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Activities to Add to Lower Stress

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

One key to living a healthy and meaningful life is to lower overall stress that we come in contact with on a daily basis. Stress is something that is inevitable and everyone will experience. Even good things can give you stress such as exercise, hobbies we enjoy that take time out of our schedule, or even healthy relationships. Studies have shown time and time again that this is the case and that everyone will experience some kind of stress in their life and it impacts one in a negative way (1). High levels of stress has been linked to dementia in later parts of life as well (2). Studies also suggest that there are multiple instances of ways in which individuals actually add to their own stress level and it can actually be in ones own control (1,3). These specific studies as well as countless others talk about specific hobbies or activities that that can lower stress such as meditation, exercise, journaling, yoga, and even therapy. Yes those actives are great and I practice them myself and encourage clients and others to do them; however, something else that can be done to lower stress level is to add other routines or activities into your life.

There are certain things that we can do that when done correctly can lower our stress levels in pretty big ways. These are usually small actives that can pay off in big ways in the amount of time or energy we save throughout the week. Doing such as meal prepping at the beginning of the week can have pretty big payoffs. It saves you time later in the week when it comes to eating a meal and all you have to do it heat it up. It also saves stress when it comes to not having to make a choice either since you already made that earlier in the week. The amount of choices that we make also adds to the stress we experience. Some studies suggest that we make as many as 35,000 choices in a day! (4). Just saving time on one decision can pay off big in the long term. Other examples that can help when it comes to choices and stress are: laying our clothes out the night before, having your coffee ready when you wake up either with an automatic coffee pot or having everything laid out for it, or scheduling certain activities in your week or weekend.

Finances are another area that can add stress in ones life. Taking time to plan accordingly by setting a budget is very helpful and not only helps in the long run by hopefully helping you feel more secure financially, it also can help you make wise decisions. If you are at the store and you see a new jacket or your friend asks you to go out to eat, you simply look at that specific item on your budget and see if you have funds left for that month. Other ways to save money and stress may be buying items in bulk, using coupons or discounts, or getting creative such as what I do and have a garden then maybe taking it a step further and canning those vegetables.

There are many different ways in which one can lower stress in their life. It is very beneficial to consider working through these types of decisions and possibly figuring out what you can add to your life in order to lower stress and live a more healthy and meaningful life.


1. Smyth JM, Sliwinski MJ, Zawadzki MJ, Scott SB, Conroy DE, Lanza ST, Marcusson-Clavertz D, Kim J, Stawski RS, Stoney CM, Buxton OM, Sciamanna CN, Green PM, Almeida DM. Everyday stress response targets in the science of behavior change. Behav Res Ther. 2018 Feb;101:20-29. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2017.09.009. Epub 2017 Sep 28

2. VonDras DD, Powless MR, Olson AK, Wheeler D, Snudden AL. Differential effects of everyday stress on the episodic memory test performances of young, mid-life, and older adults. Aging Ment Health. 2005 Jan;9(1):60-70. doi: 10.1080/13607860412331323782.

3. Poggenpoel M. Streshantering in die alledaagse lewe [Stress management in everyday life]. Nurs RSA. 1989 Feb;4(2):14-6. Afrikaans.


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