How To Relieve Stress: 17 Best Ways To Relieve Stress

Dr. Archana Shukla

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Archana Shukla


9 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Your blood pressure reduces if you are stress-free
  • Stress symptoms and effects can affect your health
  • Adopt simple techniques to reduce stress in your life

High blood pressure or hypertension can prove fatal for your heart if not managed properly and on time. Stress can worsen your blood pressure. So, adopt a healthy lifestyle so that your blood pressure levels are kept in check. If you don’t handle stress properly, it can even result in eating disorders. If your blood pressure is not taken care of, you may face heart attacks, stroke or cardiovascular diseases.

You may be wondering, what is stress? The answer is simple. It is how your body reacts to challenging situations. Excessive stress can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. To reduce stress, follow healthy habits that can increase positivity within you. Stress-free living is vital for better mental and physical well-being. While there are no shortcuts to leading a stress-free life, you can try these innovative ways how to reduce stress. 

What is Stress?

Stress is the body's response to any demand or threat. When you perceive a threat or demand, your body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and energy levels, which can help you respond to the demand or threats. This is known as the "fight or flight" response.

A variety of factors, such as work, school, relationships, financial problems, or health issues, can cause stress. External events, such as natural disasters, accidents, or violence, can also cause it.

In small amounts, stress can be beneficial as it can help you stay focused and motivated. However, when stress becomes chronic, it can have negative effects on your physical and mental health. Chronic stress can lead to various health problems, including heart disease, depression, and anxiety. It can also weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to illness.

For stress management, finding healthy ways to cope with and reduce the sources of stress in your life is essential. This may include exercise, relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, and seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.

How To Reduce Stress?

Get More Physical Activity

Getting more physical activity is a great way to reduce stress. Exercise can help release endorphins, chemicals in the brain that can help improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Regular physical activity can also help to improve sleep, which is important for managing stress.

Follow A Healthy Diet

Following a healthy diet can also help to reduce stress. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help support overall physical and mental health. Avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and excess caffeine can also be beneficial for reducing stress.

Minimize Phone Use And Screen Time

Minimizing phone use and screen time can help to reduce stress by reducing the amount of stimuli you are exposed to. Taking regular breaks from screens and setting limits on phone and internet use can help to reduce feelings of overwhelm and improve overall well-being.

Consider Supplements

Some people find that supplements, such as vitamins or herbs, can help reduce stress. However, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, as some supplements can interact with medications or have potential side effects.

Practice Self-care

Practicing self-care is an important part of managing stress. This can include activities such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or going for a walk. Taking time for yourself can help to reduce feelings of overwhelm and improve overall well-being.

Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

Reducing your caffeine intake can also help reduce stress. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety. Limiting caffeine intake, or avoiding it altogether, can help to reduce these symptoms.

Spend Time With Friends And Family

Spending time with friends and family can be a great way to reduce stress. Connecting with loved ones can help provide support and reduce feelings of loneliness, a common source of stress.

Create Boundaries And Learn To Say No

Creating boundaries and learning to say no can also help manage stress. Setting limits on your time and energy can help to prevent overextending yourself and reduce feelings of overwhelm.

Learn To Avoid Procrastination

Avoiding procrastination can help to reduce stress by reducing the amount of last-minute pressure you feel. Planning ahead and tackling tasks as soon as they arise can help to prevent the build-up of stress and improve overall productivity.

Take A Yoga Class

Taking a yoga class can be a great way to reduce stress. Yoga combines physical exercise with breathing techniques and meditation, which can help to improve overall physical and mental well-being. Regular yoga practice can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep and overall relaxation.

Additional read: High BP Symptoms in Women

Practice Relaxation Techniques

This is an effective way for being stress-free! You can try out deep breathing exercises, yoga or meditation to calm and center yourself. These are powerful techniques that increase your body strength while soothing your mind and body. In fact, breathing exercises can even lower your blood pressure. The art of taking deep and slow breaths can give you good relaxation. You can also try listening to your favorite music while doing this. Listening to soulful music creates a positive effect on your body and brain. It helps in lowering cortisol, which is a hormone linked to stress. Other relaxation techniques include muscle relaxation and guided imagery methods [1].

