Five More Free Stress Relievers

Everyone, but especially those of us who are faced with a challenging diagnosis, needs stress relievers. Not only is stress not healthy for us, it makes our lives miserable.

With that in mind, I brainstormed for ways that we can easily relieve our stress. Most of these stress relievers are quick and easy. And, they are free!

Pet your dog or cat (or borrow one from a friend!)

I am an animal lover. Always have been. Always will be. My husband and I currently share our home with two dogs and two cats.

The cats are one-year-old siblings, I never had two cats at the same time. I will never NOT have two cats again because a single cat tends to be much more sedentary! These cats entertain themselves and us constantly! We are always laughing at them.

My dogs bring me immeasurable joy every single day. One is black, the other is white. One is male, one is female. They are as different in personality as they are in color. But, they both make me happy with their smiling faces and wagging tails.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, it isn't all in our minds that our pets make our lives better. There are proven health benefits to pet ownership that include decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness.1

Health benefits of laughing

You might not feel much like laughing, but doing so will do you a world of good. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter has both short and long-term health benefits.2

Did you know that laughter will:

  • Stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles,
  • Activate and then relieve your stress response, which gives you a calm and relaxed feeling, and
  • Stimulate circulation and aid in muscle relaxation.2

Over the long-term, laughter can improve your immune system, relieve pain, and increase personal satisfaction. It also helps take away depression.

Singing to relieve stress

I love to sing! My husband gets a real kick out of it when I have my headphones on, listening to music while I work on the computer. I just sing away! In my own mind, I sound just like the artist I am listening to. The reality is that I can't carry a tune, but that's okay. I'm having fun ... and reaping a lot of health benefits at the same time! says that singing out loud has many health benefits. In fact, it says some studies have shown that singing can be even more beneficial for you than yoga when it comes to improving your heart rate, breathing, and feelings of well-being. In addition, singing can reduce depression, anxiety, and fatigue.3

Journal to get thoughts out

When I was a kid, I kept notebooks of writings. Every single night, I wrote a poem, a prayer, a story, or just my thoughts in the notebook. I did it for years. I still have those notebooks somewhere.

When I got married, I quit writing. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, I should have kept my habit of journaling up. Writing gives you a way to express yourself. Additionally, it can manage anxiety, reduce stress, and help you cope with depression.4

Use forums to chat with others

I get great satisfaction from participating in cancer-related forums. I love to share my own experiences and to read about what is going on in other people's lives. If you haven't already, stop by or our Facebook group. Ask or answer a question! Tell us where you are in your cancer journey, what's important to you.

Believe it or not, there are actually health benefits associated with participating in online discussion forums. Nurse Advisor lists several ways that forums can be helpful to nurses. They are equally helpful to us as they allow us to exchange information, expand our knowledge, and find comfort.5

Participating in forums also helps keep us from feeling so isolated. We can take part in forums even when we do not feel good enough to get out and socialize in person. With the flu rampant, we can safely communicate with others from the safety of our homes.

When I listed these five ways to reduce stress, I didn't realize that they all had scientific data to support their benefit. All I knew was that they help me and that they might help you, too. I hope you will try one or more ... and let me know if they helped!

How do you manage stress? Share even just a few sentences (or more!) to help others with their own!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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