Easy Ways To Relieve Stress That You Should Adopt

- | 77 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Health & Wellness

woman teaching ways to relieve stress

What are your ways to relieve stress? Have you ever analysed if they are good or bad?

Believe me – it’s really important to know if the stress relieving ways you adopt really help you or not.

I wrote a post sometime back on the bad ways to reduce stress, which revealed that not all methods to relieve stress are really good.

Many were really amazed to know the extent some people go to, just to lower their stress levels.

Well, there are many good ways to deal with stress too. Some require you to bring personal changes to cope with them.

While there are others like special stress relief techniques that you can use in specific stressful conditions.

In this post, I’m going to tell you about some rather natural ways to cope with stress that you should adopt in your life.

You can use them anywhere, anytime, and need not worry about their after effects. 🙂

“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” ~ Lee Iacocca

Difference Between Good and Bad Ways To Relieve Stress

Getting relief from stress is not the only concern. You need to adopt only those ways to relieve stress that have no harmful impact on you or others.

The stress relieving methods you use should not be:

Addictive – eg. alcoholism

Weird – eg. trichotrichalmania

Harmful – eg. self-hitting

Risky – eg. sex with strangers

Unhealthy – eg. pornography

Expensive – eg. compulsive spending

And so on.

If a stress coping mechanism has any or all of these qualities, you should know that it’s a bad choice.

A good way to relieve stress would always be accessible, easy, and economical. It’ll be healthy, non-addictive, and safe.

While you must be aware of the various good ways of relieving stress like meditation, massage, walking, progressive muscle relaxation, and yoga, here are some really different and effortless means to reduce your stress levels.

“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” ~ Steve Maraboli

What Does Stress Do

Before you proceed any further, you need to know exactly what happens during stress.

In my post >> What Stress Signs Do You Have << I’d written about what stress is and what does it do.

Here is a brief recap to gain an understanding about what you should particularly do to relieve stress.

Stress is a physical response that puts you into a “fight-or-flight” mode. During this process your blood pressure rises, breathing quickens, and muscles tighten.

You feel nervous and have bouts of breathlessness. There’s also release of a stress-producing hormone called cortisol.

Mentally and emotionally you experience fatigue, mood swings, and lack of concentration. Your mind also becomes restless and uncontrolled.

Obviously if you wish to seek relief from stress, you need to consider these signs and symptoms, and take appropriate steps to normalize them.

Good and Natural Ways To Relieve Stress

Your first option should always be to adopt natural and unconventional ways to get rid of stress.

They can be those that don’t conform to any rules, standards, expectations, or the ones that you sometimes ignore as useless.

For example, things like sleeping, resting, and having food at regular intervals.

These might be quite normal activities that you don’t pay much attention to, but they’re instrumental in helping you to cope with stress.

Others are exercising, playing games, sex, and living a healthy lifestyle, etcetera. However, you should be careful not to overindulge in these activities or ways as that can affect you adversely too.

I’m listing a few unconventional ways to relieve stress that make use of your body senses and Earth’s nature.

Ways to Use Your Senses as Stress Relievers

You’ve all got five senses – visual (eyes), auditory (ears), olfactory (nose), taste (tongue), and touch (skin).

You also might know that the mind is called the controller or ruler of these senses.

If your mind is not in control, you’d go rampant in the misuse of these senses, and overindulgence in them might be a cause of your stress.

But you can also use the senses as an antidote and use them as stress relievers. If you control your senses, then you would be able to control your mind!

If you cannot change the stressful conditions, you can change your attitude and reaction towards it.

The trick to relieve stress is to take the mind out of the situations that create stress, and engage it in other creative and useful purposes.

Here’s how you do that by using your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. These sense organs not only help you relax and minimize stress, but also indirectly carry-out mindful meditation.

Of course, I’d also like you to jot down your views and add them to this list by mentioning them in the comments!

“Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” ~ Hans Selye

A stress relieving landscape picture

Sight

If you’re visually-able, then eyes are the window to your world. Whatever you see – affects you.

Whenever there’s stress or tension, you may feel pain or pressure on your eyes. Even if not, you sure can try to release the existing pressure through your eyes.

An expansive view will make you feel relaxed. How do you feel when you climb atop a hill or visit a hill station and look down and view the scenic beauty?

Don’t you feel relaxed and elated?

Similarly, you can even spend some time looking at the wide open sky during the day, or the colorful and mesmerizing sunset or sunrise at other times.

Try gazing at the clouds that form shapes and move in the sky, and keep witnessing the process. Not only do you feel relaxed, but you’re also able to engage your mind.