Sleep Properly

Sleep plays a key role in your well-being. If your sleeping patterns are irregular, it can affect your mood, energy levels and take a toll on your physical health. Consequently, your concentration and mental alertness also decrease. When you are feeling stressed, you are sure to be emotionally disturbed. So, try to sleep soundly for at least 6-8 hours. Avoid using your smartphone or watching TV just before your bedtime as it can cause poor sleep.

symptoms of stress

Connect with Like-Minded People

If you are thinking about how to relieve stress, strengthening your social network could be an ideal solution. Connecting with your peers and joining support groups can reduce your stress. Talk to your loved ones and express your feelings openly. This way your mind feels calm and relaxed. The fact that you can confide in someone can prevent problems like depression and loneliness. Rather than staying inside a shell, learn to come out of it.

Monitor What You Eat

Stress levels and your diet are interconnected. When you are stressed, you tend to binge eat, choosing sugar-laden sweets and snacks. So, it is important to create a diet plan and restrict the intake of sugary foods. Include loads of vegetables and fruits in your diet along with lean protein, healthy fats and whole grains. Consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps in reducing stress symptoms. Take salt in minimal quantities so that your blood pressure reduces and heart health improves.

Additional read: Effects of Stress on Your Body

Exercise Regularly

For being stress-free, exercise is considered a must-do. However, if you have high blood pressure, consult your doctor before starting any new exercise. Doing exercises regularly can relieve you of stress. When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins that help you feel more positive and happier.

Give Importance to Self

It is necessary to pamper yourself. Whether it is treating yourself to a massage or travelling to your favorite location, you need to give some time to yourself. Do what you like and nurture your passion. This can make you happy and lower your stress.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting small goals is important to avoid unnecessary stress. When you are expectations are too high, stress gets multiplied in case you are unable to meet them. So, try to achieve smaller goals that instill self-confidence and happiness in you. Learn to realize the fact that you needn’t be 100% successful always [2]. Keep a track of things you can control and stop worrying about things that are not in your control.

 Tips For Stress Relievers

  1. Establishing a regular sleep schedule is important for maintaining healthy sleep patterns. This means going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including on weekends. This can help to regulate your body's natural sleep-wake cycle and improve sleep quality.
  2. Making sure your bed and surroundings are comfortable can also help to improve sleep. This may involve using a comfortable mattress and pillows and ensuring that your room is at a comfortable temperature.
  3. Keeping your bedroom dark and quiet can also be helpful for sleep. This may involve using blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light and using earplugs or a white noise machine to drown out any external noise.
  4. Using your bedroom only for sleeping can help to establish a sleep-friendly environment. Avoiding work or watching TV in your bedroom can help associate the space with sleep and relaxation.
  5. Avoiding excessive napping during the day can also be helpful for sleep. While it is important to balance activity with periods of rest, taking long naps during the day can disrupt your body's natural sleep-wake cycle.
  6. If you are feeling anxious or stressed, talking to a trusted friend or loved one can help to alleviate these feelings and improve sleep.
  7. Listening to relaxing music before bed can help to create a calming atmosphere and improve sleep.
  8. It is generally not recommended to rely on sleeping pills as a long-term solution for sleep problems. If you are struggling with sleep, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the cause and identify appropriate treatment options.
  9. If you are taking diuretics or "water pills," it is generally recommended to take them earlier in the day to avoid having to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
  10. If you are unable to sleep, it can be helpful to get up and do something relaxing until you feel tired. Avoid staying in bed worrying about when you will fall asleep, as this can create a cycle of anxiety that makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
  11. Avoiding caffeine close to bedtime can also be helpful for sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that can disrupt sleep, so it is generally recommended to avoid consuming it in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  12. Maintaining a regular exercise routine can be beneficial for sleep, but it is generally recommended to avoid exercising within two to three hours of bedtime as this can stimulate the body and make it more difficult to fall asleep.

Now that you are familiar with stress symptoms and effects, try out different methods to relieve your stress. Whether you do meditation or Pranayama, what is important is to avoid triggers that can increase your stress. Remember, an increase in stress has a direct effect on blood pressure. You can even attend counseling sessions and pour your heart out to a therapist. Book an appointment with a reputed therapist on Bajaj Finserv Health. Go for an in-person or online consultation and manage stress, BP and overall health better.

Published on 19 Nov 2021Last updated on 12 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Archana Shukla

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Archana Shukla

, MBBS 1 , MD - Psychiatry 3


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