If managing life, work, family, and other responsibilities has you feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Stress is part of life, but it doesn’t have to own you.

By experimenting with relaxation techniques and working to change your mindset, you can reduce stress and enjoy a higher quality of life. Different tools work for different people, so keep trying until you find the most helpful methods.

Learn to say “no”

Life demands can easily become overwhelming. Even worse, once you get in the habit of saying “yes” to everything, people come to rely on you for support because they know you’ll help out. While helping others is a valuable endeavor, finding balance and learning to say “no” to things that you don’t have time for is key to managing stress.

Lower your expectations

Trying to be perfect at everything is a fast way to never-ending stress. Your house doesn’t need to be sparkling clean, your cooking doesn’t need to be gourmet, and you don’t need to achieve the image of perfection inside your head for everything you do. Let good be good enough.

Express yourself

If you’re feeling stressed out about something, let the people you care about know. Maybe they can offer advice, assistance, or help put a seemingly insurmountable problem into perspective. Keeping things inside magnifies them, and problems or stressors often end up seeming more serious than they actually are.


Getting that blood pumping is a great way to let off excess steam and increase your energy for navigating the obstacle course of life. Can’t find the time to exercise? That could be a sign you’re overcommitted and might benefit from reduced responsibilities. Even taking a fast walk after lunch or dinner can reduce stress.

Surround yourself with positivity

Find yourself glued to the tube every night watching the evening news? Try turning it off. Constantly listening to negativity, whether it comes from the nightly news report or a Debbie Downer in your personal life, increases overall stress levels. Turn off the news and avoid chronic complainers whenever possible. Instead, read positive articles, watch funny movies, and seek out things that make you smile.

Put things in perspective

Many of the things we stress out about won’t matter in a month or a year. We get caught up in day-to-day mishaps and problems that seem catastrophic at the time, but really aren’t that big of a deal. So the next time you’re stressed out about something, ask yourself if the problem will matter in six months. Most times, it won’t.

Have fun

When life gets stressful, we often forget to do things we enjoy. Having fun is important for remembering life’s joy and forgetting troubles. Whether you like to draw or paint, play a musical instrument or read, making time for the things that matter helps to reduce stress.

What tools do you find most effective for reducing everyday stress? 

Image by Jinx! Via Flickr


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