If you have ever tired to fix your gaze at a far off placed thing and observed your breathing, you’ll notice that you’re in control – this is also a part of meditation.

My favorite time is when I’m one-to-one with nature during my morning walks. It’s a delight to see the birds chirp, puppies playing alongside, and the awesome sunrise and overall view!

Surround yourself with colorful images that soothe and uplift your spirits. Bring nature in and around your house or office, by placing plants and flowers in pots.

Lastly, leave everything to your imagination – just close your eyes and picture the thing or place that makes you feel peaceful and rejuvenating. It always works!

Two teens with headphones listening music for stress relief

Sound

Hear it and heal yourself – one of the best ways to reduce stress.

Music opens your mind, lets it flow with the rhythm, and helps it escape the stressful conditions.

If you love music, then let it become the reins of your mind, so it can be controlled.

Listen to your favorite piece of music and it will soothe your nerves. It’ll help you release the negative emotions and feel relieved.

I do a lot of that though only when I am not working, or else it distracts me. However, it IS a great stress reliever for sure!

If you haven’t got your own audio or don’t like listening to music, then nature has it for you everywhere you look.

You can find natural music in – the sound of waterfall, wind rustling through the trees, waves crashing on the beach, or birds chirping all around you.

Nature’s music has the most soothing and relaxing impact on your mind. In case you live in a place where you can’t access the sound of nature, then listen to its recorded audio media.

Close your eyes, sit comfortably, or preferably lie down and listen to the music. It will take off your mind from the issues that trouble you and stabilize body’s sympathetic nerve activities.

You can even place decorative indoor pieces inside your house that have a small working fountain or waterfall so you can hear the sound of water falling down.

Also, you can have wind chimes or artifacts with artificial chirping birds built into them.

Not to mention that you can even sing yourself a song, or hum your favorite tune. That’s good music for your ears. 🙂

woman smelling flowers to relieve stress

Smell

Did you know that smell has the capability to change your moods? It does to quite an extent!

Haven’t you seen the perfume and deodorant ads on TV and how these impress people?

There are even nostalgic smells that bring up memories of the past. Your olfactory sense is closely associated with the part of the brain that deals with emotions and memories.

In fact, it is said that only smell has the ability to reach the part of the brain called the “emotional brain”.

These smells induce the brain to release hormones and neurochemicals that mitigate stress that changes your mood.

You may’ve heard of aromatherapy or fragrance therapy. These use essential oils and fragrances from flowers and plants that are known to have profound physiological and psychological impact on you.

You can use these oils to massage your body, add it in your bath, or to apply it all over your body.

One good way is to use them is as air fresheners, candles, perfumes, and in soaps laden with perfume.

I’ve not used all of these, other than a few perfumes and deodorants, incense sticks and candles too. How about you?

Aromatic oils can not only relax you but they also improve your skin condition, promote better sleep, and treat common health issues like skin inflammations, indigestion, cold and flu.

Some of the popular scents are lavender, peppermint, chamomile, geranium, ylang ylang, and others.

A woman licking fingers as tasty food makes her feel good.

Taste

There is actually a way of eating, such that it makes the eating process enjoyable and relaxing.

The secret is to be mindful while eating. Eat slowly, watch and feel every bite, and savor its taste to the last bite.

It is recommended that you chew a single bite at least 20 times before taking the next one. I’ve somehow tried it, but never managed to chew so many times! Do you do that?

Focus on the feel of the food in your mouth, and you’ll be able to enjoy its taste much better on your tongue. Good food will always bring out the good feelings in you.

Do you remember watching food commercials that show people munching their food with their eyes closed, and they look so immersed in eating and tasting the food that it brings a smile to their faces?

It really does happen. Do you wonder why?

Well, eating is a process where you use all your senses. Eating is an activity that can engage your mind, so that it’s diverted from stressful situations so that you feel happy while eating.

Try chewing a sugar-free gum when in stress – you’ve must’ve seen many sportspersons do that. Instead of helping you to concentrate on the stressful situation, you use it to take your mind away from it.

How can I forget to mention the lingering dark chocolates, herbal teas, and your favorite ice creams and all? They are all great ways to relieve stress, aren’t they?

woman getting massaged for relieving stress

Touch

You’re used to the sensory experience of touch ever since you were born.

As a child too, whenever you’re stressed and tensed, you’re hugged and consoled through touch by your parents, family members, and friend’s.

As an adult you can try massage therapy either from a massage therapist or try self massage.

Touch can even include wrapping yourself in a warm blanket or wearing clothes that feel soft against your skin.

