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31 Creative Ways to Relieve Stress * Tips that WORK!

31 Creative Ways to Relieve Stress will help you navigate your way out of the stormy seas of your mind and get you back to calm waters. Life is stressful and finding ways to help manage it will improve your journey.

If you’re looking for more ideas on relieving stress, 8 Stress Relief Teas that Really Help and 13 Ways to Create a More Peaceful Home will help you on your journey.

31 Creative Ways to Relieve Stress - Stress Relief Ideas - Floating Candles
31 Creative Ways to Relieve Stress * Stress Relief

Stress is a big part of the modern world, unfortunately.  We can adopt a stiff upper lip and plow our way through it, or we can find ways to cope with stress in a less resistant way and be ready for its inevitable arrival.

Our bodies aren’t designed to take on all modern life’s burdens.  It’s up to us to stop and analyze how to do things differently.  Our health depends on us making better choices.

We must find our way back to a life that takes joy in the simple moments and lets go of the rest.  Advertising tries to tell us how we should live, but our heart knows there’s a better way.

I started this blog because of stress.  The career I had chosen for myself led to years of juggling a million different projects simultaneously and being on-call all the time for any emergency that came up.  Add to this a horrendous commute, and it was a recipe for disaster.

I knew I wasn’t the only person feeling this way, so I created Montana Happy to be a cozy place to turn to when life gets complicated.

Close-up of weeds at sunset

“Stress level: extreme. It’s like she was a jar with the lid screwed on too tight, and inside the jar were pickles, angry pickles, and they were fermenting, and about to explode.”

Fiona Wood, Six Impossible Things

Cozy Living Group

Since you found this article on 31 Ways to Relieve Stress, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 103,000 like-minded souls.

It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug.  Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

Here are the 31 Different Ways to Relieve Stress:

1) Connect with nature

Ways to Relieve Stress - Walking in Nature
Creative Ways to Relieve Stress – Connect with Nature

Spend time outside and take in your surroundings. Place your bare feet on the grass and close your eyes. Take deep breaths. Close your eyes and look up into the sun.

This practice is called grounding; counselors use it to aid post-traumatic stress victims.

I’ve used walking as my go-to tool to change my frame of mind.  There’s something about taking a long walk on a sunny day and experiencing nature that can completely shift your mindset. It also offers a much-needed change of scenery.

This morning I took my Golden Retriever, Paddington, out for a walk in our neighborhood.

Three squirrels gathering chestnuts crossed our path, and bluebirds darted in and out of the trees. Their flash of color was a welcomed surprise to the day.

After I’m done walking one of my dogs, I always think, “What if I was too lazy to go out walking today? What would I have missed?”

Nature is magical, and you might miss something special by opting not to go outside at least once a day. It is proven to help calm your nervous system, improve negative thoughts, and lower blood pressure.

2) Coloring outside the lines

There’s a reason adult coloring books have become so popular.  Tap into your creativity, and take 15-20 minutes to create beautiful art.

When your focus engages the artistic side of your brain, it helps to give you relief from what you’re stressed about and leave you refreshed.

You can also use other types of art therapy as an easy way to relieve stress.  Writing, painting, watercolors, and drawing are just some things you can use to help you during difficult times.

3) Create a joy folder

Ideas to Relieve Stress - The Word Joy in a Dictionary
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Joy Folder

Start a folder filled with inspiring articles and pictures that make you smile. Whether this folder is on your phone or in your drawer, it’s your go-to whenever you feel stressed.

One of my favorite things I shared in my cozy living group was Walter’s video, a handicapped Dachshund that got his first set of wheels to help him walk.

His owners took him to the beach, and he was able to run for the first time. The joy on his face as he raced along the sandy beach was priceless.

I keep that video in my saved file to watch whenever I need a little happiness boost.

4) Take a bubble bath

There’s taking a bubble bath, and then there’s taking a bubble bath that nurtures all your senses.

Start your bath with bubbles that have a soothing fragrance, like lavender. Add some Epsom salts to your bath to draw out the toxins in your body.

Instead of bathing in harsh light, take a bath by candlelight. Sip on a hot cup of tea like chamomile tea, and listen to beautiful music.

5) Happy memories

Relieving Stress Ideas - Happy Memories Vintage Photographs
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Happy Memories

Find a cozy spot in your home and wrap yourself in a sentimental blanket from someone you love.   Look through old photographs of happy times and remember the faces of your loved ones during those special times.

6) Quiet your mind

Buy yourself some noise-canceling headphones to have on hand if your home is noisy.  Breathe in and out deeply.  Get completely quiet.  You can find noise-canceling headphones here on Amazon. 

Unplugging for a short time and centering yourself will improve your mood.  James Carroll said, “There are times when we stop, we sit still.  We listen. and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.”

Wise words.

7) Prayer

Ideas on How to Relieve Stress - Praying Hands at Sunset
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Prayer

Joyce Meyer is a pastor that learned to turn all her troubles that she couldn’t control over to God.

She said that her husband, Dave was one of the most serene people she had ever met, and any time she got stressed over something, he would tell her to turn it over to God.

