How To Reduce Stress And Anxiety In 10 Steps

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated November 27, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

We may all experience stress and anxiety at one time or another. There may be a variety of techniques to try if you're wondering how to lower stress in your life. For example, you might plan ahead, construct a relaxing morning routine, prioritize sleep, and lean on your support system. For professional guidance in addressing anxiety and stress, consider working with a licensed therapist online or in your local area.

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Do Stress And Anxiety Make You Feel Overwhelmed Or Lost?

1. Think Ahead

Stressful triggers are usually repetitive. If you're experiencing stress and anxiety, you may find that the same things repeatedly lead to unneeded stress. Some examples may include past due bills, overwhelming piles of laundry, or deadlines at work.

Once you identify the issues in your life that consistently cause stress and anxiety, you can begin to eliminate them by planning ahead.

For example, if money problems seem to be constantly plaguing you, it may be time to consider setting a budget. A budget can help you meet your financial goals by setting aside money for important bills so that you don't have to worry when it comes time to pay them.

Another example could be if you have trouble setting aside time to do housework or laundry. In this case, you could set aside one day of each week to take care of these duties, or you could set aside a half-hour or so each day so that you’re not doing all your housework at once. 

Deadlines can be enough to make even the most levelheaded person become stressed. You may feel like you have a million things to do, and having a deadline to complete them can contribute to additional stress. 

Try to remember to take a moment to breathe. You might choose to tackle your work duties one at a time, and this may lower your stress levels so that they’re more manageable.

2. Tweak Your Morning Routine

A positive morning routine can set the mood for the entire day. Routines can be powerful planning tools that may reduce stress and anxiety. When life gets hectic, it can be easy to forget to do the things that many of us need to be healthy and fully functioning. Be sure to set aside time each morning to eat breakfast and give yourself some time alone to relax.

Breakfast can be the most important meal of the day, but far too many of us tend to skip it. When you don't consume the calories you need to sustain your energy levels in the morning, exhaustion and hunger might result, potentially worsening anxiety symptoms.

Additionally, it can be tempting for many to sip a cup of coffee in the morning to get an energy boost for the day. But this might not be a good practice for those who struggle with stress or anxiety because caffeine can exacerbate anxiety.

If you don't have time to eat a balanced breakfast in the morning, a good alternative to take with you when you're on the go might be a fruit smoothie. The fruit in smoothies typically contains natural sugars that can give you a boost of energy to get your day started on the right foot without negative side effects like caffeine crashes or jitters.

3. Get More Sleep

Your journey to learning how to reduce stress should generally include an evaluation of your bedtime routine.

If you are not getting enough sleep, studies show this could be contributing to your stress levels. Additionally, feeling tired or as if you don't have enough energy can add to stress as well.

Make sure you are setting aside at least seven to nine hours a night for sleep. When it's time for bed, try to shut off all electronic devices and make your room a calm and quiet environment.

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Try not to be tempted to lay in bed at night and scroll through your phone for relaxation. This can stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to sleep in the long run.

4. Consider Taking A Supplement

If you are looking for a natural way to reduce stress, supplements could be an option for you.

There may be several options, including melatonin, to aid in sleep and lowering stress levels. You could also consider a B-Complex vitamin, which may work to balance hormones that may be contributing to your symptoms.

Implementing supplements into your life does not always immediately solve your issues, and it’s usually more effective when combined with other techniques, such as the ones suggested in this article. 

Please remember that supplements can have side effects and interactions with other medications, so be sure to speak with your doctor before starting or stopping any type of medication or supplement. 

5. Designate Some "Me Time"

Anyone living with anxiety or stress may benefit from setting some time aside each day to focus on themselves.

This can be as simple as taking five minutes each day to sit quietly and reflect, or it could be more complex. Some enjoy taking a warm bath, reading a book, or taking a walk outdoors.