You can even hold a comforting object in your hand such as a stuffed animal, your favorite key ring, or a smooth piece of stone that makes you feel good as you roll your fingers over it.

Such special touch stones and even stress balls are available in the market that you can touch or squeeze to relieve stress.

You know that the touch therapy works well when you hold, pat, or touch the pets, either a cat or a dog. Such pets are also used to provide comfort to people in trauma through touch or even otherwise.

My dog is a great stress reliever for me and my family. He might not know it, but he works like a magic charm in our lives. 🙂

There’s a healing power in touch. People are advised to touch themselves when in stress, or even give someone a hug or a kiss.

You might even find people grooming themselves more than often, because grooming is a touch sensory experience that has de-stressing effects. You didn’t know that, did you?

“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.” ~ Terri Guillemets

All senses are wired through the nerves to your brain. They affect, control, and regulate specific parts of the brain that are associated with awareness, behavior, emotions, memories, and so on.

To relieve stress it is important that you choose a sensory experience that can relax and energize you, and that you enjoy so that it makes you feel good.

Eventually, you need to figure out what works for you and what soothes you.

Whatever you choose to do, you need to make efforts to apply mindfulness to it. If you’re not able to rein in the mind, then your exercise is futile as the mind will still be engaged in stressful conditions.

If you’re able to be completely present in the ‘NOW’ and be non-judgmental as well, then it becomes mindful meditation, no matter what activity you’re engaged in.

Once you know and learn how to effectively use sensory experiences as the way for stress relief, you’ll always be clear-headed and in control, and have the confidence to face the challenges.

So, are you ready to use these ways to relieve stress and lead a happier life? 🙂

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” ~ George F. Burns

Over to You –

Have you ever used any of these sensory experience to relieve stress? Which are the ways to relieve stress that you’d prefer? Share in the comments below.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Show Comments

77 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Laura

    January 28, 2017 at 1:24 am

    I love how you’ve explored how we can use our senses to relieve stress, particularly as these so often compliment each other. For example, I find drinking chamomile tea to have a superbly calming effect and all the while it’s cooling down I inhale the wonderful aroma, then sip it slowly once it’s cool enough. It’s a wonderful 5 minute time-out all in itself.

    Thank you for this great set of tips Harleena.

  2. Robert Bowley

    October 20, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Hi Harleena I really enjoyed reading your blog today. It’s full of fabulous practical ideas for dealing with stress. Music is very close to my heart and so when I play my violin I immediately feel happy and relaxed. I couldn’t agree more that animals can help enormously! Whenever i’m feeling overwhelmed my cat instinctively sits with me and the stress just melts away. However the one thing that has helped me the most is tai chi. Tai Chi is an amazing system that can take you from stressed out to stress free! Thanks for a great blog

    Rob

  3. Tony

    May 30, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Very impressive article. I find being around friends and loved to be the best remedy for stress! You can always count on them to crack a smile 🙂

  4. Viola Tam

    August 26, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I like the part about those unhealthy ways for de-stress! It is sad to see that some people do turn to those strategies for the short term relief!

    Absolutely loving the way that your organise the strategies using the senses. WE are so uniquely different that one form or de-stress may be quite stressful for others. For example, whilst some of my friends vow that gardening is their way of regaining ‘peace of mind’, to me, it is a stressful activity! I rather listen to light music. To some people, however, light music are unbearably boring….

    Excellent sharing, Harleena! Thank you!

    Viola Tam – The Business Mum

    • Harleena Singh

      August 26, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Hi Viola,

      Oh yes…some people DO follow such ways to reduce their stress levels, and I’d written a post earlier too elaborating the bad ways to reduce stress that we need to avoid, just for such people 🙂

      I agree with you there, no one way of relieving stress would suit two people as they are both different and would react differently. Gardening would be stressful for me too, and I’d rather lay back and listen to music. It’s just like Reginald mentioned about that he de-stresses when he blogs, while for some that might cause stress if it’s something they have to do and not want to do. That’s indeed a good point!

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post 🙂

  5. Reginald

    August 24, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Thank you for sharing this. I faces stress … daily; both work and off work. At work = full time work. Off work = blogging.

    Let me see, how do I release stress?
    1. Be with family <– best remedy EVER!
    2. Coffee
    3. Some alcohol (light drinking) with friends after hours etc
    4. Music (not too loud and my type of genre only)
    5. Blogging 🙂

    Oh wait … #5 is blogging. Haha! But yes, I feel at piece when I blog, write or type. Guess this makes me pretty weird huh?

    *p/s Please don't drink and drive 🙂 <– sorry just got to emphasize this!

