Home  >  My Life  >  A Better Life

How to Reduce Stress: 17 Fastest Hacks To a Calmer & Happier Life

We all experience stress in our daily lives, whether from work or our personal lives. So it’s important to know how to reduce stress, even by just a bit. 

how to reduce stress

Stress is something we all experience daily, and we can’t control it. This is why it’s essential to learn how to reduce stress. There’s stress in our personal lives, our work tasks, when something doesn’t go right, or even something as simple as being late for work.

Stress is a common theme in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to be stressed 24/7. Like any other emotion, we can learn how to reduce stress to live a happier life.

The reality is that none of us like dealing with stress, but since the events that cause our stress is usually beyond our control, we have to.

At the end of the day, we can’t control stress, but we can choose how we respond to it. 

[Read: 14 really quick stress busters to recharge your mind]

What causes stress?

What causes stress for one person could be different for another. So there isn’t just a single reason that applies to everyone. Family is the most stressful thing for some, so family gatherings and reunions on holidays are just detestable. For others, work and career are the primary sources of their stress.

Whether it’s deadlines, meetings, projects, or even interviews, these are all stress triggers for them. Some get stressed when things don’t go the way they planned. *who wouldn’t, right?*

The bottom line is that many things cause stress for different people, especially when we’re surrounded by things and events we can’t always control – and that’s okay! What’s important is that you learn how to reduce stress in your own way. [Read: Secret to happiness: The uncomplicated guide for a happy life]

Why do you need to manage your stress?

If you don’t learn to manage your stress, it will negatively impact you, one way or another. You will lead a very stressful and unhappy life because of this. There will always be things out of your control, but that doesn’t mean you should let your stress consume you either.

When you manage your stress, you prove to yourself that you’re in control of your emotions rather than the other way around. Also, stress affects all your friendships and relationships with your loved ones. You might end up projecting your stress to others all because you can’t learn how to reduce your stress.

If you want to maintain a healthy relationship, you must do this for yourself. Stress doesn’t have to feel so bad, you know? It might affect every area in your life, but it doesn’t have to feel so draining and exhausting! 

[Read: What is FOMO? How to read the signs and overcome the stress it causes]

How to reduce stress

You need to do yourself a favor and learn how to reduce stress. You deserve a happy and joyful life, and you can only do that by managing your stress accordingly. Here’s how you can reduce your stress. 

1. Exercise

This falls at the top of this list of how to reduce stress for a reason. When you exercise, endorphins and dopamine enter your body, which are both hormones making you feel good and happy. What better way to reduce stress than by increasing your mood and energy, right?

Exercise has a lot of benefits that aren’t just limited to your stress levels but also how your mood and energy levels are throughout the day! If you’re thinking, “why should I exercise when I’m already stressed enough?” exercise can counter that awful feeling you have.

Whether it’s running, dancing, cycling, swimming, or hitting the gym, those are all forms of exercise. So the next time you get stressed, hit the gym or do some yoga! Trust us, it’ll make you feel better. [Read: 30 inspirational tips on how to get motivated to exercise]

2. Self-love habits

Sometimes, your stress could be caused by a lack of prioritizing yourself and focusing on yourself. In this case, it’s the perfect time to engage in self-love activities to help you feel more balanced!

Maybe you’ve been putting all your time and energy into working more or pouring everything into your relationships and friendships that you no longer have time for yourself. You will end up constantly stressed if you always put yourself last and others first.

You need to make time for yourself if you want to learn how to reduce stress. Make it a habit to spend some me-time every now and then, whether it’s pampering yourself, hitting the gym, going to the library, or doing the things you genuinely enjoy doing. Your stress will feel so much lighter afterward! [Read: How to focus on yourself – 27 easy ways to create your own sunshine]

3. Write it down

Journaling is an incredibly therapeutic activity to deal with your difficult thoughts and emotions. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress lately, write down everything related to your stress in a journal or even just a piece of paper. When you see your stress written down, it allows you to feel lighter about your stress.

It may also change your perspective, especially when you see your irrational thoughts being written on paper. That’s not to say your stress isn’t valid, because it is. But it’s also normal to have irrational thoughts that make us more stressed than we have to be. After all, our thoughts and emotions are highly connected. 

4. Spend time with loved ones

There’s nothing that will reduce your stress faster than being around your loved ones. Even as isolation is our tendency when we’re dealing with difficult emotions, you need to let yourself spend time around loved ones. It’s the best stress-reliever when you unwind with your people, we promise!

