There are many ways to relieve stress!

There are many ways to relieve stress; you have a lot of variety to choose from. Some stress relief activities work really well for one person but not so well for another person. Each way to relieve stress has its own pros and cons.

You will have to experiment by learning about and trying different techniques to discover what works best for you. It is through this process that you are most likely to find your favorite less stress hacks. You will likely find that you enjoy and need several different approaches to get the results you want.

Ways to relieve stress fall into different categories.

As you explore ways to relieve stress, it will be helpful to know that stress relief activities fall into different categories.

Some are practitioner dependent; others involve self help.

Some work quickly; others require more time.

Some focus more on the body; others are more mental or cognitive. Many are a blend of body and mind approaches.

There are ways to relieve stress that confront the specific stressors directly; others are more indirect and tend to address lifestyle.

Some ways to relieve stress are free or very inexpensive; others require a considerable investment.

Body focused ways to relieve stress are popular.

As you explore ways to relieve stress, you will likely find yourself seeking stress relief that focuses on your body. One reason such stress relief approaches are popular is because stress often shows up in your body.

When you become stressed-out, you experience aches, pains, and illness. So, when seeking a solution the body is a natural place to start trying to intervene.

Most people start by going to see their physician for medication. If you are having headaches, stomach distress, back pain, chest pain and other physical symptoms, it is wise to see your physician to make sure you don't have an underlying disease.

You don't want to have a heart attack and die while trying to get rid of chest pain by better managing your stress.

That having been said, it is also good to keep in mind that physicians often see medications as the only solution. After all, medicating problems is what they are trained to do.

Approaching stress with medication is usually inadequate and may be dangerous. Furthermore, medical treatment can be costly and time consuming.

Because of the risk involved in taking medicine for stress and stress related problems, you will do well to explore and consider drug free approaches. However, don't neglect checking with your physician first to make sure you don't have a medical issue that needs to be addressed.

One drug free body based approach is biofeedback. However, like medical treatment, biofeedback is expensive and time intensive. It requires training and guidance from a professional.

Special electronic equipment is used. In the beginning you will likely have to go to a practitioner's office and use his or her equipment. Of course, you will also have to pay for the practitioner's time.

After you have developed skill in using the equipment, you may continue the approach on you own away from the office but that requires you to purchase your own equipment.

Even though biofeedback is expensive and time consuming, it can be very effective.

A third practitioner dependent body approach to managing stress and stress related problems is acupuncture. Again, because you are paying for individual time with a trained professional, it is expensive. Nevertheless, it has a high rate of success for many people.

One drawback with acupuncture is, you are having someone stick needles into your body. A lot of you will not allow that to happen.

An alternative but similar approach is acupressure. Acupressure involves putting pressure on the body points rather than sticking needles into them.

One such approach that many find relieves their stress is tapping on the body points. This approach is referred to as meridian tapping. An easy to learn meridian tapping procedure is Emotional Freedom Technique (often referred to as EFT).

Acupuncture and meridian tapping are based on eastern philosophy and Chinese medicine. Some of you will avoid it for that reason. Just remember, you don't have to buy into the philosophy underlying the process to enjoy its benefits.

Massage is another body focused way to reduce stress related symptoms. Most people enjoy getting a massage.

Massage can certainly help you feel better quickly when you are stressed-out. You go in to a session feeling full of tension with aching muscles and come out feeling more like melted butter - loose and relaxed.

A specific type of massage is reflexology. In reflexology, the hands and feet are massaged putting pressure on specific points to bring about change throughout the body. 

Like those mentioned above, massage and reflexology are practitioner dependent processes, and therefore, can be expensive.

Self help ways to relieve stress can be effective.

Self help ways to relieve stress are less expensive but also tend to take longer to produce results. Although these approaches can, for the most part, be self administered, they will require some guidance, especially in the beginning.

Sometimes the guidance is available through self help books, CDs, YouTube.com videos, and other similar places. Other times you will need to get guidance from a person.

Non-practitioner dependent, body focused self help ways to relieve stress include...

  • Various relaxation exercises - Stress relief relaxation makes use of various relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and The Relaxation Response. By using these processes, you train your muscles to relax deeply, thus, reducing the effects of stress. Relaxation exercises can be very effective.
  • Meditation - Two popular and highly effective stress relief meditation approaches are mindfulness meditation and yoga.
  • Herbal stress relief - Here herbs and spices are used to reduce the stressed-out feelings and help you feel better. This approach may be helpful but the impact is not as strong as the others that have been mentioned.
  • Aromatherapy for stress relief - This approach involves the use of aromatic plant oils, such as essential oils, to reduce stress symptoms and increase wellbeing. Again, this approach tends to be helpful but the effects are weaker than others mentioned.
  • Homeopathic stress relief - This approach is based on pseudoscience and has been found to be ineffective.

Mental or cognitive self help ways to relieve stress relief involve changing your mindset or attitude. Often the source of stress is a way of thinking.

If you can identify the thoughts that are generating and/or amplifying stress, you can change them. Techniques that can help you change your mindset include...

...and others.

Lifestyle changes may be what you need to relieve stress.

Lifestyle is often responsible for much of the stress you experience. Therefore, lifestyle changes may be necessary to find lasting stress relief.

One lifestyle change that has been found to be an effective way to relieve stress is becoming involved in a hobby. Obviously, there are all kinds of hobbies. You can choose what appeals to you.

Especially effective are hobbies that allow you to get out into nature, such as flower and vegetable gardening, camping, hiking, fishing, bird watching, and so on.

Check out this short video on the impact walking in nature has on your physical and mental health, including effecting how stressed you feel.

Taking care of pets is another hobby approach that is effective. When considering getting a pet, don't overlook fish. Having an aquarium has been found to reduce stress.

Two additional hobbies that have been found to help with stress relief are art and music.

Other lifestyle approaches include...

  • eating a healthy diet
  • exercising
  • taking sufficient time off from work, including taking vacations
  • enjoying humor
  • praying

There is another lifestyle stress relief activity that is powerful, fun, and costs nothing. Want to know what it is? You can find out here.

Pychotherapy or coaching may be helpful as you work on relieving stress.

With all the choices available to you, it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused. Sometimes you need personalized attention from a psychotherapist or coach.

If your stress related problems are so ingrained and intense that they keep you from the normal activities and responsibilities of life, you probably need psychotherapy.

On the other hand, if your stress related problems haven't progressed to that point, professional coaching can be of tremendous benefit.

If you would like to explore what stress relief - life balance coaching can offer you, I would love to talk with you. You can schedule a no cost, no obligation Stress Relief Life Balance Strategy session here.

This will be a telephone call that will last about 30 to 45 minutes. At the end of the call you will have a clear idea of the next step you need to take to achieve stress relief.

You will find additional stress relief products and programs here.


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