Best Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Stress management starts with being aware of how your body and mind reacts to stress. Find the best ways to relieve your stress and anxiety by trying out these different strategies and see what works best for you.

Get rid of the clutter in your mind and environment

Stephanie, a 34 year old friend, sat on her office desk and noticed her shallow breathing. She could sense she was beginning to feel irritated from the noise made by her colleagues. They were rambling and cheering on about last night’s game. “Shut up!” She wanted to scream. Her desk was filled with paperwork and in total disarray. A vivid picture of her hand mightily sweeping the mess from her table made her stop long enough to take a deep breath. She was stressing herself out again but knew exactly what to do.

She closed her eyes and took a couple of deep breaths trying to block the noise. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. She drew her attention to her breath entering and going out of her nostrils. But her thoughts intruded her mind. “I hate my boss! How could he do this to me?” She had work so hard on the project and he had dismissed it without even reading it. And Jeff, he had looked at her smugly. She wanted to hit his head with a hammer! She almost groaned aloud as she recognized where her thoughts were leading. She was insanely jealous that Jeff’s work was better than hers. Oh gosh! She suddenly remembered she had forgotten to make an appointment with the dentist. Her daughter needed that appointment!

She could feel she was beginning to feel tense and anxious.  She continued to breathe while telling herself, “It’s okay.  You did the best that you could with the project.  You can still make the appointment this morning.  There is more than enough time.”  She felt herself relax at those words and begin to grow calmer with each breath.  When she felt her body was not tense anymore and her breathing was even, she finally opened her eyes.  Miraculously, the people around her had settled on their desks.  She smiled.

She then sorted the things on her table.  She threw unnecessary papers and things that were no longer of use.  She called the dentist.  She recognized that she had the choice to quit her job if she hated the environment she was in.  Stephanie felt so much better after getting rid of the clutter in her mind and her work table.

Deep breathing and meditation may bring out the unwanted thoughts.  Just listen to those thoughts as it may also reveal where you are.  After, gently redirect your thoughts to positive ones.  Dealing with the thoughts running in your head is a good way to relieve stress and anxiety. 

Clutter creates a sense of chaos and confusion.  By cleaning up your workspace, your cabinet, your home, you are also helping out clear the clutter from your mind. 

Before you proceed, stop and relax by playing this calming music

"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down." ~Lily Tomlin

Create a private space for nourishment

Each one of us needs to create a private space so we could nourish ourselves. We need a “Me Time!” A time to be quiet. A time to pamper oneself. A time to reflect. A time to meditate. A time to rejuvenate and be refreshed.

“I make sure I get a massage every weekend.” Michael, a busy businessman and a father of two boys shares his secret. “I make sure the boys are out somewhere so I could relax and get a much needed rest.”

Sheila, a marketing manager, reveals her ‘me time’, “I go to my favorite spa with my best friend or unwind with a hot bath at the end of a long day complete with lavender oil or scented candles and soft music!”

For Samantha, her private space for nourishment is creating a ceremony in doing ordinary things. Things like drinking tea, taking a shower or cleaning her face. “When I drink tea, I bring out the teapot and tea cups and sit down in the garden and sip the tea slowly. Whatever I do, I do it consciously and with pleasure. I refuse to rush through the routine. It calms me somehow and releases tension. That’s how I show love to myself too!”

Do something that you love and do it again and again

One way to release stress and anxiety is to find an activity that you love and doing it again and again.

Best friends Tom and Jake love watching funny movies along with popcorn and a can of beer. “A funny movie relaxes me.” Tom discloses. “We’re watching Mr. Bean tonight!”

Mariah finds relaxation in playing with her pet cats.  Stella finds solace in painting and gardening.  And Jules simply loves listening to music.

There is something cathartic in doing something that you love. It’s beneficial in relieving stress and anxiety as you are able to turn your attention to something positive rather than focusing your energies on your worries.

Cultivate meaningful relationships

Having wonderful and affirming relationships are healing. Family or friends that can support you in times of crisis help you in dealing with stress and anxiety.

“My aunt Vickie was absolutely an angel.” Karen mused. “She had always been a very good listener and does so without judgment. This allowed me to share what I truly felt without fear. I got pregnant when I was 18 and I didn’t know how to handle it. It was a very stressful time! But I got through it because she made me face my fears instead of running away.”

