We all face stress and anxiety about money, bills, work, family life, school, health problems, life crises, and other struggles. And while the issues themselves are tough enough, succumbing to the stress and anxiety makes things worse.
Stress and anxiety don't just fog your mind, make you less productive, and make you feel down or hopeless. They can also trigger physical symptoms like headaches, neck and backaches, other chronic pain, tightness in the chest, higher blood pressure and heart rate, upset stomach, digestive troubles, loss of appetite, insomnia, lower immune function, lower energy, lower sex drive, and more.
You often hear that things like regular professional massages, spa days, yoga classes, and weekend getaways are great ways to beat stress and anxiety. But obviously, these sorts of suggestions aren't practical for many people. Not when budgets are tight, and daily responsibilities get in the way.
Still, it's so important that you find healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety. Ignoring them takes a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health and can negatively affect your relationships and your life. So, here are 25 free, healthy, effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
Tips to Beat Stress and Anxiety for Free
- Get some aerobic exercise every day, like brisk walking, jogging, biking, swimming, jumping jacks, playing a sport, etc.
- Take a relaxing stroll, especially through a natural environment, if possible.
- Don't stay seated for longer than one to two hours at a time.
- Spend some quality time talking to a loved one about positive things.
- Spend some quality time playing with and petting your dog or cat.
- Hang out around happy people and people who make you laugh.
- Steer clear of people who are overwhelmingly negative or who stress you out.
- Pay attention to your stress and anxiety triggers so you can better avoid or prepare for them.
- Trade massages or back rubs with your partner.
- Schedule a little daily alone time with your partner, even if it's just 10 minutes.
- Practice deep breathing and/or meditation.
- Find a way to get involved with community service.
- Get at least six to seven hours of sleep nightly.
- Get off the phone, computer, video games, TV, etc., at least one to two hours before bedtime.
- Write in a journal.
- Take a few minutes every day to think of something you're grateful for.
- Make some time every day for an enjoyable activity.
- Go sit out in the sunlight for a while and breathe in the fresh air.
- Take a long, hot bath.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Drop sources of stress in your life that you aren't obligated to.
- Focus on creating the most balanced, least hectic schedule you can arrange.
- Set small, achievable, short-term goals so you can often enjoy a sense of accomplishment.
- Work on reducing and eliminating unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking, smoking, emotional eating, becoming withdrawn or lethargic, staying in bed, zoning out with electronic devices, etc.