25 Amazing Stress Busters That Actually Work

You know the feeling.

Your heart starts beating faster, you start getting hot, and you might even begin to shake.

Stress is rearing its ugly head again.

Too many of us get stressed and don’t know what to do about it.

Sadly, stress affects many areas of our health, both physical and mental health, so it is more important than ever to find ways to minimize stress.

And this is what I am going to help you with today.

In this article, I show you 25 of my favorite stress busters. 

Run through the list and pick out a handful of strategies to keep in your back pocket to manage stress the next time it shows up.


Stress can be dangerous to our physical and mental health, so dealing with it is a priority
Some popular ways to de-stress include exercising, stretching, meditating, and laughing
Having multiple ways you can fight stress will allow you to be your best and not let stress slow you down

25 Awesome Stress Busters To Feel More Relaxed

#1. Exercise

stress busters to help you relax

Physical activity is far and away my favorite stress reliever. 

I go into the gym, throw on my headphones, and get lost in the routine of lifting weights.

It’s incredible how much better I feel after a hard workout.

Even times when I drink a little too much alcohol the night before, an intense workout leaves me feeling great.

So the next time you are coping with stress, do some active exercise to feel better instantly.

Don’t belong to a gym? Use an at-home workout routine that gets results.

#2. Listen To Music

Listening to your favorite band or songs is another great way to relieve stress and anxiety.

It doesn’t matter if it is rap, metal, or jazz.

All that matters is that it is music you love and can lose yourself in.

Take a little time and create a playlist of your favorite songs and label the playlist accordingly.

And when you listen to music while exercising, you get a double dose of making stress disappear!

#3. Be Realistic

If your stress comes from worry, worry no more!

In most cases, the things we worry about never come to realization and can worsen our problems.

The next time you worry about something, make it a point to write it down.

Then go for a walk or meditate.

When you are in a clearer mindset, reflect on what you wrote. Chances are you will see just how absurd it was.

Doing this exercise a few times will help you notice when you are being unrealistic.

When I was a little kid, I swore I always heard the pots and pans banging around in our kitchen when I was in bed.

At the time, I would get scared and call for my Mom thinking someone was in our house. 

Over time though, I realized this made no sense at all.

Why would people be banging pots and pans in the middle of the night unless it was New Year’s?

Learn to put things into perspective, and you will find that your stress disappears.

#4. Meditate For Better Mental Health

start meditating for beginners

Not only is meditating a good stress management tool, but it also builds emotional strength.

By learning how to control your mindset and using deep breathing, you can banish negative thoughts and have a more positive outlook.

The great thing about mediation is there are many forms.

This is good because we all like different things. 

Take some time to figure out which method of meditation meets your needs and start practicing it.

Just note that it takes time to master.

However, if you can start out with an open mind, you can easily knock out stress through meditation.

#5. Take A Hot Shower

Regardless if it is summer or winter, nothing beats a hot shower.

Standing under the hot water and just breathing helps me to de-stress instantly. 

There is something about the feeling of the hot water pouring over me.

Alternatively, you could take a hot bath.

Sit in a tub of hot water and relax. 

You could add some scented Epsom salts to the water to help calm you down and put a hot washcloth over your face.

#6. Eat Some Ice Cream

Need an excuse to eat some ice cream? Well, here it is! 

Eating ice cream is an excellent way to deal with stress. It makes you feel good to eat it and indulge.

Trust me, stress won’t be an issue when eating a cone of your favorite ice cream.

Just be careful to avoid having this tip being your #1 option all of the time, otherwise, you will have another issue to deal with.

#7. Laugh

There are many ways to address stress, but laughing has to be close to the best.

They say laughter is the best medicine. And I fully believe it.

No matter how bad or intense I feel, a good laugh always makes me feel better.

So find some go-to items that make you laugh, be it a stand-up comedy routine or a movie, and start laughing.

I’ll even help you out. Check this video and see how long it takes you to start laughing.

#8. Do Yoga

Meditation and yoga are great healthy ways to reduce stress.

I mentioned meditating above, and now it’s time to discuss yoga.

The key to being successful at yoga is to take things slowly.

Don’t get upset if you can’t do all the poses from the start. Most people can’t.