As for me, I am single and yet I have a good set of friends whom I can talk to, laugh and share life with. If I didn’t have truly wonderful friends, I know I would be pretty lonely and depressed. Being able to share the ups and downs with good friends helps relieve my stress and anxiety immensely.

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

I have been listening to this music while writing this hub, it has calmed me indeed!

Master the art of relaxing by letting go

Stress and anxiety are caused by many things. Some of them are unmet expectations, having high standards or being a perfectionist, obsessive compulsive behavior, worrying about the future all the time or what other people will say, fear of failure and of making mistakes, anger and resentment and so on.

To relieve stress and anxiety, let go!

Stop being such a perfectionist.

Start living in the present moment. If you are living in the now and doing so marvelously, you can be sure that your future will be beautiful.

Tell yourself it's okay to make mistakes.

Forgive the people who have hurt you.

Be grateful for who and what you have in your life.

I could still hear in my mind Carrie’s complaints whenever we are together. Everything in her life seems to be all wrong. Her kids. Her parents. Her staff. Her hair. Her nails. One day I just looked at her and told her point blank. “You know what, it’s time to let go! All I hear from you is one complaint after the other! Let go of all this insanely negative thoughts which is stressing you and causing you anxiety most of the time! Let go and allow yourself to be happy. You deserve to be happy! Let go Carrie!”

Carrie stopped in her tirade and tears fell from her eyes. I don’t really know what happened inside her but something came right that day. She realized living a stressful life was harming her more than anyone else. After several minutes of sobbing, she hiccuped and declared, “Yes, it is time to let go! I will let go! I am letting go!” Carrie's decision to let go has helped her deal with her constant worrying and anxiety that caused her a lot of stress. She deals with stress a lot better now and a nicer person to be around too!

Other Ways

There are many other ways to deal with stress and anxiety. Exercise, eating certain foods, yoga and meditation, laughter, tapping your way to health and more! But that will be in another article. Learning to manage your stress and anxiety can improve your health, your attitude, your relationships dramatically. Choose wellness today.

By: Michelle Simtoco


More by this Author


How Do You Handle Stress and Anxiety? 76 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Great information,ripplemaker,on depending,mostly,on yourself for positive reinforcement and stress relief.;)


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

Yes, I also focus on breathing and do breath counting in order to relieve stress.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Mentalist acer, thank you for being the first one to comment on this hub. Your comment made me reflect that in order to manage stress, we do need to work on our responses. :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Blissfulwriter, yes, breathing deeply works wonders!


dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 5 years ago from India

wow, great article. yes, breathing excersice can do wonders. I think every one should practice some breathing techniques. "Pranayama" which promotes proper breathing. That means bringing mass of oxygen to blood and brain. While getting stress or anxiety, the various Pranayama's are beneficial to relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety disorders.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis

Good tips. I've been practicing them for some time, but occasionally I do something that I love that isn't too good for me, like drinking beer.


gis_r07 profile image

gis_r07 5 years ago from Boston, MA

Great tips ripplemaker! Voted up and useful.


cr8ve1 profile image

cr8ve1 5 years ago

Hi Sis!!

Long time no see! I love this piece because it's what I've had to do recently-relieve a LOT of stress in my life, which turned out pretty well for me since it led me to write my new article about my situation. I love your work! Love and Miss ya!!


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Michelle, Superb article! My "me" time can be watching uplifting programs like "Secret Millonare" or Oprah's inspirational shows in OWN, I feel so relaxed and in a pleasant space, and also listening to highly spiritual teachers and music in Youtube. I chuckled in reading about your friend Carrie, because I have a friend just like her. Every time we would get together when I was in NY, it was to talk about the next drama in her life, now that I live far, it got worse , as I would receive email after email of negativity every day. My friends stayed away from her. I finally told her to stop this, to stop focusing on the negative, and to appreciate the many wonderful things she does have in her life. She loves me, so she knows I was being honest. I am happy to say, she is doing much better with her focus.

Have bookmarked this hub!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

dinkan, if we only realize the power of breathing and really use it, it helps relieve stress and anxiety immensely. Thanks for dropping by. :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Jeff: *chuckle* cheers!

gis: many thanks! Big smiles back at you! :D


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

cr8ve: I went and read your new article and joy fills my heart. It's so nice to hear from you too sis. Big hugs!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Marie, ooh I would like to watch that show as well--Secret Millionaires! Thank you for sharing your stress relieving activities. I can picture you in your living room or bedroom or trying to help a friend. LOL Thank you for bookmarking this hub. Blessings Marie!


