Free ways to reduce stress now

A relaxed sugar glider possum sits in a small plastic tray.

Viewing photos of cute animals is known to help reduce stress. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/7777shark/Wikipedia)

A life without stress is a life that has not been lived. Yet managing stress can be difficult for some people. Rather than immediately spending money on therapy and medication, here are some free ways to reduce stress. These are activities that nearly anyone can enjoy.

Read a book or magazine

By immersing yourself in a narrative, you can distract yourself from your problems for a time. Even magazines that are entirely gossip-oriented can be a guilty pleasure to distract from life’s difficulties.

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Sing or play a musical instrument

Numerous studies – including the entirety of published literature on music therapy – suggest that listening to music or (better still) playing music can cause the right neurons to fire in your brain when you need to see things from a different, more positive perspective. Even something that sounds as silly as scatting along with your favorite songs on the radio can clear out the cobwebs. Anything that actively challenges the brain and calls upon muscle memory can change your demeanor and reduce stress.

Go for a hike, run or walk

It has been proven time and again that exercise stimulates endorphin production in the brain as the heart sets itself to pumping. You eventually develop that unique exercise “high” and feel good. Enjoying the beauty of nature is also nice. There are few solutions that are better at managing stress, except perhaps for the following.

Having sex

Having sexual intercourse can be just what the doctor ordered. Countless nerve endings stimulated is hard to beat when it comes to reducing stressful feelings. Afterward, try cuddling.

Play outside with your children, pet or friends

Adding game elements and simple acts of coordination to your outdoor activities can be a pleasure. Not only that, but sharing the activity with a person or animal you care about can promote emotional bonding. Such interpersonal connections are true pills to purge depression and stress.

Do something artistic

Whether you’re an arts and crafts person, a writer, a dancer, a painter or something in-between, exercising your creative muscles can distract you from life for a while. Among the free ways to eliminate stress, few activities are as fulfilling as exercising your creativity.

Clean up around the house

While cleaning up may not sound like a way to de-stress, imagine the end result. A clean house that no longer mirrors the chaos you feel inside can serve as a relief to various manifestations of stress.

Clean up yourself

A long, mellow bath with your favorite bath salts, waterproof cushion and just the right music and mood lighting can melt stress away. Consider it “me” time. While you’re at it, such things as manicures, facials and pedicures are popular stress management choices for many people. Why not give one of those a try? Cleaning up your inner state through prayer, meditation or self-hypnosis also helps.

Have a good laugh

Comedy that leads to laughter is powerful medicine. It’s one of the key ways to reduce stress, too. YouTube your favorite standup comedian and enjoy.

Tell them you love them

Whether it’s your parents, your kids, your best friend or anyone else who is of singular importance to your life, there’s always room to express loving thanks. Call them, send them a text, find them on chat – whatever it takes.

Tell stories with your children

Telling stories with your kids combines creativity and quality bonding time. It is a sure-fire stress buster.

Turn off the technology

Sometimes, it helps to leave the cell phones, emails and social media in the drawer. Stop listening to everyone else and take time to listen to yourself when you’re under stress. It’s amazing how much the tools we claim to love make our lives more hectic.

Techniques for eliminating stress


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