I remember the first time I tried yoga. I could barely do any of the poses. 

Instead of quitting, I modified the poses and did what I could.

I made tremendous progress in a few short weeks and never looked back.

#9. Breathe

This is the simplest of the stress management strategies.

Step away from whatever worries you, close your eyes, and take slow, deep breaths.

As you exhale on each breath, you will feel calmer and enter a state of relaxation.

Try to breathe in for a count of 5 and then hold for a count of 7, then slowly breathe out. 

Count as you breathe out; you should get to 8 by the time you exhale entirely.

Repeat this process five times.

Take a minute right now to try it out!

#10. Stretch

getting over fear of being judged

If yoga is too much for you, or you are at work and can’t easily get into the child’s pose, consider taking a step back and stretching.

This trick combines breathing into it so you feel relaxed when you finish.

Just find a few stretches you can do and hold them for 15 seconds, ensuring you slowly breathe simultaneously.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly you feel better.

And if your workspace is cramped, here are some easy stretches you can do at your desk.

Now you have zero excuses to try this tip out!

#11. Watch TV

Another great option to provide temporary relief is by watching some of your favorite TV shows or movies.

A quick search online should yield you some short clips of your favorites.

Before long, you will find yourself laughing and quoting along with the scene!

#12. Play With Toys

Did you know there are stress relief toys out there that help you lower cortisol levels?

I could talk about these stress-busting toys for a while, but I’ll stick to some basics that work like magic.

And the best part is, they are all small enough to fit on your desk at work or even in a desk drawer.

  • Kinetic Sand: This isn’t sand at the beach. This special sand is cool to play with and won’t leave a mess behind. It’s a blast to play with. Here is the one I use.
  • Fidget Spinner: These spinners have been a fad for a reason. They work! The sight and feeling of the spinner are sure to take your mind off your issues! This is the best one for dealing with the pressure of life.
  • Mindless Coloring Book: This is a perfect tool to relax. Ideally, you color with a pencil until the whole thing is colored. This is the one I love to use.
  • Rubik’s Cube: An old mainstay, this puzzle will suck you right in! Here it is on Amazon.

These work by using the same principle.

They get you to focus on something other than the situation you are in or are thinking about.

This distraction allows your body and mind to unwind.

#13. Go For A Walk To Address Stress

Another item to add to your to-do list is to go for a walk.

You don’t have to walk miles upon miles. Just take a brisk 20-minute walk.

It will refresh you and calm your mind so that when you return, you can attack the issue with a clear mind.

When you first start walking, you might still think about the stressful matter.

But as you continue walking, you will begin to pay attention to your surroundings, and your mind will wander.

As a bonus, walking a few times a week can help to lower high blood pressure, making you more healthy overall.

#14. Smile

Instead of just going out for a walk, go to a public place where there are lots of people walking around.

As you pass by people, look at them, smile, and say hello.

You can also hold a door for someone or do other things for people.

As crazy as this sounds, it works.

Studies show that gratitude reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%!

So if you are feeling a lot of pressure, get out and be nice to people!

#15. Do A Task You Keep Putting Off

This one requires a little work upfront, so if you are under a lot of strain right now, this is a good one to note for later.

To start, list things you need to do, but keep finding an excuse to put off.

For example, maybe you keep putting off making the doctor’s appointment or getting started on a new project.

Then keep this list with you. 

When you feel stressed, pull out the list and do one of the tasks on the list.

The task will reduce the physical symptoms by forcing you to concentrate on something else, and you will also get more done.

This will boost your morale that you get to check out a long overdue item on your list.

#16. Journal To Relieve Stress


Another great tool is to journal.

The worst thing we can do with stress is hold it in. When we journal, it gives us an outlet to vent. This will help to ease the emotional intensity we are under.

In addition, journaling may even help us to see the stressful situation differently and come up with a better solution so that it doesn’t repeat itself in the future.

And this is critical.

By understanding what worries you, you can take steps to stop it from showing up in the first place.

#17. Have A Good Support Network

Having a friend or family member you can spend time with is a great thing to have.

The goal isn’t to vent about the stressful issue but enjoy your time together and have fun.

So do whatever it is you enjoy doing most.

Sometimes, you might find that you need to vent to your friends. This is OK.