So the next time you’re consumed with stress and feel like you can’t take another second of that feeling, surprise your family with a visit! Or, plan a weekend getaway with your friends at the beach. You reduce your stress and make a lot of good memories – it’s a win-win! 

5. Laugh

Life is too difficult to be so serious all the time. So you need to laugh more! If you want to learn how to reduce stress, always take the opportunity to laugh – at yourself, your friends, situations, and others. If you’re too stiff and rigid as a person, you will always be the type of person easy who gets stressed.

So do yourself a favor and laugh more. This also means you should find your sense of humor and make others laugh with you as well!

When you can draw others to you with your wit, it just makes life generally less stressful. After all, laughing also releases endorphins, similar to exercise! How amazing is that? [Read: How to smile more often – 6 baby steps to change your life forever]

6. Change your environment

If you’re constantly in the same environment all the time, it’s relatively easy to dwell on your stress. If you’re serious about learning how to reduce stress, change your environment. For instance, if you’re getting stressed with work tasks, staying in the office can add to your stress more.

Of course, we don’t all have the luxury of going out whenever we please, but even a 5-minute walk can do so much. This will help clear your mind and put things in perspective regarding your stress. You won’t thrive when you keep staying in this same environment for long periods, so you need just a little variety now and then in your environment. 

7. Set boundaries

In the suggestions above, we’ve listed the things you can do to help yourself with stress. But what if others cause your stress? You should never feel bad for setting boundaries, even if it’s in your nature to be considerate and selfless. Practice saying no, and don’t feel bad if it’s not something you can do.

You can’t be available for others all the time. Stop giving others free access to your energy 24/7, as that could be a possible reason why you’re so stressed. If you’re helping others left and right, you’re stressing yourself out because of your inability to say no and set boundaries.

It doesn’t make you a bad person if you set boundaries, but it shows others how to treat and respect you. No matter how much you love others, there should still be boundaries, so they don’t end up taking advantage of you constantly. [Read: How to set boundaries with people in your life without hurting or insulting them]

8. Don’t procrastinate

We’ve all procrastinated when doing our work tasks. But is it healthy? Of course not. We procrastinate because we do things at the last minute, or we’re perfectionists. When you procrastinate, you’re adding a lot of stress and pressure to your life that you could’ve avoided if you just get your tasks done on time.

When you make a habit of procrastinating, that’s precisely what leads to a highly stressful life. Even if it’s easy to do things at the last minute, you need to change this habit of yours. If you’re serious about learning how to reduce stress, you can’t procrastinate.

This will backfire with your stress levels and overall performance, so refrain from doing this. Instead, do your work earlier than the deadline so that the burden isn’t as heavy compared to cramming.

Also, if your reason for procrastination is perfectionism, that is an unrealistic standard you shouldn’t be attempting. You’re not perfect, and that’s okay. [Read: How to succeed in life – All you ever need to know!]

9. Practice meditation 

When you feel overwhelmed by stress, you need meditation. This is a breathing technique that allows you to be self-aware of your feelings and thoughts while helping you let go of them.

Especially as we’re surrounded by many things and factors we can’t control, meditation can help you achieve a state of inner peace and calmness in your life.

If you want to learn how to reduce stress, use mindfulness through activities like meditation. It’s also a habit that can help you start your day with intention, especially if you want to lead a stress-free day. [Read: How to be present – The guide to finding your zone of calm perfection]

10. Change your mindset

Again, we can’t always control what we feel and think, but that doesn’t mean we should dwell on every one of our thoughts and emotions either. When you feel stressed, the tendency is that your thoughts would reflect the negativity you feel. By changing your mindset and perspective, you’re managing your stress level.

Switch to a positive attitude instead of thinking that you can’t do this task, or obsessing over why life is so hard. Granted, it’s easier said than done, but you need to reprogram your thoughts to a more positive light.

If you want to know how to reduce stress, it’s all about changing your mindset and perspective. [Read: How to think positive and reprogram your mind to stay positive]

11. Stop trying to control everything

If there’s a central theme on this list of how to reduce stress, it’s the realization that you can’t control everything. You can try, but you’ll never succeed in every outcome. Life is unpredictable, and that’s what makes life full of surprises and mystery.