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

I didn't see the paragraph on beer and hard alcohol.

LOL I am just kidding. What a terrific hub, this is one of the few I am going to book mark to come back to time and again.

Thank you for this work!

I vote up and awesome!

- Harlan


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Harlan, I see the trend now about beer being a way to relieve stress? LOL Thank you for voting this up! :)


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

good tips. exercise is also a great stress reliever, not only makes you feel happier, but also counteracts the negative physical effects of stress. a walk in nature does wonders for me.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I find my health improves when I take time to relax and meditate and keep my stress level low. This is an excellent hub with good suggestions.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Michelle, Don't know if you can watch the show from your side of the fence, but its about millionares, most self made, who agree to live for a week undercover in the poorest of neighborhoods, visit local charities or causes, and in the end they confess to unsuspecting recipients that they are millionares and not poor, and donate large amounts of money, much to the shock and gratitude of the angels on earth. Its a tear jerker. LOL. I love the show, it shows the noble side of mankind. We see many unsung heros helping others.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Cathy, so true about being surrounded by nature. It does relieve stress when one starts connecting with nature. :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Pamela, it's lovely seeing you here, thank you! Meditation helps us go in so we can go out better. :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Marie, oooh how I wish I can see it too! It is a beautiful show and I know it is something I would like to see too. I agree that as we see the noble side of mankind, we are inspired to live in the best way possible. This is truly a stress reliever!!! Hugs...


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago

Blessings and Namaste to you Ripplemaker!

Lovely Hub! Makes me let go and relax just reading it! I have so many friends in Japan and it's been a really difficult, stressful few weeks! Especially for them!

I know we call continue to prayer for our brothers and sisters in Japan!

In the last few weeks I have combined prayer and meditation with yoga and pilates to relieve stress! It's intense but the results have been amazing for me!

Thank you again gentle soul for this wonderful reminder! Our being stressed does not help anyone else!

Blessings always, EarthAngel!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Earth Angel, it is always a joy when you drop by and leave a comment. Yes, I can't even begin to imagine the stress and difficulty the Japanese people are in right now. Prayer, meditation and yoga and pilates for you? Wow! So good to know this works for you beautifully. You are right, being stressed does not help anyone, most especially ourselves. Blessings to you too Earth Angel. :)


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

ripplemaker, I agree we need to look within our self for stress taming. We all need some of that me time. Great advice on how to gain control of our stress.


Jeremey profile image

Jeremey 5 years ago from Arizona

Love how you avoided the 'normal well-known techniques' other than the basic reminder at the end. Music has as always will be my top stress reducer/relaxation tool! Up and Awesome!


katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing some useful ways to relieve stress.


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

yes, like in the old days...a person would say, take a deep breath and count to 10:)


azee raja profile image

azee raja 5 years ago from pakistan

thanks for sharing this beautiful ideas!!!


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

Deep breathing and brain entrainment are my ways of letting go - easy and at no cost. Thanks for the hub.


Nomason profile image

Nomason 5 years ago from Nigeria

THAT'S A GREAT WORK, KEEP IT UP. FROM NOMASON


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 5 years ago from MA, USA

Slowing down is a great way to relieve stress. In days of great hurriedness I have had to go beyond slowing down and come to a complete stop because I understand completely that stress is our #1 killer. No thanks stress! I can LIVE without you!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great hub and i loved the relaxing music.

Take care

Eiddwen.


The Jet profile image

The Jet 5 years ago from The Bay

Oh, I'll do what Iove again and again...hehehe... I'm gonna go film a short movie. Hah.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

KoffeeKlatch Gals, I smiled at the word taming...yes our thoughts can go wild and so taming it is a wise move! LOL Thanks :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Jeremey, I loved the way how you noticed things. A comment to delight a writer's heart. Music does calm me whether I sing or listen to it. Enjoy life! :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

katrinasui, glad you found this useful. :)

heart4theword, yes breathe, breathe and breathe some more. It is a wonderful stress reliever. Blessings to you :)

azee raja, thanks for dropping by :)

chspublish, brain entrainment is another way to relieve stress. Thanks for mentioning it here. :)

Nomason, you are welcome. Thank you too. :)


Ancillotti profile image

Ancillotti 5 years ago from Brasil, Vitoria - ES

Oh! I love this hub, especially this music. Congratulations! This is excelent!


ocbill profile image

ocbill 5 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

these are much needed tips we can all use. Thanks


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Wow, ripplemaker! This is a really fantastic Hub! I can already feel the stress seeping away... what a relief!


