Stress Reduction Techniques to Help You Relax and Enjoy Life

Here are 20 stress reduction techniques that will help you cope with anxiety or conditions such as IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome is frequently aggravated by stressful events.


Extended periods of stress can damage your body and even make your hair fall out. Stress is often a trigger for diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and restless leg syndrome.

Relaxation decreases your heart rate, lowers blood pressure, slows breathing, improves concentration, and helps your body deal with conditions like IBS and RLS.

Here are some relaxation techniques.

1. Sing

Sing something like "I feel good" with a smile on your face. Your mood will improve immediately.

2. Listen to Music

Listen to music and refocus your attention away from whatever is causing you stress. The change in your demeanor will help counteract your anxiety.

3. Practice Deep Breathing

Try taking a few slow, deep breaths. As you exhale, imagine the tension flowing out of your body. Be sure that you exhale completely. Shallow breathing will not have the same effect.

4. Exercise

Exercise, even just for a few minutes, to improve your mood and pump up endorphins.

5. Consider Massage Therapy

A soothing massage will ease tension, relax muscles, and give you an all-over feeling of relaxation.

6. Manage Your Time Effectively

Do not put things off to the last minute. This is stressful, as is trying to do too many things at once. Prioritize your activities. A job well done always provides positive stress relief.

7. Imagine Stress Away

When overcome with anxiety, close your eyes and imagine yourself somewhere peaceful like at the edge of a huge field of buttercups or relaxing on a calm, sunny beach. Pick a place that is peaceful to you - everyone is different.

8. Take a Break

Sometimes, you need to remove yourself from hectic situations. Play a game of solitaire on your smart phone, take a tea break, or talk to someone whose company you enjoy.

9. Drink Herb Teas

Try herb teas made with ingredients like chamomile, lemon balm, or hops. All of these herbs help to relax a nervous stomach, which is beneficial for anyone whose stress seems to travel straight to the bowel and cause an IBS attack.

10. Visit YouTube

Type "relaxation" into the search box at YouTube to find relaxing videos. Bookmark the ones that interest you.

11. Watch Comedy

Record and watch comedies on TV. Anything that makes you laugh will help you relax.

12. Spend Time with a Pet

Pet a dog or play with a kitten. This causes the release of several "feel good" hormones. The effects can last for several hours.

13. Consider Self-Hypnosis

Search online for self-hypnosis resources by using keywords such as "self hypnosis relaxation". Among the usual paid offerings, you will find a few free MP3 recordings and YouTube videos, including some created for people with irritable bowel syndrome.

14. Take a Break from Technology

Turn off your cell phone, disconnect the land line, power down your computer, turn off the television, and spend some quality time reading a book or doing something else you enjoy.

15. Take a Break from TV Stress for a Few Days

Forget the news, gory horror movies, war history stories, and anything else that is not uplifting.

16. Take a Hot Bath

Dissolve two cups of Epsom salts in a tub of hot water and spend some time soaking. Add soothing, soft music in the background for even more relaxation.

17. Help a Friend or Make a Charitable Donation

Helping others will help you as well. It always feels better to give a gift than it does to receive one, right?

18. Punch a Pillow

Are you mad about something? Take out your aggravation on a pillow. You will feel better afterwards.

19. Try Biofeedback Cards

Biofeedback cards are so small that you can carry them in a wallet or purse and use them anywhere you can take a minute or two to de-stress. A quick check before and after your session will tell you how well you are doing.

20. Use a Blood Pressure Monitor

If you have a blood pressure monitor, check your blood pressure at various times throughout the day. You will be surprised at how much it varies and how much you can lower it by relaxing.

About the Author:

Be sure to check out Kathy's books:

The IBS Compass: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tips, Information, Fiber Charts, and Recipes. This book will help you set a course to better health.

IBS-IBD Fiber Charts: Soluble & Insoluble Fibre Data for over 450 Items, Including Links to Internet Resources - helping you to monitor fiber intake, no matter where you are.


The material provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace proper medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice. Always consult your physician and other appropriate health-care providers before taking any medications, natural remedies, or supplements; or before changing your diet. Discuss all plans, symptoms, and medical conditions with your doctor.

Any use of the ideas contained herein is at your own discretion, risk, and responsibility. The author assumes no liability for any of the information presented. There are no representations or warranties, either express or implied.

You should not begin or discontinue medical treatment based on information contained in this, or any other, article.