Even when everything is full of uncertainty, hold on to the faith and hope that things will get better eventually. When things don’t go as planned, find a backup plan or change your course of action. If things end without you knowing, find the lesson and move forward with that new knowledge.

But trying to control everything? You will lead an extremely stressful and anxious life if you’re so focused on having the perfect outcome. [Read: How to control your emotions and become the pinnacle of restraint]

12. Watch the way you talk to yourself 

Similar to your mindset, the way you talk to yourself is everything. So you can’t reduce your stress when you speak to yourself without any form of respect and compassion. Love yourself enough to speak kindly to yourself. Even when you’re stressed, anxious, and frustrated, be easy on yourself.

Is this how you would usually treat your best friend when they’re down? We’re guessing not. So why do you talk down to yourself? Practice self-respect and self-compassion, and this goes a long way with being less stressed. [Read: How to respect yourself – 14 secrets of self-worth and self-belief]

13. Play some music

Music peculiarly affects the body and mind. Music as a stress reliever is also convenient, as you can listen to it as you go about your daily activities. Start your day off as you shower and get ready in the morning with a pre-set playlist of songs that build you up.

On the road to work? Skip the morning chat shows and opt instead for calming or happy music that will put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.

While many may find relief by belting out their favorite pop tune, others may enjoy music specifically designed for stress relief, such as the sound of rain or piano ballads. Sites like YouTube and apps like Spotify have music specifically designed for stress relief and meditation.

14. Disconnect from social media

Ah yes, social media. The culprit of comparison. We’re not saying social media is bad, but if you want to learn how to reduce stress, social media isn’t exactly the answer *unless all you’re doing is watching videos of cute puppies*! Social media has undoubtedly made its mark on this generation.

It connects you to photos, news, and friends. Disconnecting from social media and the Internet may be exactly what your body is craving. E-mails, likes, updates, comments, and tweets can all add up when it comes to social stresses. [Read: Social media and relationships – The good, the bad, & the ugly]

Not only do people tend to feel like they must keep up with the Joneses, but social media can be exhausting to our mental health. It’s easy for your mental health to decline with social media, so you might want to reduce your time on your social platforms when you’re feeling stressed. 

15. Adopt a furry friend

Studies show that having a furry friend around may actually help reduce stress levels. Pets offer uncomplicated relationships and unconditional love that allow you the opportunity to enjoy their company simply.

In one study, individuals were given stressful tasks to do, either with their pet, with their spouse, or alone – and all experienced the lowest amount of stress where they were with their pet. 

So this is your sign of adopting a pet and making lots of sweet memories with them! Having a furry pet can relieve your stress by so much, we promise *and they make great BFFs, too*! [Read: Are you ready to adopt a pet with your partner? Here’s what you must ask yourself first]

16. Get some sunshine

While this may seem like a boring idea in this day and age, going outside may actually help reduce stress and lift your sour mood. Those who spend their days “locked” in a windowless cubicle or stale office building may start to feel the moan of depression due to the lack of light.

Instead of eating lunch in the break room, try taking a stroll in the great outdoors and giving yourself some fresh air. Beyond simply taking a break outside, many find that outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and running, actually help reduce stress and calm the mind.

The next time you’re feeling stressed, try going for a run. You don’t need to go to the beach for a daily dose of Vitamin D, but just a little ray of sunshine a day can keep away your stress levels! Why not give it a try? 

17. Get a little sexy

Not only is it fun, but sex is also an easy way of reducing one’s stress level. In fact, many studies have found multiple health benefits come from romping in the bedroom. Sexual intercourse actually lowers your blood pressure and reduces your risk of a heart attack.

On top of these benefits, orgasm can actually be a pain blocker, especially in females. Though you may not be feeling too frisky while you’re stressed out, take a moment to breathe and relax, and remember the loads of benefits that will come from getting sensual with yourself or with your partner. [Read: How to have the best sex of your life with 15 easy bedroom rules]

So, how to reduce stress?

Stress is normal for us to feel, but it can be difficult when we get overwhelmed with stress and frustrations. While you can’t control every situation, there are ways you can manage and reduce your stress altogether.

Remember, your emotions shouldn’t control you, but it’s the other way around. 

Hopefully, these ways on how to reduce stress can change your life and turn it around! Stop trying to control everything, and you’ll eventually live a stress-free life. 

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

LovePanky icon
Team LovePanky
The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...