    • Harleena Singh

      August 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Reginald,

      You are certainly not alone because we ALL face it too 🙂

      I know you are already working at a full time job and when you aren’t, you are blogging full time! I wonder what will happen once you get married ;)(if you aren’t already, which I doubt!)

      I agree with your ways of relieving stress. Being with your loved ones, and music I can well relate to. I don’t drink too much of coffee, which again isn’t good for health, and absolutely no alcohol, but I do know that these are ways people reduce their stress levels.

      Ah..blogging…at times it gives me stress, instead of removing it for me!! Or perhaps when I really go over-board with it. But if you are really loving what you write, then it does remove stress and that happens with me too, while at other times, if I have other priorities lined up and I know I have my blog to take care of, besides the comments and social medai – it does become stressful.

      I’m glad you added the drink and drive bit 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and have a nice stress-free weekend 🙂

  6. Debbie

    August 23, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Music is one way that i release stress. I have my favorite tune that i play and listen too. Also I relax. Just lay down and let go and be still.

    I do have a tape of listen to water like a stream running and sometimes when on the PC I listen to it when trying to write. It is very relaxing and help the words just come out.

    You have a good day,
    Debbie

    • Harleena Singh

      August 23, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Hi Debbie,

      I think music is the most common stress reliever that most people have mentioned here, and it does help a great deal. I agree, just doing nothing and really listening to your favorites works wonders.

      I think those are sound effects in the tape and there are various other kinds, like those of birds twittering softly and others as I’ve heard others mention it – soothing indeed.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences. 🙂

      BTW – Why don’t you use a Gravatar like you have on your blog so that everyone can see your picture here 🙂

  7. Ana

    August 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I love peace and quiet when I’m stressed and like to get away from any kind of loud noise. My favorite stress reliever is to take a walk along the sea shore out of season when the beach is quiet and watch the waves. Very therapeutic and I guess the exercise helps too. I’d do it more if I lived on the beach – but we can all dream, right?

    • Harleena Singh

      August 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Hi Ana – nice to see you after a long time 🙂

      I agree with you there, though for some people if things are too quiet they tend to think more and get stressed. I guess a lot depends from person to person and their preferences, isn’t it?

      Beach walks are so refreshing I think and just to see the waves rise and fall brings in a feeling of serenity. Oh yes…we lose nothing my dreaming, I agree 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  8. Ilka Flood

    August 22, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Very informative post! Like you, my favorite is too my morning walk. Being one with nature is just so serene. I often even find myself smiling as I walk and observe what’s going on around me. It not only calms me but also energizes me to take on whatever the day may bring.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

    Ilka

    • Harleena Singh

      August 23, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Hi Ilka – nice to have you back after a long time 🙂

      Ah…I know now that you’ve been on a health drive for the past few months so there must be a lot you’re doing besides the morning walks, which of course do relieve stress.

      I agree with you, and I think when we walk, if we don’t have our music with us in the form or iPods or other such device, we have our mind running in all directions, and to be in nature with such thoughts is so refreshing and yes, it does energize you too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us 🙂

  9. Bilal Malik

    August 22, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Thanks for nice article. Reducing stress is also a part of our business and if we ignore it, it could be harmful for us.
    Everyone has its own method to reduce stress and get relaxation. Whenever i feel stress, i hear music But the method i use a lot is ” sleep “. Because after sleeping i get that much relaxation and freshment that much i can’t take from any another method.

    • Harleena Singh

      August 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Welcome to the blog Bilal!

      Nice to know that you liked this article, and you are right – if stress is ignored, it could harm us in more ways than one.

      Yes, music is a great stress-buster, and so is sleep for some people, though I’ve always wondered how people can sleep when they are stressed! In-fact they should be unable to sleep, but each one is different and so are their ways of dealing with stress.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  10. Sue Price

    August 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Harleena

    Such a great topic. I too loved the quote “Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” ~ Hans Selye

    For me I have a combination of senses and ways to let stress go. I have always used exercise and do a variety of things like walking, swimming, gym work out, yoga. When I was younger and working in a stressful environment I went to the gym twice a day – now that was extreme!

    I love music, a walk along the beach, being in nature and I think my very favorite is massage. Oh I love a massage. I also meditate but I am not as regular as I would like to be with that.

    Reading something uplifting is also one I like or watching comedy.

    Another great post thanks Harleena.

    Have a great week.

