9 Powerful Tools to Relieve Stress and Ease into Calm and Peace

Stress. We all go through it. Almost every living creature on this planet goes through different levels of stress at some point.

Your body releases stress hormones when it feels threatened or afraid. Physical or mental exhaustion can send a signal to your brain to which the brain responds by making you feel tired or irritable. The more irritable you become, the more you feel bad about yourself for being so bad or hot-tempered forgetting that it’s not your real self acting that way. Stress can transform good individuals into tyrants or monsters.

Before throwing a fiery look at the next person or kicking your innocent dog at the butt, remind yourself that you’re just stressed. And that you don’t want to stay that way. Take note, when left untreated, stress can result in inflammations that can lead to serious health conditions.

To regain your composure once again and stay in tip-top shape, beat stress by equipping yourself with the following stress-relieving tools.

1. Exercise

Experts say stress can naturally occur when the body moves less. They refer to this as a stress-induced or exercise-deficient phenotype. This happens because your body is designed to move. Moving less means a decrease in your circulation. Proper circulation is needed to bring more fresh and oxygenated blood to the different parts of the body including the brain.

Exercise helps the body to release endorphin chemicals, which act as painkillers while improving your mood. Exercise also promotes better quality sleep, which helps invigorate and refresh your body.

2. Yoga

woman practicing yogaYoga is a form of moderate exercise that enhances the mind and body connection. Because it’s done in gentle movements and involves slow breathing techniques, your mind relaxes and eases into calm as you allow your mind to flow with each movement.

Studies show that a regular practice of yoga improves physical and psychological markers for most people.

3. Meditation

The practice of meditation dates back to ancient Asia, specifically in traditional China and India. Seeing its ability to reduce stress, among its many other benefits, the Western world started to embrace the practice.

Numerous studies confirmed that regular meditation practice improves certain conditions like anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Meditating for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day is guaranteed to improve your stress levels.

4. Nature

Spending more time in nature is another way of naturally reducing your levels of stress. Nature is filled with the abundance of life, in which your body responds to with positive feelings.

While a chaotic environment increases your stress hormone levels, nature provides a healing and soothing atmosphere. When in nature, your blood pressure normalizes and your feelings of anger, pain, or tension decrease. Scientists even say that nature decreases the mortality rate. This is because nature is full of good vibration which your body easily picks up when exposed to natural surroundings.

Hence, the next time you feel overwhelmed by the daily grind, retreat to nature once in a while not only to feel better but also to remind yourself that you’re part of a bigger and wonderful creation of life.

5. Family

Spending quality time with the people you love is a total stress reliever. They can provide you comfort and support when you’re going through stressful situations. Being with people who love you as you are will allow you to put down your defenses and be in complete ease.

Instead of going straight for work, try to spend a few minutes of cuddling with your wife or playing with your kids. Sharing a good laugh is another way of starting a fantastic day. When you begin your day with happiness, stress is less likely to beat you.

6. Nutrition

Clean diet means eating healthy whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins and reducing the intake of processed and fatty foods.

Clean eating is important, especially when you’re stressed out because certain types of foods can increase stress levels and affect digestion. Research says good nutrition is the best tool for stress management. If the body is poorly fed, stress may pose even greater risks for the body.

The best foods to consume when you’re under stress include green leafy veggies and fruits rich in vitamins and minerals like copper, zinc, manganese, and vitamins A, E and C. These nutrients neutralize dangerous molecules that are present when your body suffers from stress. Consuming vitamin B-rich foods also helps in increasing your energy levels, which is low during stressful situations.

7. Journal

Journaling helps you relieve stress by writing down on paper all your emotions whether positive or negative. This way, you’re able to identify the things that are causing you stress.

A journal is a self-exploration tool that not only allows you to identify emotions but also helps you to release pent up emotions. It’s even used in stress therapy where you’re encouraged to write in detail your feelings and emotions related to stressful events.

Research also shows that journaling strengthens the immune system, which is important to fight against bacteria that come in large amounts when you’re feeling stressed.

8. Hobby

golfing for leisureDoing something that you love for a minimum of 15 minutes a day is one of the best tools to relieve stress. This is because when you do something for fun, you’re able to stay in the present moment. Doing something you love also helps you recover from burnout or overwhelming events from your day.

Make sure to engage yourself in a hobby like gardening, singing, painting, or running to loosen up and reduce stress before hitting your bed. Getting your ZZZs with a tangled mind decreases your chances of getting quality sleep. But once you clear your mind of stressful events, you’d be more rested upon waking up the following day.

9. Pets

If you’re an animal lover, getting a pet could be your best choice to relieve yourself of stress. Experts say when you play with your pet, the levels of your stress-reducing oxytocin hormone will increase while the production of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol will decrease.

Lots of people reported increasing their happiness levels after owning a dog or cat. Having a fish in an aquarium also works the same.

Robert Phillips
Robert Philips has been a nutrition and fitness expert for over 20 years, and has written for a number of popular publications. In addition to having a Master's Degree in nutritional science, he is also an active trainer at nationally renowned gyms and fitness centers.