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines

I love the music! it lulls me to a near slumber, haha! Long before I landed on this hub, my 2 daughters introduced me to a new way to treat my life- rest and relaxation. That was how I landed in your majestic place- Cebu! I was reluctant at first because of my pain in my lower limbs(diabetic peripheral neuropathy), that had been affecting my enthusiasm to go out and move about. But they prevailed and I had a grand time at Moalboal Beach and snorkeling and feeding the fish at the Pescador Island. The experience opens a rediscovery of myself, that I can still do many things to enjoy life. Bookmark this hub! Thank you.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

It's been a while since I truly relaxed. Staring at nothing and thinking of nothing is a luxury I miss. Reading your hub makes we want to take a rest for a moment. Excellent hub!


Paul Taylor profile image

Paul Taylor 5 years ago from South Yorkshire

Wish i had the patience to do that - it would just stress me out more. But like the content and feel of your hub:)


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan

Simply Amazing!!!! I see why you are HubPages Elite - this hub proves your savvy, excellent, and articulate way of writing. The set up, format and photos are fantastic and I really enjoyed the relaxing music! Thanks so much!!!


Kpam profile image

Kpam 5 years ago

Great hub. Nicely done.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Excellent hub, Michelle. I agree with Treasuresofheaven's comments 100%. I think you should get paid for this, LOL :) Rated it up.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Ancillotti, the music is calming me again after a long day at work! :) Thanks for dropping by.

ocbill, hey, it's nice to hear from you! Many thanks!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Simone, wonderful to know your stress is seeping away. Take care of you! :)

Lita, wow, you came to Cebu and moalboal? The next time you come, do tell me! Glad you get to enjoy life amidst the pain. Hope you are getting better everyday! Love much :)

jpcmc, let's rest awhile and be quiet :) Thanks for this quiet time.

Paul, hahhaha then all the more you need to learn to relax!

Treasuresofheaven, I feel your excitement, thank you for your kind words! You made me smile!

Kpam, thanks!

Denise, wow, I should get paid? Well, if there is a lot of traffic to this hub, then I am getting paid by Hubpages. :) Thanks Denise for rating this up! Hugs


skilby1 5 years ago

Some excellent tips here, thanks, i read this just after i finished work for the day, what a perfect time!


CaravanHolidays profile image

CaravanHolidays 5 years ago from Wales UK

Good hub, I think much more emphasis should be placed on exercise and socialization though. Getting out and about is very important, as is regular exercise. (But then again, this is all IMO, and everyone has different sources of stress and different potential ways of dealing with it).


midnightbliss profile image

midnightbliss 5 years ago from Hermosa Beach

for me, what works best is cleaning the clutter around me and listening to meditation music. nice hub and great tips.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

skilby, thanks for dropping by.

caravanholidays, you are right everyone has different ways of dealing with it. It's great to hear how you do it too.

midnightbliss, cleaning the clutter and music are wonderful ways to relax.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Blessings. :)


SUSANJK profile image

SUSANJK 5 years ago from Florida

Thanks for some good tips.


FishAreFriends 5 years ago

This is really amazing, and great information. The best ways to relieve stress for me is doing things I love, and laughter. When I am sad I always go and watch myself a funny video :) Thanks so much for putting these great methods into words!


hhelen profile image

hhelen 5 years ago

Lovely article, I absolutely love it. I suffer from stress now and again, and this will come in useful.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

Hi ripplemaker! It´s a great hub. I do this kind of relaxation. Laying down on the sofa and listening to a quiet music I used to play when I do a massage. It´s very relaxing. Just laying down and thinking of nothing.


ii3rittles profile image

ii3rittles 5 years ago

Thank you for this hub! I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. Any time I plan a trip I end up not going because I start getting anxiety attacks and feel like I can't breath or have a good time. I need to try some of these things because I can't manage my stress and that leads to pain, tiredness, panic attacks and anxiety. Heck, I even get insomnia!


dusy7969 profile image

dusy7969 5 years ago from San Diego, California

Thanks a lot for this hub.This hub consist of a lot of information.I like it very much.Almost I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.When I feel boring or any other bad feeling then I go to visit the historical places.When I see these historical places then I feel better and palm.