    Sue

    • Harleena Singh

      August 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Hi Sue,

      Glad you liked the topic, and yes, that quote I thought would fit in well with this post too 🙂

      That’s wonderful indeed! I guess you are already doing all that’s mentioned in the post to relieve stress, and I’m sure you must be seeing the difference it makes to you and your life. Going to the gym twice! Gosh! How did you find so much of time and energy I wonder?

      Walking on the beach is another nice idea, though works for those who are living close to one! Being in nature and walking early morning is something I love, but the days I don’t, those days are lazy ones for me. I wish I could have had more of massages too, because I think they are very relaxing and a great way of relieving stress. Meditation and yoga are well known of course and I’ve mentioned most of these ways in my earlier post that’s different from this one focusing on the senses helping in reducing our stress levels. Oh yes…reading or watching something you like does take your mind away from any worry that might be disturbing you.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. Have a nice weekend 🙂

  11. Mitch

    August 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Hi Harleena and everyone,

    The best thing you can ever do is to think positively.
    Everything is energy, everything breaks down to atoms and atoms are made up of Energy!
    Stress is holding on to negative energy, which in turn can cause illness and disease in the body because negative energy suppresses our immune system and makes us weaker and more susceptible to infections, germs, bacteria and viruses.

    That’s why Stress is the Silent killer, and that’s why the placebo effect works, and faith and believing in yourself with thinking positively heals.
    Many thanks and Best Wishes!

    • Harleena Singh

      August 23, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Hi Mitch,

      Absolutely! I agree with the way you describe it well in the form of everything around us made of energy, which is very true. Stress will remain whether we like it or not, but we need to find ways to change this negative energy to a more positive one by following the easy ways mentioned in the post.

      If we don’t do that, we are surely going to feel stressed out, which will result in other health issues, just as you mentioned. I agree, stress IS a silent killer, that’s why prevention in this case is better than cure, which we might never get a chance for really.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. I appreciate your comment 🙂

  12. Kumar Chandan

    August 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Hi, Harleena mam,
    Indeed, Our sensory organs play a vital role to make ourselves stress free. Stress can lead one to depression which is very bad where we stop enjoying ourselves. I have experience reducing stress by these methods:

    Sight:

    When I feel stressful one common thing I do, I shut my eyes and try to recall the days with happiness. I flash-backed to my college days when we had done lots of fun, leg-pulling and teasing with friends.
    Even I recall scenery of my beautiful village, now I miss it. 🙁

    I remember the goals scored by me in football matches. 🙂

    Sound:

    I put my light off and tuned to some beautiful songs and music (A.R.Rahman, Kishore Da). This take me out from stress in fraction of second. 🙂

    Smell:

    When I wander in my garden which have collection of magnificent flowers, the smells of these take me another level of happiness. 🙂

    Taste:

    I didn’t try it yet but going to try it.:)

    Touch:

    Yes, it is also play a good role. Keyring make the magic for me. I put it in my finger and rotate.

    These are natural and genuine ways to make ourselves stress free but people go after alcoholism and smoking. I wonder how these make them stress free??

    Thank you for sharing another beautiful and helpful post. 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      August 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Hi Kumar,

      Ah…love your long comment 🙂

      I agree with you there – the harm stress can do to us cannot be ignored and I wish more people would understand this simple fact and take timely action.

      I like what you do when in a stressful situation, and yes, recalling the past days of happiness by closing your eyes is making use of sight, which is nice. I do that sometimes too, or then it’s getting lost in nature, which is my favorite.

      Ah…music is an all time favorite for most of us I think to relieve stress too. And yes, being in nature and smelling the flowers can take you away from any stressful situation. Do try the taste options and let me know what you experienced. I liked the key-ring rotation because one of my uncle does that too, but that’s just as a time pass or for joy more than anything else I think.

      People tend to choose the bad or wrong ways to reduce stress because that gives them temporary pleasure only, not the permanent one like these. They realize their mistakes soon enough, if they aren’t too late already.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us 🙂

      • Kumar Chandan

        August 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

        Long commenting learned from you!! 🙂
        I will definitely share my feedback on taste but it take some time because I always try to avoid stress by doing some good things what make me happy. So there is very narrow chance to get my self stressful. 🙂
        Thank you! 🙂

        • Harleena Singh

          August 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm

          Well, thank you for saying that and it makes me happy that you learned something from me 🙂

          I agree with you, you should do things that bring you happiness only, and if anything else doesn’t work for you, then you should just leave that aside, even if it’s suggested by someone else. Do what works for you and brings you happiness because you matter most at the end of the day – isn’t it?

          Thanks once again 🙂




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Easy Ways To Relieve Stress That You Should Adopt

by Harleena Singh time to read: 10 min