Adding some stress management activities into your daily routine has tremendous benefits.
These techniques can improve your quality of life, strengthen your relationships, decrease your anxiety levels, and help you deal with your emotions.
Many stress management activities require little to no monetary investment, making them doable for almost anyone.
If you feel like your stress levels are out of control, it is necessary that you take action as soon as possible.
Leaving stress unmanaged can lead to long-term issues with both your mental and physical health. Weight gain, depression, anxiety disorders, low self-esteem, and more can all be consequences of unmanaged stress.
However, you can take action to prevent these outcomes.
In this article, we will cover how stress management decreases your levels of stress and the best techniques to start using.
20 Stress Management Activities To Beat Stress & Stay Concentrated
There is no stress management strategy that works for everyone.
So, it’s best to experiment with a few and find what works for you. Below, we have listed some of the most practical and effective techniques.
Meditation is a great way to get your body and mind relaxed. In fact, the benefits of meditation can be seen long after your session is over.
You can almost definitely find a type of meditation that works for you, since there are so many different types to try.
For instance, the mantra puts an emphasis on deep breathing.
However, mindfulness activities (another type of meditation among adults) help you see the beauty of your current moment. Try exploring multiple types of mediation, and switch things up from time to time.
2. Focus on Breathing
Focusing on the simple parts of life can help reduce your stress.
Thinking about your breaths can help you refocus your energy and reduce stress. This activity takes very little time and you can see results almost immediately.
You can also perform breathing exercises and focus on breathing discreetly. Therefore, you can perform them virtually anywhere.
In addition, you can also utilize special breathing techniques, such as anchor breathing techniques, to gain a deeper focus.
3. Take a Walk
Exercise is a great way to get your blood pumping. There are other non-physical benefits to some form of exercise as well: it helps you relax and feel happier.
Your frame of mind may change if you go on a scenic walk. Then, you will start to see everything through a more positive lens.
Plus, taking a walk releases serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters related to happiness.
When experiencing episodes of stress, try removing yourself from the situation by taking a walk.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet
What you eat has an impact beyond your waistline: it also affects your mood and levels of stress.
One way individuals negatively impact their mental health is through emotional eating, or comfort eating.
They often reach for the fattiest, unhealthiest foods, which can change the structure of their brains in a negative manner. After weight gain, any small benefit comfort eating brings is completely reversed.
It’s important to realize the different effects types of food have on your body. Refined flour in cookies, cakes, pasta, and so on spikes blood sugar, making you more susceptible to stress.
5. Develop a Positive Self-Talk Habit
The way you perceive yourself has an immense impact on your self-confidence, ability to trust yourself, and stress management.
Thinking negatively of yourself surely will not help you stay positive in the face of adversity.
Try shifting how you refer to yourself. Instead of saying you’re not good enough, focus on your strengths.
If you cannot do something, understand that this inability is likely temporary.
Start saying, “I will” instead of “I can’t” to be more positive.
6. Express Gratitude
Gratitude can be expressed in numerous ways. You could send a loved one a note, have a Zoom call with them, or simply keep a gratitude journal.
Everyone has something good in their lives. Unfortunately, stress can often make us forget about that goodness.
Take time to ensure you recognize these positive elements of your life, even in chaotic times. If you remind yourself you have the skills to deal with stress, you will be more likely to tackle it.
7. Prioritize Exercise
Physical activity can benefit individuals of any age. It makes you happier, more engaged, and lets you get away from acute stress.
You don’t have to run 8 miles every day to see the benefits of activity. In fact, simply walking for a few minutes daily counts as exercise.
The key is to find an activity you truly enjoy. Then, you will not view exercise as a chore, but rather, as a reward.
Exercise can be a great tool for escaping everyday struggles and refocusing your mind on what truly matters.
8. Get a Hug From a Loved One
In times of stress, you may forget that you have individuals who are always rooting for you.
Knowing you have supporters is key to ensuring you can tackle stress, and feeling isolated will only make it more difficult.
One way you can connect with those you care about is through a simple hug. It takes little time and it can leave you feeling more happy and positive, thus, in control of your stress.
9. Simplify Your Task List
Many individuals get stressed because they are exceptionally busy. Their schedules are filled to the brim and they can never say no to doing someone a favor.
However, this overload can lead to burnout and unhappiness. Try looking at your to-do list and reevaluating which tasks are truly necessary, and which you can eliminate.
This will simplify your schedule and give you more control over your daily tasks.
10. Make Time for Activities You Love
Everybody needs a break from time to time. However, vacations and days off may not fit into everyone’s schedule.
You can still make time for the activities you love, though. After work, try scheduling some time to yourself.
If you love reading, grab a book and get to it for 1-2 hours a night. If you like adventures, try scheduling a mini trip to go hiking after work.
Or, if you simply want to relax, you can listen to calming music or schedule a massage.
11. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy may seem confusing at first, but it can help you get a handle on stress.
Some key benefits that come along with aromatherapy include experiencing a peaceful scene, feeling more relaxed, energizing your body and mind, as well as feeling connected to the current moment.
Data backs up the notion that aromatherapy can have physiological impacts on you, too. It increases brain wave activity while simultaneously decreasing stress levels.
12. Implement Progressive Muscle Relaxation Techniques
Muscle relaxation can help soothe both your body and mind. This activity involves you tensing up all your muscles, and then slowly releasing that tension.
Before you start, consider doing some slow breathing. Then, tense up each of your muscle groups from your legs to your neck. Finally, release tension in each of the groups.
If you use this technique often, you will get better and quicker at the tense/relax sequences over time.
13. Try Guided Imagery
If you cannot take a true vacation, the next best thing is to do some guided imagery. This technique involves you placing yourself in an ideal scenario or place.
If you truly want to visit Spain, you can imagine placing yourself there.
Or, if you want to spend a night out with your partner but cannot at the moment you can imagine doing so. Notice all the elements around you. What do you hear, smell, feel, and taste?
Guided imagery easily calms you down and gets you more positive. Even after the session is over, you will still feel energized and happy.
14. Work with Your Hands
Doing some tactile work can help you relax and remove your stressors. Focusing on your senses instead of the negative elements of your job is an effective way to reduce chronic stress.
One such sensory experience is creating artwork.
If that seems too difficult for you, try simply popping bubble wrap. It is a fun and quick activity that gets you in touch with your senses and away from your worries.
If you have play dough or slime, you can use them to deal with your stress, too.
15. Light-Hearted Problem Solving
Use your problem-solving skills in a more lighthearted way by playing some games or finishing puzzles.
These activities let you take your mind off of your worries and use your skills in a less stressful environment.
Stress often comes from you being unable to solve a problem. If you prove to your brain that you can solve (any) problem, then you may stop doubting yourself and your stress will be reduced.
While exercise is a great way to reduce stress, even stretching can decrease your worries.
There is no need to buy a yoga mat, gym membership, or invest lots of money unless you want to.
Even quick yoga sessions can help reduce stress. Yoga can help you work on belly breathing, which is a form of deep breathing arising from the depths of your belly.
This form of breathing with stretching will ensure you feel loose, comfortable, and unstressed.
17. Clean the House
Cleaning may seem like a chore, but it offers great benefits when it comes to calmness.
Firstly, this activity involves little planning. In addition, it combines physical activity with productive work.
Physical activity is an incredibly effective way to reduce stress. If you are productive, you can prove to yourself that you have skills and are worth trusting.
This will result in anxiety reduction and reduction in self-doubt.
18. Distract Yourself through a Story
If you are someone who loves books, try picking up your favorite novel for a few hours. However, many struggle with focusing enough to read when stressed.
If you cannot read while stressed, play a podcast or a TV show. This is known as a positive distraction, as it reduces your stress and lets you return to your problems with a clear mind.
Choosing to dwell on your issues will not be an effective way to manage stress, and distractions help you recently that focus for a period of time.
19. Find What Stresses You Out
Understanding your stressors is key to getting rid of or at least managing your stress.
Look at patterns in what makes you stressed and upset. Write down any time you feel especially stressed. Then, you will get an idea of what causes your stress levels to rise.
After that, you can eliminate those activities whenever possible or work on the skills needed to feel less stressed.
For instance, if you realize you get stressed primarily from working in a team, you can build up your teamwork skills. If you notice you get stressed about eating out, you can limit the number of times you do that.
20. Set Realistic Goals
Setting lofty goals is not necessarily bad. In fact, some people feel more motivated when their goals are tough to achieve.
However, others feel worried and stressed when their goals are unrealistic. If you are one of the latter individuals, try reevaluating how realistic your goals are.
Break them down into more manageable tasks that are not so threatening. For example, if your goal used to be to make 100 sales calls a day, start with 30 and work your way up.
You will eventually end up with the same primary goal, but you won’t be as stressed along the way.
Why are Stress Relief Exercises Important & Their Benefits
Stress relief exercises are important because they are effective at reducing stress. Instead of dwelling on your stressors, these techniques help you ease mental tension.
With their help, you can better manage your issues, eliminate stressors, and feel more confident in your abilities.
Those are not the only benefits that come with stress relief exercises, though.
10 Benefits of Stress Management Exercises
Addition benefits include:
- Boosting your immunity and getting sick less often
- Cleaning your mind so that you do not dwell on your stress
- Allows you to prioritize your wellbeing
- Encourages you to perform activities you truly enjoy
- Helps you get closer with those you love (friends, family, spouse, etc)
- Encourages you to express gratitude
- Reframes your mind so that you think more positively
- Teaches you how to prepare for stressful events
- Decreases your risk of anxiety and depression while increasing positive brain activity
- Make you less likely to react negatively to stress in the future
Bonus: How to Relieve Stress Quickly
Some stress-relieving activities take little time to perform.