Thanks for this useful sharing.


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Superb,interesting and simply amazing article ripplemaker and i also think that exercise is a great reliever of stress.Bookmarked.


THAT Mary Ann 5 years ago

Lots of good suggestions here- surely something for every reader. We can all benefit if we pay attention and honestly try to relieve our stress. Thanks for this.


elija_god profile image

elija_god 5 years ago from Abuja, Nigeria

Big,Big Thanks! for this wonderful info about Stress


manthy profile image

manthy 5 years ago from Alabama,USA

I think SEX is a gr8 for stress relief and I really liked the music on this hub it is awesome.

Thanks


drkathleenfuller profile image

drkathleenfuller 5 years ago from 322 SW Ocean Blvd, Stuart, Florida 34994

Hi Ripplemaker, Great name. Wanted to thank you for posting this hub.


moneycop profile image

moneycop 5 years ago from JABALPUR

such a nice hub...meditation and stress aree opposite to each other...Good and will read ur all hubs


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

Your anxiety-relieving tips are very interesting. I like the idea of listening to your thoughts as they come out when you are stressed, as well as the point you make about not being a perfectionist.


mcleodgi profile image

mcleodgi 5 years ago

Hi, I just started out. I wanted to thank you for a beautiful demonstration of simply acknowledging the current state of mind and working on it instead of being resentful of it. We are living with the illusion that things in the outside world cause us to react the way we do. What most people don't realize is that we not only have a choice in the way we react to things but that we also choose to think our thoughts a split second before we actually do. To give you an example, a few months ago, one of my former colleagues who I know was just jealous of me happened to be walking by me and decided to make this random and snide comment about my wide hips. I think the fact that I'm one of the few who has never had any major issues with my body helped as well. I simply chose not to let it bother me. I know from my own experience that not allowing too much to bother us means much less stress which means a lot less health problems in the long run.:)


hare 5 years ago

thanks for giving useful suggestions


nokeah09 profile image

nokeah09 5 years ago from cavite

thanks!!


beckyland05 profile image

beckyland05 5 years ago from South Carolina

Great hub. You gave good tips for relieving stress. I teach stress management and meditation is one of the strongest tips. Part of stress management is knowing thyself, recognize your own symptoms of stress, and using meditation before the stress gets out of control.


Jared Zane Kessie profile image

Jared Zane Kessie 5 years ago from Richland, Washington

I have worked in the US public school system with students who experience anxiety, especially that of test anxiety. I never thought about creating and maintaining positive relationships as part of the solution to dealing with stress and anxiety. When I read it on here it was kind of a 'duh' moment for me. Thanks for pointing it out and including it in your article.


Brinafr3sh profile image

Brinafr3sh 5 years ago from West Coast, United States

Hi Ripplemaker,

This was a relaxing exercise, cool hub-article. After reading this I'm getting lavendar oil candle, lavendar tea, lavendar soap, and a lavendar colored comforter for my bedroom. Thanks


mariahbernt864 profile image

mariahbernt864 5 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ah! This is wonderful :) I have depression and anxiety so this is perfect for me!


waes-hael profile image

waes-hael 5 years ago from The Netherlands

Informative hub.

I use meditation to help me out of stress. Meditation does work but requires a lot of patience. I meditated for more than half a year before I started to seen some positive results. Also, it helped me cultivate a more positive outlook on life.


TransferOnTheSpot profile image

TransferOnTheSpot 5 years ago

Good hub! Taking deep breaths always helps when you feel stressed out.


jeugenejohn profile image

jeugenejohn 4 years ago from Kerala

The breathing technique described in the onset of the article is really helpful. The same method is applied in Yoga with a different way. Take in a deep breath. Hold it for sometime and then release slowly.

A really informative article Ripplemaker. keep it up


shara63 profile image

shara63 4 years ago from Delhi

the hub is great help in sedating the soft ripples of stress that it never becomes a big wave of destruction!.....Thankyou for the amazing tips!


Bee-Bee's World profile image

Bee-Bee's World 4 years ago from NW Arkansas

In my search for moving forward to a positive and productive life, this was a wonderful hub to stumble on to and it loved every tip and the relazing music is a keeper. Up awesome and very useful. Thank you so much. I will be following more closely! Good stuff!

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