Ways to De-Stress: 10 Ideas & Exercises to Reduce Stress & Anxiety

Woman meditating to reduce stress

Stress and anxiety can be debilitating. One moment you can be completely fine, and the next the stressful thoughts come creeping in. Or, maybe you always feel on edge and like your fight or flight response could go off at any time.

If you’re constantly feeling stressed or anxious, you’re not alone. An estimated 55% of Americans are stressed during the day, according to The American Institute of Stress, and that’s not to mention the millions of people struggling with anxiety disorder. 

We know there’s a lot to be stressed about, and that’s why it’s important to have the right outlet, tactic, or routine for those stressful moments in life. Read on for some ways to reduce stress and anxiety in the moment along with long-term stress management strategies.

How to De-Stress Quickly

Some of the best ways to de-stress quickly involve finding a distraction and helping your mind and body relax. Here are a handful of ways to help calm your nerves instantly if you find yourself in a stressful situation.

1. Get Moving

get moving exercise and self-care

Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress instantly. When you work out, your body releases endorphins (those feel-good neurotransmitters) and reduces stress hormones like cortisol. When you feel overwhelmed, taking a walk, bike ride, or even gentle exercises like yoga are ideal for stress reduction.

2. Eat a Sour Candy

A sudden stress response can be alarming, and sometimes unpredictable. When those feelings of anxiety start to creep in, suck on sour candy! According to Insider, biting into something sour, spicy, or extremely salty can distract your mind from your stress levels.

Colorful sour candy on pink background

While this isn’t a long-term solution, it can be an effective (and tasty) way to de-stress when you can’t stop focusing on your anxiety symptoms.

3. Practice Breathwork

Deep breathing is another way to de-stress quickly and subtly. Healthline outlines a number of breathing exercises for stress relief, including the popular 4-7-8 breathing technique. This breathing exercise has you take a deep, slow breath in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and breathe out for eight counts. 

As you repeat this exercise a few times, pay attention to your heart rate decreasing and muscle tension disappearing. Breathwork is all about becoming more in tune with your mind and body to deal with stress.

4. Cozy Up with a Weighted Blanket

Cuddling up under a blanket isn’t only cozy but can help you de-stress quickly. Penn Medicine explains that a weighted blanket can give your body gentle pressure similar to a hug that can activate your parasympathetic nervous system to lower your heart rate.

5. Chill Out with a Face Mask

Of course, one of the best ways to de-stress quickly can also be relaxing with a face mask. A Calming Hydrogel Face Mask with Cannabis Seed Oil contains calming Gamma-Linoleic Acid to instantly soothe your skin and your nerves. You can also keep this face mask in the fridge so it’s cool and comforting when you need it to combat stress.

How to De-Stress and Reduce Anxiety Long Term

Of course, you should also focus on reducing stress and anxiety in the long term. Here are some healthy habits that can improve your physical and mental health over time.

1. Meditate Daily

Daily meditations are great for lowering your blood pressure and helping your mind and body find peace. Meditation can be as simple as taking a minute to focus on your breathing, or you can find a more complex meditation with guided imagery - it’s all about finding what relaxes you!

2. Get Enough Sleep

get enough sleep woman resting eye mask

A good night's sleep is the key to reducing stress in the long term. According to the American Psychological Association, adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night report higher stress levels than those who sleep at least eight hours a night. Sleep naturally helps reduce stress hormones so you can feel your best.

3. Cut out Caffeine

It’s no secret that caffeine isn’t great for stress. Reducing your caffeine intake (or cutting it out) can help you sleep better and create a healthier cycle for your mind and body.

4. Eat a Healthy Diet

What you eat can directly affect your stress. According to the Cleveland Clinic, certain foods can help reduce your levels of cortisol (the pesky stress hormone), including:

  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Avocados
  • Salmon
  • Bananas
  • Dark chocolate

These foods are often high in vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium that metabolize cortisol and are anti-inflammatory.

5. Perfect Your Self-Care Routine

Finally, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of having a daily self-care routine. Self-care shouldn’t be a treat, but something you practice every day to help reduce stress and anxiety.

For instance, incorporating products like Chill Mode gel eye patches as part of your evening routine can be a great way to de-stress and ease the areas where anxiety shows up the most on your face.

Explore our skincare favorites at Patchology for reducing stress and anxiety today!

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