Sometimes talking about our problems is a great way to overcome them. 

We may even realize some things while talking about it.

And by venting, your friends might bring up a perspective you didn’t see.

Just make sure your friends aren’t your only stress buster.

#18. Play With Your Kids

Mom And Kids Yoga

Kids are always having fun and rarely experience stress.

So what better way to cope with the feeling than to take some time to play with them?

Chances are you’ll be laughing and goofing around in no time.

You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this year’s ago as the pressure quickly melts from your body.

#19. Reflect

A suitable coping mechanism that many people overlook is to reflect.

Think back to the past when you were under a lot of pressure.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What helped you get through the situation?
  • What didn’t work?
  • What did you learn?

You might discover that being around your family helps, or talking things over with a friend is your outlet.

The more you reflect and find solutions from prior stressful situations, the easier you will be able to deal with the pressure today.

#20. Take A Nap

I love naps, and taking one is a fantastic stress reliever.

It may take some time to relax enough to fall asleep, but once you do, the pressure will immediately leave your body.

Just be patient and don’t think about the stressful situation.

Focus more on relaxing and falling asleep.

If you can’t fall asleep, play a game with yourself to let go of the thought keeping you awake.

The game I like to play is to run through the alphabet by thinking of words that start with each letter.

You can create categories like fruits and vegetables, names, etc. It might sound odd, but it works!

This is especially true when you get to some letters that you have to think about to come up with an answer for, like I, Q, and X.

And if it is after dinner and you are worrying about something, instead of staying up, go to bed.

A good night’s sleep works just as well as a nap.

#21. Get A Massage

Most people’s favorite way to minimize stress is a massage.

I get so relaxed that I almost fall asleep most times!

While massages can be expensive, many options exist today, so you shouldn’t have to search too hard to find one that fits your budget.

Another way to make massages affordable is to limit how often you go.

Choose some other ideas on this list first, and then every couple of months, get a massage.

#22. Have Sex

When you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, the last thing you are probably thinking about is having sex.

But it is an excellent way to relax.

It can be tough to start since you won’t be in the mood, but give it time and try it.

After all, studies show that sex is a great way to relieve a headache.

#23. Smell

Certain smells instantly settle us down.

Lavender is a great example of this.

But if you don’t have lavender lying around, don’t worry. I’ve found that most nice smelling scents will calm me down.

This includes cinnamon, popcorn, and even fresh air.

While not all of these will work for you, it is a good idea to test them out and see. 

You never know what scent might soothe you into relaxation.

Here is a bonus tip.

Go to the store and find a candle scent that calms your mind. Then buy it and keep the lid on.

When you feel stressed, remove the top of the candle and take some breaths smelling it.

You’ll be amazed at how well this works.

#24. Play With Your Pets

I don’t think it is possible not to have a good time when playing with your pets.

No matter how much pressure I am under, my cat always finds a way to make me laugh.

So if you are stressed and near your pet, play with them to unwind.

As a bonus tip for this one, make sure you record what they do. 

This way, when you are at work and can’t play with them, you can watch the video on a loop to feel better

What if you don’t have a pet? Here is a favorite pet video so you can try this tip out.

#25. Address It

Finally, you can address your stress.

This is probably the best option because if you take the time to figure out the actual cause of your stress, you can eliminate it from your life.

For example, traffic may stress you out. You can fix this by leaving earlier for work so you know you will get there on time.

Or you can look to find other routes to work. This way, when you hit traffic, you know you can go different ways and still make it on time without the added stress.

Whatever stresses you out, consider why it has this power over you. 

By understanding the reasons that cause your anxiety, you can find alternative ways to cope.

It might not seem fun to figure out your triggers, but doing so can easily improve your life.

Final Thoughts

So there are 25 great stress busters to calm you down instantly.

Use whatever combination of strategies I laid out to relieve stress from your life.

Be sure to note what works and what doesn’t so that you can deal with stress quicker in the future before it becomes a more significant problem in your life.

Finally, make it a point to avoid unhealthy habits, like drinking, smoking, or eating fast food, to feel better.

While these things can temporarily make you feel better when you are feeling stressed, they will harm your health, causing you much bigger problems in the long run.

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