From Everyday Health, by Madeline Vann, MPH | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
Spending time with friends and family who give you a sense of belonging, purpose, and fun may provide all the stress relief you need.
Laughter really is the best medicine. It is proven to lower tension, and at the same time, improves blood flow and the health of your heart. Rent a funny movie or hang out with that wannabe-comedian pal, and forget about your worries for a while.
• Take care of yourself
When tension spikes, it can be tempting to put yourself last — but prioritizing healthy eating, physical activity, relationships, and sleep is necessary if you want to avoid making your stress worse.
• Get some fresh air
If you are cooped up inside all day, take a few minutes to get outside and see the sun. A little time in the great outdoors can improve your mood and help you relax.
• Be kind to yourself
Think about positive affirmations daily. Thinking negative thoughts only makes you feel bad and will increase stress. Tell yourself you are doing a good job, and believe it!
Practice deep breathing and meditation exercises daily, and when you feel tension rising.
• Be thankful
Showing thanks for your family, friends, and loved ones and being thankful for the positive aspects of your life has a calming affect. Not only does it give you perspective, it makes other people feel good, too.
• Make a change
Sometimes the best way to obtain stress relief is to remove your source of tension. “For example, if you are in a job working at a certain pace in an environment that is objectively painful because of your boss, coworkers, and so on, and you’re doing it because you can earn 10 percent more money than doing something else, you could
calculate that you might be better off doing something else,” says Dr. Goodstein.