How To Relieve Stress And Live A More Peaceful Life

Updated January 5, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Stress is a natural part of life for most people. You have responsibilities to juggle, a schedule to balance, and unexpected challenges that can pop up out of nowhere. When not managed adequately, stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health. But, there are many different techniques you can try to help you relieve stress every day. Here, we’ll detail several tips you can consider to help you manage stress and find relief. 

Stress Can Negatively Impact Your Physical And Mental Health

Five Tips For Relieving Stress

  1. Use A Stress Ball

One quick and easy way to try to relieve stress in the moment is to try using a stress ball, which may help to reduce stress. You can take the ball in your hand and squeeze it to try to relieve the muscle tension in your body. As you manipulate the ball, you can try focusing the stress into the muscles of your hand and release tension into the ball. You can buy stress balls online or in stores, or you can try making a stress ball yourself. For instance, one way to do this is with flour, a balloon, and a funnel. You can use a funnel to pour flour into the balloon, and then just tie up the balloon to make your stress ball.

  1. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Another approach to try involves a similar idea as using a stress ball but applied to the full body with a technique called progressive muscle relaxation. This approach involves slowly tensing and then relaxing different muscles throughout the body. One way to do this is to start by initially laying on your back and getting into a comfortable position. Some people like to do this exercise with soft music or sounds of nature playing in the background. Starting with the tips of your toes and working up to the top of your head, tense or contract each muscle group for 10 seconds and then release the tension. 

  1. Try Meditating

Another technique you can try using to relieve stress is meditation. There are many different forms of meditation, such as mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, loving-kindness meditation, visualization meditation, and more. If you are new to meditation, you might find it helpful to start with a guided meditation, where you can follow along with the guidance of a teacher. When you are ready, try to choose a time and place where you can be still and uninterrupted. Then, sit or lie in a comfortable position and proceed with the meditation of your choice. With a visualization meditation, for example, you might picture a stream and visualize yourself placing each thought on a leaf and watching it float out of sight.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

While you can practice mindfulness through mindfulness meditation, as mentioned above, there are also other ways to practice mindfulness throughout the day to try to relieve stress. Mindfulness involves paying attention to the here and now. It means noticing the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch sensations in the present moment, right where you are. In addition to mindfulness meditation, you can also try mindful eating, mindful walking, and mindful cleaning. With your mind deeply centered on what is happening to and around you, stresses about the past and future may diminish.

  1. Practice Deep Breathing

You can also try to relieve stress through deep breathing, by taking long, slow breaths. You might try breathing in and out to a certain count, but what works for one person might not work for another. To give this a try, start by breathing in more slowly than you usually do. Concentrate on letting the air reach the deepest parts of your lungs. Focus on the air as it moves into and then out of your lungs. You can practice deep breathing anytime and anywhere, whenever you need a moment of relief. 

Stress Can Negatively Impact Your Physical And Mental Health

Help With Learning How To Relieve Stress

If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, a licensed therapist can also help you unpack the reasons for stress and help you develop and incorporate strategies to reduce that feeling. 

Oftentimes, people who are experiencing high levels of stress feel busy and stretched thin already, so making time for a therapy appointment can feel very difficult. With online therapy, you can meet with a therapist from wherever is most convenient for you, eliminating the need for a commute, which may make it easier to slot into busy schedules. 

Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of online programs for reducing stress. For instance, one research study examined an internet-based stress management program based on mindfulness principles aimed at reducing stress. It concluded that the internet-based program “effectively and sustainably reduced measures of stress.”


While experiencing occasional stress is common for most people, if it’s continuous and left unresolved, it can have negative effects. If you are looking for ways to relieve stress, you might consider trying some of the strategies detailed above. For additional personalized support in navigating and relieving stress, you can connect with an online therapist. 

For additional help & support with your concerns

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.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started