Best Stress Relieving Activities To Keep You Calm & Relaxed (2022)

Looking for the best stress relieving activities?

We all need a bit of time to relax, but how can you do it fast?

Keep reading to discover the best way to reduce stress and relieve anxiety fast…

Table of Contents

Best Stress Relieving Activities To Keep You Cool

1. Talk to someone

This is one of the most tried and tested stress relieving activities:

Humans are inherently social beings. We strongly depend on the support of our loved ones. It gives us a profound sense of belonging and acceptance.

Best Stress Relieving Activities To Keep You Calm & Relaxed (1)

You don’t necessarily have to meet them in person. Merely starting a short conversation over and internet messenger will allow you to briefly disconnect from the source of your anxiety and relax.

Similarly, if you feel that a person is starting a conversation with you, in order to distract themselves from an anxiety-inducing event, consider showing genuine interest, express affection, and validate their emotions.

2. Draw

You can also consider drawing as a great way to distract your mind from your source of anxiety.

More importantly, it helps you express emotions in a quick way, while not needing to abide by a certain framework or set of principles.

It’s essential to underline that drawing can be taken to different extents. There’s no need to use watercolor, just doodling will do just fine.

Drawing is one of those stress relieving activities that never gets old!

Best Stress Relieving Activities To Keep You Calm & Relaxed (2)

However, if you feel like you have the time and the resources to work on a painting — please do, by any means.

Drawing isn’t just a way to get distracted; Art Therapy has been around for quite a while.

A2016 studyyou can find in theJournal of the American Art Therapyindicates that just 40 minutes of drawing or painting can have a beneficial effect on your stress levels.

(Video) Box breathing relaxation technique: how to calm feelings of stress or anxiety

More importantly, the same study underlines that artistic talent is not a central factor. So we can all reap the benefits of drawing for relaxation.

3. Listen to some great music

Music has been a vital part of human civilization for centuries. While it can invoke a vast spectrum of emotions from fear and anxiety to bliss and awe, one thing we know for sure — music has a very potent effect on our psyche.

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There is also a large body of research that indicates the powerful effects music has on a variety of illnesses:

  • Listening to certain types of music has shown to have a significant impact on stress andanxiety levels in patients before and after surgery.
  • Other studies suggest that music can reduce chronic pain associated with certain illnesses like cancer.
  • Music helps seniors with combattingdepressionand growing their self-esteem.

Consider using music to help you in stressful situations. You can either listen to the songs you love or choose some calm music instead.

It’s is a fantastic tool for stress reduction specifically because it allows us to distract from whatever’s happening in the present moment while being very mindful of our emotions.

4. Cats and dogs

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Scientific reports indicate that playing with animals has a very multifaceted effect on the human body.

First off, it decreases stress-related hormones like cortisol, which is known to make people nervous and anxious.

Second, it increases our oxytocin levels, which is a feel-good hormone that our bodies secrete during pleasant social interactions like handshakes and pats on the back.

Other studies have shown that short interaction with pets has increased endorphin and dopamine levels in subjects — also hormones associated with happiness.

Interestingly, you don’t really need to touch an animal to experience stress relief.

Simply staring at a fish tank for half an hour will considerably decrease your blood pressure and induce a state of calm.

This is one of our favourite stress relieving activities!

See Also: 10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Perfect For Stress Relief

5. Hugging and kissing will definitely help

This is one of the best stress relieving activities to do with your partner:

You’ve surely noticed before that when a person is crying or profoundly unhappy, our first instinct is to hug them. Why do we do that?

Scientists believe that physical interactions like holding one’s hand, giving them a hug, or kissing them have a profoundly comforting effect on the human mind. It helps us reduce stress.

(Video) Relieve Stress & Anxiety with Simple Breathing Techniques

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A recently publishedacademic research that has studied the behavior of 20 couples by giving them painful electric shocks. There are two groups.

The control group comprises partners that sit close to each other but aren’t holding hands. The other group consists of people that do hold hands.