Eventually, she learned Dave was right and started doing the same.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not onto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall berth thy path.”

8) Journal your thoughts

There’s something therapeutic about writing your problems down. Doing so makes them seem a lesser burden.

Fully empty your mind.  Write down every detail. The more information you describe, the quieter your mind will get.

If you’re looking for journaling prompts, I made a list of over a hundred to get you started. You could also create a gratitude journal. Document the day’s blessings.

9) Get in the kitchen

Simple Ways to Relieve Stress - Freshly Baked Bread and Tea
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Home Cooking

Make something from scratch that reminds you of a simpler time. Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich work wonders for me.

How about baking some cookies? The heavenly scent of cookies baking in the oven will help calm even the most frazzled nerves.

10) Blast from the past

Put on a favorite television show you watched as a child.

Your mind can get the rest it needs, and watching a show from your childhood will bring those feel-good memories associated with it.

11) Immerse yourself in a hobby

Start a New Hobby for Stress Relief - Orange and White Yarn Knitting Needles
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Cozy Hobbies

Distracting yourself from what’s causing you stress can help put you in a better frame of mind. Knitting or crocheting are perfect choices for this.

After 15-20 minutes of focusing on a project, your stress levels will drop significantly.

If you’re looking for a new hobby to try – 31 Cozy Hobbies to Try will help you find a new one.

12) Declutter your home

Put on some music and start cleaning an area in your home from top to bottom.  Do you have a closet that hasn’t seen the light of day lately?  That would make the perfect project to tackle.

Throw in a few dance moves while you tidy up your home. To find out the secrets of tidy people, 21 Secrets to a Tidy Home, is a great way to help finish your to-do list.

13) Destress with fractal patterns

How to Relieve Stress - Close-up of Dahlia
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Fractal Patterns

According to Psychology Today, looking at fractal patterns can reduce stress by up to 60%.

What are fractal patterns?  Its repeating patterns are found in many forms. In nature, you can find fractal patterns in flowers, snowflakes, and waves.

Now you know why sitting along a shoreline calms the soul.

14) Calm yourself by lying down

Lying down is one of the more simple ways to relieve stress. Draw your curtains and make your bedroom as dark as you can. Take a washcloth and rinse it under warm water.

Lie down on your bed and place your warm washcloth over your eyes.  Tension in your head and facial muscles will relax under the heat of the cloth.

15) Spend one on one time with your fur baby

Relieving Stress by Playing with Your Dog
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Quality Time

Studies have shown that spending time with your pets has a calming effect on people.

Whether you give your dog a massage or take him out for a walk, your stress levels will start calming down.

Sometimes just observing your cat can bring peace to your mind.  Just 15 to 20 minutes of spending time with your pet should bring your stress levels down about 30 percent.

16) Start dancing

While dancing doesn’t mean you’re running away from your problems literally, it does give your mind a break.

In a few moments, the endorphins will have kicked in, and you will be able to look at your worries from a different perspective.

17) Use your imagination 

Take yourself on a journey to a better world than you’re in right now. Imagine yourself on your dream vacation.

Visualize the sights, sounds, and tastes you’re experiencing. See yourself relaxing in this environment and soaking in all your surroundings.

18) Call a friend that’s a good listener

Stress Relief by Reading Books - Open Book
Relieve Stress Tip – Call a Friend

One of the biggest mistakes you can make while you are stressed is to contact a friend which adds more drama to an already trying time.

You want to contact that friend who listens and can empathize with your situation.

How often have you called the wrong person and ended up even more stressed after the call?

19) Take a supplement

A discussion took place in a group I’m in on Facebook about stress. Several people recommended supplements to help calm the nerves.

Vitamin B12, Ashwagandha, and Valerian root were all mentioned as supplements that helped with stress. Do your research on these supplements to find out if you would like to try one for yourself.

To read more about Ashwagandha supplements, go here on Amazon.  

20) Prioritize peace of mind

Relieving Stress - Dove at Sunset
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Peace of Mind

How much of your life would have to change if you made living a peaceful life your top priority?  Brian Tracy said, “Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.”

21) Take a media break

There’s so much bad news in the world. Taking it all in daily is not suitable for our souls. If you’re feeling stressed, it’s time to unplug and only focuses on the good things in life for a while.

I firmly believe that we need to take in more good than bad if we’re striving to live a balanced life. That’s one of the reasons I started my cozy living group. Only the good stuff is allowed in there.

Think about how many unsettling things we allow to go into our subconscious mind – horror or violent movies, tragic news from around the world, and even the things that happen in our day-to-day lives.

We should feed our minds with beauty, simplicity, kindness, and love. Pick up your favorite book and give your mind a rest.

22) Focus on having less, not more

Stress Relief - Simplicity - Coffee on a Cutting Board with Flowers
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Minimalist

Bruce Lee hit the nail on the head when he said, “It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”

By living a simpler life, we have less to worry about and will be less likely to experience stress.

Whenever you start to feel stressed, find ONE THING that you can eliminate in your life that will benefit your overall mental health.

