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Ten Tips to Lower Your Stress

lady breathing deeply for stress wellness Wednesday at City College

When something stresses you out it carries on throughout all aspects of your life. Between school, work and daily activities things can get pretty stressful. Stress can cause you to feel irritable, anxiety, overwhelmed, sadness, and depression, it can also cause lack of motivation. There are many things you can do to help you manage your stress levels, the following ten tips can help you lower your stress.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is a vital component of our lives. During sleep our bodies use this time to heal and boost our immune system. This is also when our bodies store what we have learned during the day into our memory. We need sleep to be healthy and function properly, so don’t skip out on valuable sleep time! Recharge and get the proper 7-8 hours… your body needs it! Proper sleep will help you feel refreshed and lower your stress levels.

Have a Snack

For some people stress eating can be a real problem. Filling yourself with junk food may make you feel temporarily better but it’s actually doing you more harm then good. Junk food will leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Instead of reaching for the junk, fill your body with one of these stress relieving foods. Leafy greens, salmon, avocados, berries – especially blueberries, cashews, walnuts, oatmeal, seeds such as flax, pumpkin or sunflower, and even dark chocolate all help to relieve tension, stabilize blood sugar and lower cortisol (stress) levels. Next time you’re stressing and you need a snack grab one of these healthy snacks (in moderation 😊) and eat your stress away.

Breath Deeply

Breathing seems like second nature, it’s something we just do and don’t often think about. But how you are breathing is actually very important. When we are stressed we tend to take shorter breaths which makes us tense up and our heart beat faster, this type of breathing will increase stress. If you’re feeling stressed take a second and focus on your breath. Breathe in deeply from your diaphragm, this will oxygenate your blood which will help you relax almost instantly. To really help yourself calm down inhale from your nose, hold the breathe for a few seconds then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat these steps a few times. Whenever you’re feeling stressed complete these steps and breathe your stress away.

Talk to Friends/Family

Sometimes talking about our stress helps to relieve some of the burden. Our friends and family are often great sources of valuable advice, they may be able to help your sort out your problems or at least get you thinking about what your can do. Studies have shown that when we interact with our friends and family our bodies release oxytocin which is a natural stress reliever. Get to talking, let out that stress and take your friends/family’s advice.

Chew Gum

For instant stress relief chew a piece of gum. Studies have shown that chewing gum reduces anxiety, lowers cortisol (stress) levels and increase alertness. Researches believe the act of chewing stimulates your senses which promotes blood flow and causes the increase in alertness and lowers stress and anxiety levels. So, if you’re feeling stressed pop in a piece of gum and chew your way into relaxation.


Exercise is a fantastic way to reduce stress. When you are stressed your body releases a hormone called cortisol. High levels of cortisol interfere with learning and your memory, it also lowers your immune system and increases blood pressure and cholesterol. Working out is so beneficial because it lowers your level of cortisol and your body also releases endorphins which is a feel good chemical that will naturally improve your mood. You don’t need to complete an intensive workout to feel these benefits, a simply walk or jog around the block will help you to feel less stressed.

Think Positive

You may not be able to control what is happening around you, but you can choose how you think about it. Instead of thinking solely about everything that is going on, think about what you can do to change things or how you are going to get things done. If you have a big test coming up, don’t focus on how big it is or how much work its going to be. Think about when you are going to study and tell yourself you can do it and that you will ace this thing. Positive thoughts will keep your stress levels down by reminding yourself that not everything is negative and that there is a solution and you can accomplish it.

Listen To Soothing Music

When you’re feeling stressed turn on some soothing music. Studies have shown that slow-paced music slows your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure and increases endorphins. It also lowers cortisol levels in your body leaving you feeling less stressed and more relaxed. Slow music such as classical has even been proven effective while you sleep, producing a deeper and less restless sleep. Next time you’re feeling stressed turn on some soothing music and enjoying the relaxing sounds.


Studies have shown that aromatherapy helps reduce stress and anxiety. Some scents being more effective than others. Some of the more effective scents are lavender, citrus, peppermint, jasmine, rose geranium, chamomile, clary sage, bergamot, sandalwood, and sweet marjoram. There are many ways to utilize the benefits of aromatherapy, you can purchase a candle or use a diffuser, there are even portable options so when you’re on the go you can still de-stress.


They say, “There is no better medicine than laughter.” Turns out there is scientific fact to this statement. When you laugh you take in more oxygen into your body which stimulates your organs and increases endorphins released by your brain, laughter also slows down your stress hormones causing you to feel more relaxed. Laughing is also good for physical stress symptoms such as tension by relaxing your muscles and increasing circulation. Laughing is also a goof distractor, its hard to think about stress when you are having a good time. So, do whatever makes you feel good and laugh your stress away.
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