21 Ways to Relieve Your Stress and Lead a Happier Life









Stress is inevitable, yet it is vital for surviving. It keeps you safe and gives you the energy you need to face the upcoming challenges. However, stress becomes a problem when there’s too much of it, when it last for too long or when it comes too often.

Below is a list of things you can do to relieve your stress and make your life a lot easier:



1. Awareness: 

The first step to relieving your stress is to recognize it and be aware of it and its source. Keep in mind that even when most of it comes from within you, the good news is that you’re in the best position to do something about it. You have more control over yourself than you realize.



2. Have more realistic expectations: 

A computer that glitches or a delayed airline departure can be stressful, but that’s only when you expect perfection. Try to see things differently, for instance, technology isn’t perfect, especially a new one, so it’s only reasonable to expect it to bug. When you lower your expectations, you’ll have less chance to stress about things that malfunction.



3. Give yourself permission to take a break: 

We often push ourselves way too hard that having a break will make us feel guilty. A parent who started to take some time for himself in the weekend, instead of spending it with his family, showed up positive results. He became less stressed out and more available for his family. A needed break isn’t a waste of time, so give yourself permission to take a break every now and then.



4. Consider changing something: 

Always ask yourself, are you happy where you are? If you’re not, you might want to consider changing something. If you’re experiencing much pressure from work consider cutting down or changing it if necessary. Remember that what matters most is to be happy, it’s your way to succeed in life and it’s a success itself.



5. Add the word “Enough” to your work-life balance vocabulary: 

Our work day is getting longer. The thing about working for longer hours is that it becomes not only unproductive but counterproductive when you’re tired and under much pressure and stress, you start to make mistakes. You need to start asking yourself “how much work is enough?”, “how much success is enough?” “how much money is enough?”, then set boundaries for yourself, like “no work at home”, or “no work on weekends and vacations”.



6. Learn how to say “No”: 

When you start to say “No” to the extra work or the extra responsibilities, you start feeling more in control of your life. You start having more time and energy for yourself. Saying “No” isn’t counterproductive, it’s about acknowledging the fact that we can’t do everything nor keeping everyone happy, and there’s nothing wrong about that. When you’re exhausted, overloaded and out of time, having more important priorities or if it’s not your responsibility or your area of expertise, that’s when you need to say “No”, and let someone else do it.



7. Get enough sleep: 

Adults need about 8 hours of sleep every night, if you’re getting less, then you have a sleep debt, that means that you’ll need to repay those hours you didn’t get, or else you’ll be sleep deprived. The damage is more than you realize, you might fall asleep while driving, make mistakes on the job and cause injuries or financial loss. In general, your intellectual and memory are impaired. So make sure you get enough sleep before starting your day.



8. Cut down on caffeine: 

Caffeine stimulates adrenaline release, makes you too alert and blocks relaxing chemicals in your body. That much of energy isn’t always needed and it messes up your sleep quality, if you had any at all. What people forget about caffeine, is that it’s a drug, you become addicted to having your dose of caffeine. The good news is that there are always alternatives. A cup of water in the morning is scientifically proven to wake you faster than a coffee can.



9. You live in a house, not a museum: 

Keeping the house clean is important, but you shouldn’t spend the whole day cleaning nor should you clean it all by yourself. House chores are to be shared fairly, especially if both parents work outside. At the same time, you should let some things go; beds don’t have to be made every morning, toys don’t have to be picked up each time your kids are done playing.








10. Consider downsizing: 

Objects can consume not only space but much of our time as well while buying, restoring, cleaning them…, which can be a considerable source of stress. Consider having fewer objects and limiting yourself by living in a smaller house. 



11. Learn the art of “doing it now”: 

Procrastination is a common behavior that can cause us a considerable amount of stress. People procrastinate for different reasons; dreading an unpleasant task, lack of confidence, fear of failure… IT turns out that, most often, dreading doing the task consumes more energy and time than doing the task itself. So to avoid procrastination, try to make the job look less intimidating, you can break it down into small tasks. Always consider the relief and reward of getting the job done.



12. Don’t start early on the worrying: 

If some of the worrying is inevitable, a lot more can be delayed. Some people start worrying in advance, thinking that if they worried now they might prevent the event from happening, or they might have a better reaction to face it. When facing an upcoming challenge, the right reaction is not to worry but to be concerned about it. Now there’s a huge difference between being “worried” and “concerned”. While the first is emotional and problem-oriented, the latter is intellectual and solution-oriented. Ask yourself the following:

What’s the worst thing that can happen?

How likely is it to happen?

What can I do to prevent it from happening or to prepare for it?

And then leave it to that.



13. Getting a closure on unfinished tasks: 

We can easily get overwhelmed by multiple unresolved tasks. “They take up space in our heads and weight us down emotionally. There are three things to do about those tasks, you either pursue them, keep them on hold for now or let them go for good. Remember that holiday you promised your mom and never found the time for but still comes into your thoughts every now and then, take it now. Always wanted to move to another place, but never took action on it? Maybe you should decide that your current place is fine for now. Needed some answers from your ex, but he’s not willing to talk about it? Maybe you need to leave it to that and let it go for good.



14. Reframe the way you look at things: 

Things aren’t always what they seem. It all depends on the way you review it. A canceled vacation can be an unfortunate thing, but you also see it as a way to save the money. Always see the good side about everything.



15. Be careful about what you say to yourself: 

Some self-talk can trigger stress like no other event. When you’re about to say “No” to someone, don’t consider it as “adamantly refusing”, rather consider it as “graciously declining”. Sometimes you need to take it easy. It’s okay to “relax”, don’t see it as “laziness” and beat yourself about it.



16. It’s not always about you: 

We often jump into conclusions about why people reacted that way, like not returning our greetings. Most of the time our conclusions aren’t right. Instead of thinking the worst of it, try to come up with excuses, he might be going through a hard time, maybe he didn’t hear you, maybe he has been preoccupied with other thoughts, or maybe he’s rude and it’s his way with everyone else… 



17. Cope with difficult people: 

Some people might give us a hard time and add to our stress. Obviously, avoiding them would be a great strategy to deal with them. However, you might not be able to avoid them, as when you have to work with them. Get to know them better, sometimes knowing someone can lessen the feelings of tension. Try to put yourself in their place, that way you’ll find it easier to understand the way they are and to accept them.



18. Stop letting others control you: 

You don’t have to put up with others’ behavior and controlling ways. You need to object and stop giving others permission to use you or control you. This can be done gently because taking control back doesn’t mean to have the power over those people but to be independent. For example, if your spouse can get abusive sometimes and get you into arguments, you don’t have to aim for control over the relationship, you simply have to stand up and say “I’m not getting into this argument” and watch him have his temper tantrum. You’ll see that he’ll calm down in no time.



19. Make healthy choices: 

There are many ways people use to cope with stress. Some choose to eat their favorite food, some light up a cigarette, some indulge themselves in work, some go out for a run… those ways, even though they aim for the same finality; keeping the stress away, not all of them are healthy, and while it’s fine for you to distract yourself from stress, it’s quite important to choose wisely and make healthy choices.



20. Breathe deeply: 

One of the best relaxation techniques is breathing. “When you breathe as if you are relaxed, you become relaxed”. Focus on breathing deeply and watch as your tummy rise when you inhale and fall as you exhale.



21. Share your problem: 

They say, a problem shared is a problem halved. It’s quite important to have social support in our lives in general. For that don’t wait till you’re up the twist to run out to someone to tell him about your day, keep up a healthy social life.



“Stress is a fact of life, but it needn’t be a way of life”.








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