a great way to reduce stress! It doesn’t matter how many sunset’s you’ve seen, you can always make room for 1 more! Watching sunset will help you get your vitamin D for the day and help you get closer to nature which also is another way on how not to be stressed! If you would rather do an activity while watching sunset, you could read a book in a hammock at the park or go biking, skating, or even boating! Your opportunities are endless, but your sunsets are limited – go watch another sunset!
- Related Article: Best Sunsets in San Diego
22. Learn a new cooking recipe
Another way how not to be stressed is to learn a new cooking recipe! Instead of getting lost in the mundane day-to-day existence, you can be a little spontaneous to try cooking or crafting a recipe you’ve always wanted to tackle! Whether you want to learn how to cook a new pizza recipe, bake a desert, or blend a nutritious juice or smoothie, trying a new cooking recipe might get you out of a funk and turn that frown upside town!
23. Go kayaking or paddle boarding
Going kayaking, paddle boarding, or any water sport is a great way to reduce stress and get Vitamin D! Humans are more than 60% water, so it make sense that spending time kayaking or paddle boarding on the water can help you feel a sense of serenity and peace. Exercise shows up time and time again in studies relevant to positive mental health! Remember to stay hydrated and pack sunscreen to avoid dehydration and sunburns later.
24. Watch a documentary so you can learn about something
Watching a documentary so you can learn something new is a great way to destress and get out of your own head. Documentaries are great in the sense that you can learn something useful or informative unlike typical movies which can be based on untrue stories. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube have a plethora of documentaries that are super interesting and informative. Another way how not to be stressed is to watch a documentary with a friend of family member so you can discuss the topic after watching.
25. Learn a new digital skill like photo or video editing
Learning a new digital skill like photo editing or video editing is a great way to destress, especially if you’ve never tried it! If you’re wondering how not to be stressed, you might benefit from busting out the old dusty laptop. Some people, like us, end up loving digital skills so much that they quit their full time corporate job to do photo or video editing!
26. Network with a pen-pal or meet an online friend
Another tip on how not to be stressed is to network with a pen-pal or meet an online friend! You don’t have to get into online dating to enjoy the benefits of networking with pen pals or online friends. Studies have shown time and time again that having relationships and friendships can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. If you’re looking for ways how not to be stressed, consider networking with a pen-pal or meeting an online friend. Some places you could meet an online friend:
- Instagram (we met on IG!!)
- FaceBook Groups
27. Listen to a comedy show or stand-up comedy skit
Listening to a comedy show or stand-up comedy skit can help you get some giggles going! Face it, sometimes you just need to laugh! Laughter can improve circulation and stimulate muscle relaxation – it’s no wonder we feel so good after a good laugh or two. Plus, these days, with all the stresses going on, a good old laugh is necessary here and there!
28. Browse Zillow or Pinterest for your dream home
Another idea on how not to be stressed is to browse Zillow or Pinterest for your dream home! This might help you get inspired to work towards your dream home and get you excited and de-stressed. You’ll want to remain grateful for the home you’re living in now, however, you can certainly get stoked by saving Zillow and Pinterest links for your future self! Home decor is a whole universe on its’ own, and deserves its’ own article in the future, but it makes perfect sense why people find relaxation and peace in home decor, Pinterest inspiration, and Zillow renovations!
29. Eat a fresh plate of fruits or vegetables
Eating a fresh plate of fruits or vegetables can help you destress by nourishing your body with vital nutrients and minerals. The body craves natural healthy foods, so when you gift your body with these luxuries, your body thanks you by gifting you with lowered cortisol levels and stress. Another idea for how not to be stressed is to take a fresh plat of fruits or vegetables outdoors so you can enjoy some vitamin D while eating this fresh plate and nourishing your body.
30. Sit by a campfire and feel the warmth on your face, hands, and toes
Sitting by a campfire and feeling the warmth on your face, hands, and toes is such a great feeling. Warm, cozy, snuggly vibes can help lower your stress and get negative vibes off of your mind. Nothing beats the smoky smell of a campfire on a cool evening, especially if you can bring some marshmallows and chocolate to make delicious s’mores! Another tip for how not to be stressed is to bring a guitar or bluetooth speaker so there’s some music to enjoy while you sit by the campfire and feel the warm cozy vibes!
31. Do a random act of kindness for a neighbor, family member, or friend
Tony Robbins said it best: the secret to living is giving! Doing a random act of kindness can help lower your stress levels and increase your overall physiological well-being by igniting your emotions with positive brain chemicals. When we do good to others, we feel good. Do something good for a neighbor, family member, or friend to see if it helps lower your stress levels! Some ideas for random acts of kindness:
- Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru at Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, McDonalds, etc
- Offer to walk a neighbor’s dog or watch their animals when they are on a trip
- Clean the neighborhood even if the mess is not yours
- Visit an elderly person who doesn’t have many family members or friends
32. Consider taking a supplement like Ashwagandha, green tea, or lemon balm
Sometimes the body needs nutrients beyond what it gets in a food diet – that’s where supplements like ashwagandha, green tea, or lemon balm might come in handy! Sometimes our hormones are imbalanced which leads to an increase in cortisol and stress levels, so consult a medical professional to see which supplements would be beneficial to add to your diet to decrease stress.
33. Brew a cup of coffee or tea
Brewing a cup of coffee or tea is a great way to set the vibe in the morning, before a walk, during a break, or just about any time! Coffee or tea is part of many people’s morning ritual, and we already mentioned that having a morning ritual is proven to help reduce stress. Another idea for how not to be stressed is to have coffee or tea as part of your sacred morning ritual! You could make a Nespresso cup each morning like we do or go to coffee shops like Starbucks if you can afford to go out often!
34. Get a haircut or switch up your wardrobe
Feeling like switching up your look? Go for it! Especially because switching up your style is proven to help build confidence and in turn reduce your stress and cortisol levels. Switching up your style and boosting your confidence might inspire you to take a new profile pic or self portrait! Plus, if you want to upgrade your wardrobe on that note, a little retail therapy never hurt nobody!
35. Dance to your favorite music
Get groovy with those vibes to dance off that stress! Another idea for how not to be stressed is to put your favorite music on, and dance like nobody is watching!
Motivational Stress Quotes
- “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’
– Eckhart Tolle
- “Remember that stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your life.”
– Andrew Bernstein
- “Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.”
– Hans Selye
- “Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.”
– Joan Borysenko
- “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
– William James
- “Stress acts as an accelerator: it will push you either forward or backward, but you choose which direction.”
- “There is no such thing as a stress-free life. No evidence has ever been presented which suggests that a stress-free life can ever be achieved. Stress can be managed, relieved and lessened, but never eliminated.”
- “Stress, anxiety, and depression are caused when we are living to please others.”
- “Stress is like spice – in the right proportion, it enhances the flavor of a dish. Too little produces a bland, dull meal; too much may choke you.”
- “A good way to overcome stress is to help others out of theirs.”
―Dada J. P. Vaswani
That concludes this article on how not to be stressed, we hope that a few of these positive ideas help you get out of a funk and turn that frown upside down! Your smile is a curve that sets everyone straight, and you make the world a better place. Thank you for being here, you matter!
Bree + Stephen are adventurous entrepreneurs based in Salt Lake City, Utah! They’re pioneers of the NO BS Podcast and hosts of their YouTube channel where they share travel videos, business tutorials, and lifestyle content! They live with their German Shepherd, Sequoia and are usually chugging coffee while on their way to a hike! Please contact for business inquiries or questions about the products in this list!