The study concluded that the couples that held hands experience less pain than their counterparts.

Therefore, when stressed, have a loved one give you a long and comforting hug. This will significantly decrease your stress levels in just a few minutes.

6. Eat something nice

Food is a potent tool to combat stress. However, it’s essential to differentiate between having a diet that helps you decrease stress levels and emotional eating. The two are radically different.

There are many foods that can help you alleviate stress, here are a few of them:

  • Warm, soothing foods and drinks — just the food profile of the food itself can have a beneficial effect on your stress levels.

    If you’re not in a position to have some warm vegetable soup, consider having some herbal tea. Warm foods are known to increase the production of dopamine and serotonin.

  • Dark chocolate — this coveted food is very rich in antioxidants, and is also famous for combatting your stress levels by decreasing the hormones associated with anxiety.
  • Whole-grain carbs — foods rich in complex carbs take much longer to digest and, as a result, keep your energy levels high. We’re often irritated when we’re hungry. Foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa will keep you full for a long time.
  • Bananas — this fruit is known to elevate dopamine levels, which can help you perk up in a very stressful situation
  • Oranges — a study conducted at the University of Trier in Germany has shown that giving people a regular dose of Vitamin C will keep the subjects’ cortisol levels low.

Longer-term stress relief

Now that we’ve covered a list of things we can do to relieve stress immediately, we need to talk about the things you can do in advance to combat stress.

1. Meditation

Meditationis an insanely powerful stress relieving activity. Scientists are now confident that just two months of regular practicewill have a massive effect on decreasing stress levels in the long run.

Meditation is a fairly multifaceted tool. There are many types of meditation that can be used both for immediate and prolonged effects.

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Meditators can reprogram their emotional response so that they’re more mindful of their reactions.

Very often, what ends up being a stressful situation is just a frustration we’ve been unaware of what has been left unattended.

A daily practice has shown to improve a person’s resistance to stress.

Your mind no longer reacts as aggressively to stress, and even if it does, you’re aware of your reaction before you manage to act on it.

Being able to control your stress is a vital skill in all areas of life — personal, academic, and professional.

(Video) How to reduce stress with the 2:1 breathing technique

Here are a few simple and fun ways you can meditate to have better control over your stress:

See Also: Is Meditative Relaxation The Perfect Answer To Stress Relief?

A: Noting

This exercise is designed to distinguish between the different thoughts a person experiences and how they make us feel.

Sit down in a comfortable position and focus on your breath. Every time a thought comes to mind — label it. When it comes to labeling, opportunities are endless, but let’s stick to two basic types of reflection: feeling or planning.

Feeling is the type of thought that triggers an emotional response in us. Planning, on the other hand, is us thinking about the future.

Once you’ve established the type of thought, label it, let it go, and return to the breath.

B: Body scan

This approach demands a strong focus. Start by concentrating on your breath for a few minutes.

Once your mind has settled gently and slowly scan sections of your body and observe the subtle sensations you experience in that particular part of the body.

Start with the top of your head, move on to your face, neck, shoulders, one hand at a time, torso, hips, legs feet.

Repeat the scan in reverse. Continue for 10 minutes.

There is a very high probability that you’ll become distracted at some point, and your mind will wander. Focus on the thought itself and observe how it dissipates. Return to the body scan.

Meditation is a very broad field. These are just two basic techniques you can use at home in a chair or before a stressful interview.

More importantly, meditation is fairly entertaining too. It allows you to learn more about your body and how it reacts to external stimuli.

2. Yoga

Yoga is one of the most popular stress relieving activities you can try at home:

In a national survey conducted in the US, nearly 90% of respondents stated that practicing yoga helped them relieve stress.

(Video) Stretches for Stress Relief

Exercise, in general, is a great way to lower your stress levels, but this age-old practice is especially powerful in this regard.

The great part about it is the diversity of exercises you encounter in a yoga class. There’s everything from stretching and balancing to strength and endurance positions.