While having a glass of wine at the end of a long day may seem like a good way to unwind, the long-term effects on your mental health can be detrimental. This method is generally believed to offer temporary relief at best.

6. Lean On Your Support System

The people you surround yourself with can be your biggest weapon against stress and anxiety.

When you are feeling low, try to reach out to someone close to you. You may choose to take this time to vent about your day or share ideas about how to reduce stress and anxiety.

You might also consider joining a support group. This way, you can be surrounded by people who experience the same problems as you and understand what you're going through. This can also be a special time to get more in touch with your inner self, potentially furthering your discoveries on how to reduce stress.

7. Rock Out

You may not have thought about listening to music to combat your stress and anxiety, but this is something that is usually easily available and can help quite a bit.

The type of music doesn't necessarily matter as much as the way the music makes you feel. If you are feeling sad and stressed, try to avoid depressing songs about loss and consider upbeat party-style music. If you are feeling chaotic, a classical tune with a slow tempo could do a lot to calm you down.

The next time you're feeling stressed, turn the radio up! Get lost in the music and feel free to dance or sing at the top of your lungs. You may find yourself feeling happier and more carefree when you are done.

8. Take A Vacation

When it feels as if life is piling up quicker than you can decompress, a vacation may be just what you need!

Getty/Xavier Lorenzo
Do Stress And Anxiety Make You Feel Overwhelmed Or Lost?

If possible, you might take a few days off work to drive around the countryside. If you are feeling adventurous, you could do this without an itinerary and just go where the road takes you. Otherwise, you might plan a fun and relaxing few days to decompress and soak up the good things in life.

A spa day or lunch in the sun somewhere nice can boost your morale and help you take your mind off your worries. You may be surprised by just how much a small break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life can do to calm your stress and anxiety.

Be sure to use this relaxing time to reflect and come up with ideas on how to bring vacation home with you. Perhaps you could make more time on the weekends to have a massage or drive around town. The opportunities can be endless!

9. Meditate

Mindfulness to combat stress and anxiety can be a commonly overlooked strategy, perhaps because it can be so misunderstood in modern society.

Meditation can be a way to get in touch with your inner emotions and help you gain control of them. A recent study even showed that daily meditation can be as helpful as a common anxiety medication in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

An easy way to begin meditating can begin with sitting or lying down in a position that is comfortable enough for you to remain in for a long period of time. The length and frequency of your meditation sessions can be completely up to you, but you may find yourself going for longer than intended at times, depending on how stressed you feel.

Close your eyes and get in touch with your mind. The goal here is generally to clear it completely and be present in the moment with no negative thoughts. Try to focus on your breathing and relax your shoulders and jaw. Continue to do this until you feel you are unable to keep your mind from wandering.

If this works for you, be sure to set time aside each day to do so. Consistency can be key!

10. Ask For Help

Sometimes, coping with stress and anxiety can't be accomplished alone.

This is where a licensed therapist may come in. These professionals are usually trained in multiple ways to assist you with your problems, and they can suggest resolutions that are tailored to you. You may choose to attend therapy sessions in person or online. 

Benefits Of Online Therapy

If you’re experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, you may find it easier and more convenient to connect with a therapist from the comfort of your home. An online therapy platform can quickly match you with a suitable mental health professional and empower you to get the help you deserve from any location with an internet connection.

Effectiveness Of Online Therapy

Research shows that online therapy, specifically online cognitive behavioral therapy, can be incredibly effective in treating anxiety. If your stress and anxiety symptoms are taking a toll on your everyday life, please don’t hesitate to reach out for professional guidance. 


If you’re experiencing excessive stress and anxiety, you may rest assured that there can be many strategies for relief. For instance, you can try listening to upbeat music, meditating, designating time for self-care, and getting plenty of sleep. However, it’s possible you may need more personalized insight and guidance. An online therapy platform can make it simple to connect with a licensed therapist who can offer suggestions and help you address the root of your stress and anxiety.

Regulate anxiety in a compassionate environment

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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