Take a Deep Breath: 6 Ways to Lower Your Stress Levels

There’s been a substantial uptick in levels of stress in the past year among many people. With everything going on in the world, stress levels are through the roof. What can you do to lower stress levels in your life?

Keep reading to learn 6 essential tips for relaxing and reducing stress.

  1. Do Some Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that has taken on many forms and names. Yoga, as well as mediation, has been scientifically proven to help reduce levels of stress and anxiety as well as depression. You can go all out by purchasing yoga equipment such as mats, blocks, straps, meditation cushions, and more, or simply use a towel or blanket.

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to be flexible to practice yoga. Here are some yoga poses for beginners to relieve stress.

Child’s Pose 

Starting in a table pose position, breathe and shift your hips back toward your heels. Bring your upper body forward and rest your forehead on the mat. Extend your arms over your head and stretch forward and relax your shoulders.

Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute or however long you wish.

Extended Triangle Poses 

Start standing and spread your legs about 4 feet apart. Bring your arms out and expand your chest. Turn your right foot out and with your back straight bend toward your right ankle.

Hold this pose for 30 seconds for however long you wish.

These are just two poses that are great for stress relief. If you have limited mobility, consider chair yoga.

  1. Breathe 

Take a deep breath. In… and out. There are many different types of breathing methods that are used during practices such as yoga, meditation, or simply to help a person calm down.


The nadishodhana, or alternate nostril breathing method, is a slightly complex but energizing method to help control stress. To do this, find a comfortable seated position with your back straight. Take your right hand and fold your index and middle finger down to your palm and raise this to your nose.

Use your thumb to close your right nostril and inhale through the left. Close the left nostril with your ring and pinky finger and exhale, then inhale, and close this nostril. Repeat this process for 5 minutes or however long you feel comfortable doing it.

4-7-8 Method

Another breathing method that is hands-free is called the 4-7-8 method. To do this method, start out by sitting in a comfortable position, back straight, and eyes closed if you wish. Keep your tongue right behind your upper teeth.

Take a deep breath in through your nose for 4 seconds and hold the air for 7 seconds. Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat this for 4 cycles or however long you wish.

These breathing methods can be done nearly anywhere, don’t require any equipment, and can help reduce stress levels in a matter of minutes.

  1. Talk to Someone 

If you’re the type of person who bottles up their emotions and plays it close to the chest, it’s only a matter of time before you emotionally crash or break down. Having a trusted confidante in your life to talk to is important for mental health and stress. This person can be a significant other, a friend, a family member, or mental health professional.

Websites such as Better Help offer virtual counseling so you can talk to someone without having to leave the house. You can sign up for regular weekly counseling or try out a few sessions to see if it helps. Talk therapy is not for everyone but does help many people to reduce stress.

  1. Practice Self Care 

Self-care is a practice to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. For some, this means taking a hot bath with scented candles or an essential oil diffuser at the end of a long day. Others may take care of themselves by setting boundaries, such as turning off notifications on their phone after 7 o’clock at night or learning how to say no.

Self-care looks different for everyone. The point of self-care is to do something for yourself that makes you happy, calm, and relaxed. Discover what self-care looks like for you and make it a routine practice.

  1. Treat Yourself 

Self-care is a simple thing you can do to improve your relationship with yourself that can be as simple as turning off your phone. If you already practice self-care, maybe you should treat yourself. If you can afford it, buy yourself something nice that you’ve had your eye on for a while.

Upgrade some things in your life like your bed sheets or the way you brew your coffee so you can treat yourself a little bit every day. Read this article for even more ways to treat yourself and lower your stress levels.

  1. Take It Easy 

If you’re feeling discouraged or upset with yourself because your stress levels have impacted the way you work or interact with others, taking it out on yourself won’t do you any good. Practice letting go and letting yourself feel whatever emotions you are experiencing. You only have the power to change so much in your life and you should focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.

If this is something you believe you need to do more, look into mindfulness-based stress reduction. Learning how to practice mindfulness can help you “live in the moment” and not worry so much about things that are out of your control.

6 Ways to Reduce Your Stress Levels 

As you can see, there are many ways you can go about reducing your stress levels. These methods and their effectiveness will vary from person to person but there is bound to be a stress-relieving practice out there for you. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, and breathing, or changing up your routine and how you interact with yourself, you can manage your stress.

Did you find this article helpful? Take a look at the other posts on our blog for more lifestyle and health tips.

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