There’s also something profoundly spiritual about yoga. It instigates a state of compassion for all beings and makes you less judgmental towards your peers.

Yoga stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system. A regular practice will decrease cortisol levels and increase our resilience towards stress.

See Also: Yoga Symbols: 11 Empowering Yoga Symbols For Inner Peace

3. Get enough sleep

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Stress and sleep have a very complicated relationship. Each affects the other. The less you sleep, the more stressed you are. The more stressed you are, the less you sleep. It’s a vicious cycle.

“Make no mistake; this isn’t just a coincidence. In reality, the neurotransmitters associated with deep sleep are the ones the regulate our body’s release of stress hormones.This is why poor sleeping habits make us more stressed and make it even harder to fall asleep the next day.”

Neightan White, a blogger and science writer at Supreme Dissertations and Studicus.

Therefore, it’s essential to make enough time in your schedule to sleep for at least 8 hours every day.

4. Journaling is a great tool

Journaling is a stress management tool that millions of people adore. While it’s not necessarily the most entertaining thing in the world at the very beginning, once you get a taste of it — nobody can stop you.

“Writing your raw ideas on a piece of paper is an excellent way to get an emotional release. Similarly, it allows you to really analyze how you feel about a certain situation and find out what you really want in life.“

Diana Adjadj, a writer and blogger at Trust My Paper and Best Essay Education.

Journaling also allows you to clear your mind. After a short session of writing, you’ll feel relieved and relaxed.

More importantly, you’ll be able to gather a sense of clarity and understanding of the factors that cause you to be stressed in the first place.


Finding the best stress-relieving activity takes time. However, we’re confident that the ones you’ll find above will most certainly point you in the right direction.

Once you’ve found your preferred way of dealing with stress, don’t hesitate to continually adapt it to your needs and your personality. We hope you found this article helpful. Good luck!

About the Author

Kristin Savage is a seasoned writer and editor passionate about ethical software development, mental health, and wellbeing.

(Video) Yoga For Anxiety and Stress

She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields.

She is currently a regular contributor at Grab My Essay, WOWGrade, and Writing Judge.

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What are the top 10 ways to relieve stress? ›

10 Tips to Manage Stress
  • 1.Exercise.
  • 2.Relax Your Muscles.
  • 3.Deep Breathing.
  • 4.Eat Well.
  • 5.Slow Down.
  • 6.Take a Break.
  • 7.Make Time for Hobbies.
  • 8.Talk About Your Problems.
Apr 29, 2021

How can I instantly calm my mind? ›

Relaxing and calming exercises
  1. Take a break. Focus on your breathing. Listen to music.
  2. Spend some time in nature. Try active relaxation. Think of somewhere else.
  3. Try guided meditation. Get creative.

What is the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety? ›

Follow the 3-3-3 rule.

Look around you and name three things you see. Then, name three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body — your ankle, fingers, or arm.

What are the 5 main ways to manage stress? ›

5 tips to manage stress
  • Use guided meditation. Guided meditation is a great way to distract yourself from the stress of day-to-day life. ...
  • Practice deep breathing. ...
  • Maintain physical exercise and good nutrition. ...
  • Manage social media time. ...
  • Connect with others.
Dec 10, 2018

How do I shut my brain off for anxiety? ›

Mental over-activity is a big problem for many people, but there are some helpful techniques that might aid in quieting things down at night.
  1. Give yourself some mental and physical wind-down time. ...
  2. Don't worry in bed. ...
  3. Focus on mental imagery. ...
  4. Separate productive worry from unproductive worry.

What is peaceful mind exercise? ›

Inhale Calm, Exhale Stress

Here's a way your breath can come to your rescue. Try this: As you inhale, imagine calm pervading every cell of your body, carried in by your breath. As you exhale, visualize every iota of angst you've got being drawn out of your body where it can evaporate into the air.

Is anxiety a mental illness? ›

Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives. But anxiety disorders are treatable and a number of effective treatments are available. Treatment helps most people lead normal productive lives.