Some things to delete from your world are toxic friends, too many obligations, clutter, and too many bills.

There was a conversation in one of the groups I’m in about minimalism and why some people jumped into the minimalist lifestyle. I wrote an article on the answers that you might find interesting.

23) Laugh or cry 

Both laughter and tears will help you deal with stress.  Picking out the perfect movie to watch will help you achieve either emotion.

If you want to laugh it out, watch your favorite comedy (Funny Farm is my favorite), and if you’re going to cry – watch that tearjerker movie that never fails you.

24) Stop the rabbit holes

Relieve Stress - Furry Rabbit
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Stop Going Down Rabbit Holes

Are you someone that likes to go down rabbit holes?  If you are, I guarantee this habit causes a lot of extra stress.

It causes anxiety because instead of focusing on the daily things that need your attention, you over-analyze all sorts of new ideas and scenarios that you “might do” instead of tending the “have to do” things in your world.

How do I know this?  Because this is something I do, and I recognized how much it had hurt me to accomplish the things I wanted to get done.

What brought this harmful habit to light is by talking to someone that has the same pattern, only way worse than I do.  I couldn’t believe how much energy this person spent talking about “possibilities” instead of using it to handle what was in front of them.

25) Finish what you started

If you’re one of those people that like to start projects but neglect finishing them – that could be one of the sources of your stress.

Just because you set something aside doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten about doing it. If you have several things left unfinished, they begin to mount in your mind and cause a bit overwhelming.

Not finishing what I started is something I’m guilty of on a regular basis. This year, I’m going to turn over a new leaf and finish things.

26) Eat superfoods

Relieving Stress with Superfoods - Kale Salad
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Superfoods

Getting the proper nutrition will help fight off stress before it begins.

One of the best ways to do this is to have a breakfast smoothie filled with superfoods. I love my banana, wild blueberry, and Swiss Chard smoothie.

I add supplements to the smoothie, so it’s packed full of nutrients and gets me started on the right foot in the morning.

27) Get enough sunlight during the week

Making sure you get outside to soak up a few rays of sunshine is essential to your overall health, especially in winter.

According to experts, you will to want to have at least 20 minutes of sunshine several times a week.

28) Make sleep a priority

Simple Stress Relief Ideas - Sleeping Orange Kitten
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Get Enough Sleep

Stop working on anything that stimulates your mind for a minimum of 30 minutes before bedtime.

No stimulation means no television, no work projects, or checking your phone for updates.

Instead, start reading something relaxing before bedtime. You want something lighthearted and happy.

For more ideas on how to create a relaxing bedtime routine, here are some ideas you might enjoy.

29) Tweak your ride

Commuting is becoming more stressful every day.  

There are more people on the roads as the population explodes, more roadwork to keep up with the community, and the need to buy or rent affordable housing – which takes you further out of the city.

All these things add up to a long and stressful commute.  We have to leave our homes even earlier in the morning, and we get home later in the evening.

Finding ways to make your commute time more enjoyable should be a priority.

My friend commutes two hours a day to and from work; and takes herself on a scenic route instead of the freeway.  

Doing this adds ten minutes extra each way, but she thinks it saved her sanity.

She also listens to audible books, which makes the journey seem much faster.

Are there simple ways to turn your road trip into a much better experience?

You find more ideas on how to create a more cozy experience in your car here. 

30) Gratitude jar 

Stress Relieving Ideas - Gratitude Jar
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Gratitude Jar

I know someone with a large glass jar on her desk, filled with slips of paper.  On each piece of paper, she wrote down something she was grateful for in life.

Whenever she thinks of a new blessing, she adds another note to the jar.

On days when she’s not feeling great or when she’s stressed, she pulls one of the pieces of paper out of the jar and thanks God for all the good that surrounds her.

She continues this practice until her mood shifts and she’s in a better frame of mind.

31) Envision a better version of yourself

Imagine yourself as the best possible “you” you could become.  You’re the thoughtful, kind, fit, and happy person you’ve always known you could become.

Find a quiet place and ask this better version of yourself to look at what stresses you and ask for assistance in lessening the load. Stop and listen. Let this new and improved you give you the wisdom you want to achieve a happy and healthy life.

We’ve reached the end of 31 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Let me know in the comments below how you liked 31 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and if you started any of them.    

Make sure you join our Creating a Cozy Life – Hygge Style facebook group.  You’re not going to believe how amazing it is.  Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

I created a pin on Relieving Stress for you to add to your Pinterest board so you can refer back to this post.

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31 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress - Pin for Pinterest - Floating Floral Candles
Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Pin for Pinterest

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Tuesday 17th of January 2023

What great ideas, Kelly! Thanks for these tips

Chrissy Greco

Sunday 19th of January 2020

Number seven is my favorite. I love Joyce. She has brought me through so many dark times and I learn more and more from her every day when I listen. Thank you for sharing that resource with everyone here who may not know about her. She WILL change your life. ❤️ #joycemeyer


Sunday 19th of January 2020

Hello Chrissy! Yes, I just love her no nonsense approach. Thanks for writing in to let me know. Kelly

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