For instance, one of the most effective ways to reduce stress is through communication with your loved ones. You can simply send them a text message saying you love them and you appreciate them.
Or, if you see them in person, give them a hug.
This only takes a few minutes, but it puts you in a good mood and takes away some of that stress.
Another quick way to release stress is through guided imagery and deep breathing.
With guided imagery, you simply imagine yourself in a calm and beautiful place. This will also only take a few minutes.
Deep breathing exercises take very little time as well. Simply pay close attention to your breathing and try to ensure every breath comes from the depth of your stomach.
Finally, progressive muscle relaxation also takes little time. With this strategy, you tense your muscles and after a few moments release them.
How To Develop Stress Management Activities At the Workplace
Different stress management techniques should be used to help individuals and groups. As a manager, you can encourage your team to reduce stress in cost-efficient ways.
You must pay attention to each individual’s personality to help them choose the best technique.
Below, we have provided the best stress management activities for both groups and individuals.
Stress Management Activities for Groups
When addressing a group, it can be difficult to ensure the activity you chose works for everyone. Therefore, it is best to choose more common techniques and non-specific activities.
For example, you can help a group of individuals find their own stressors. Tell them to write down any time they feel stressed and look for patterns.
Once they see a pattern, they will understand one of their stressors. Then, they can address that stressor by building skills to deal with that stress or distance themselves from that stressor.
For example, one individual may find their stress comes from working independently, while the other finds group work to be stressful.
You can address both of their stressors by teaching them to build skills that help them cope with such stress.
Other commonly used tools for teams include calm breathing or encouraging people to distance themselves from stress.
These techniques can be done by anyone and take very little time to do. Since they are not personalized but rather work for almost anyone, they are great group activities.
Stress Management Activities for Employee
As an employee, you need to focus on what works best solely for you. Try experimenting with different stress management techniques.
For example, start with the techniques you already know of: deep breathing, yoga, and so on.
Then, you can start exploring some more obscure techniques, like progressive muscle relaxation. Better yet, try doing something you truly love doing.
Taking your mind off of stress through doing such activities is known as a positive distraction. It lets your mind relax and allows your energy to be refocused in a more positive direction.
If you love reading, try scheduling reading into your post-work schedule. If you enjoy running, try running each day. You will find yourself healthier, happier, and less stressed if you do this.
How To Improve Stress Management
You can improve stress management through numerous methods. There is the classic deep breathing method, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, and so on.
You could practice gratitude, spend time with your loved ones, and do other activities as well.
Stress management does not have to be boring. There are some extremely interesting and exciting activities you can do to reduce stress.
Fun Stress Management Activities
1. You can do anything you truly enjoy. The beauty of stress reduction is that it can be personalized to you. If you highly enjoy adventures, then booking a hiking trip can be an effective way to reduce your stress. If you enjoy reading or writing, then you can do that to take your mind off of your worries. Instead of dwelling on these issues, you can come back to them with a clear mind as a result of practicing fun activities.
2. Talk to your family. Being with your loved ones is one of the most comforting and fun activities one could imagine. You could simply talk to them via the phone or Zoom. If you would like, you could also plan to go with them somewhere. Your loved ones can remind you of your inner strength. They will show you that you have support, thus reducing your self-doubt and stress.
3. Adventure. As previously mentioned, adventure can be a great way to stop overthinking your stress. With adventure, you can focus on gaining new experiences instead of overthinking the negative elements of your life. Adventures can help you realize how lucky you are too. This will boost your gratitude and decrease stress levels.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stress Management
What are 5 examples of activities to participate in to reduce stress?
There are many activities you can partake in to reduce your stress.
Five of the most popular activities include:
- Deep breathing as well as other breathing exercises
- Exercise (yoga, and other forms of physical activity)
- Expressing gratitude
- Spending time with your loved ones
In general, anything that you enjoy doing can help you stress less and be more positive.
How do you facilitate a stress management group?
You can start a stress management group by bringing together some of your fellow stressed friends. Talk to them about why they are feeling stressed.
Ensure you create an environment where anyone can share their insights and struggles without feeling unheard. Then, have everyone share their suggestions for each individual.
Share the strategies that work for you and which may work for your friend.
Finally, make sure they know you are there to support them whenever they need it.
What is a stress management strategy?
A stress management strategy is a list of steps that you take to manage and decrease your stress. These strategies are tailored to your individual needs and desires.
If you struggle with stress in relation to your finances, then you can target those specific financial management skills.
In addition, a stress management strategy should also include some distractions. Distractions let you take your mind off of stress, make you happier, and add vigor to your energy supply.
Distractions include reading books, journaling, exercising, watching TV, doing yoga, and more.