What is the 54321 technique? ›

The 5 senses grounding technique, often referred to as the 54321 method or 54321 anxiety trick is a tool that helps relieve anxiety symptoms and panic attacks. The 54321 method can be used as a practical way to calm anxiety by isolating each of your senses through observation.

Can crying stop anxiety? ›

Many people associate crying with feeling sad and making them feel worse, but in reality, crying can help improve your mood - emotional tears release stress hormones. Your stress level lowers when you cry, which can help you sleep better and strengthen your immune system.

What is the fastest way to relieve anger and stress? ›

  1. Think before you speak. In the heat of the moment, it's easy to say something you'll later regret. ...
  2. Once you're calm, express your concerns. ...
  3. Get some exercise. ...
  4. Take a timeout. ...
  5. Identify possible solutions. ...
  6. Stick with 'I' statements. ...
  7. Don't hold a grudge. ...
  8. Use humor to release tension.

How do you relieve stress in 5 minutes? ›

5-minute stress relief
  1. Brief relaxation. Even just a few minutes of meditation can help you de-stress. ...
  2. Visual imagery. Also known as guided imagery, this exercise is used widely for relaxation and stress management. ...
  3. Deep breathing. ...
  4. Stretching.

Why Free time activities can reduce stress? ›

“When people engage in leisure activity, they have lower stress levels, better mood, a lower heart rate and more psychological engagement — that means less boredom, which can help avoid unhealthy behaviors,” Zawadzki said.

How can I control my anger in 5 minutes? ›

A 5-minute walk outside or another calming activity like yoga are both great coping strategies for dealing with anger. If your anger stems from the traffic jam you're stuck in, turn up the radio and sing at the top of your lungs. The idea: Create a mental or physical escape from the situation.

How can I be happy and relax? ›

How to be happier
  1. Manage your stress levels. If you have a lot of stress in your life, find ways to reduce it, such as learning a few time-management techniques. ...
  2. Enjoy yourself. ...
  3. Boost your self-esteem. ...
  4. Have a healthy lifestyle. ...
  5. Talk and share. ...
  6. Build your resilience.

How do I start better care of myself? ›

Some tips for self-care include:
  1. Live Healthy, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and avoid drugs and alcohol. ...
  2. Practice good hygiene. ...
  3. See friends to build your sense of belonging. ...
  4. Try to do something you enjoy every day.

How do I motivate myself to take care of myself? ›

13 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day
  1. Set specific time slots when you don't work. Focusing on work is a great excuse for not taking care of yourself. ...
  2. Start your day off with meditation. ...
  3. Work out. ...
  4. Get enough ZZZs. ...
  5. Write a poem. ...
  6. Keep a journal. ...
  7. Talk to friends and family. ...
  8. Wake up slowly.
Mar 1, 2017

What's one hobby you have that allows you to relax? ›

While 93% of those in the study found knitting to be the most relaxing, other hobbies such as fishing, blogging and calligraphy were also praised for their ability to improve our wellbeing. Meanwhile, painting, candle making and, unsurprisingly, baking all made the top 20.

Do hobbies relieve stress? ›

Spending time on an activity that you enjoy can improve your mental health and wellbeing. Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed.

Do hobbies help with anxiety? ›

Taking up a hobby is a great way to ease anxiety or stress. It gives you something enjoyable to focus on, at the same time taking your mind off anything negative that you may be experiencing. Pleasurable pastimes can be a good way to calm down an overactive mind, alleviate anxiety and lower panic symptoms.


1. 10-Minute Meditation For Anxiety
2. Relieve Stress & Anxiety with Relaxing Stretches
3. 6 Daily Habits to Reduce Stress & Anxiety
4. Exercises for Stress Reduction & Deep Relaxation - Part 4 of 4 - Deep Conscious Sleep
5. Reduce Stress through Progressive Muscle Relaxation (3 of 3)
(Johns Hopkins Rheumatology)
6. How to protect your brain from stress | Niki Korteweg | TEDxAmsterdamWomen
(TEDx Talks)

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