Ways to Reduce Stress: Finding One That Works for You

Getty / Jose Luis Peleaz Inc.
Taking up a hobby can help to reduce stress. Getty / Jose Luis Peleaz Inc.

The following article is from a series on stress reduction when you have social anxiety. Other articles in the series can be found at the end of the article.

We all have stress in our lives. Those with social anxiety tend to have more stress. Nevertheless, there are many things that you can do on a daily basis, several times a day if need be, to help reduce your stress level.

Controlled Breathing

A simple trick that you can do anywhere is to practice controlled breathing.

Often used in yoga, this is the practice of calming your body and mind through the breath. Try to breathe solely in and out through your nose. Inhale for the count of four to eight, and then exhale for another four to eight count. Try to do this exercise for at least 10 minutes; you should start to feel a sense of calm.

Controlled breathing can help relax your body and slow your thinking down for better stress management. You can do this effective exercise while you are alone or in a room full of people. No one will be the wiser and you will have effectively reduced your stress level, if not by at least a little.

You could also add to the benefits of controlled breathing by removing yourself from the stressful situation and sitting in a relaxed position in a quiet place where you can also close your eyes and concentrate on nothing but your breathing. However, gradually, you should find that controlling your breathing and your stress while in the anxiety-provoking situation will become easier.


Another excellent way to reduce your stress is through exercise. Amping up your heart rate through physical activity will release endorphins, distract your from your stressor, and also improve your overall health. Whether it be running, playing a couple of games of racquetball, or doing some cardio in your living room, your stress will melt away quickly and you’ll feel great about yourself.


If you suffer with social anxiety, spending time with other people might seem like a way to induce stress rather than alleviate it. However, as you grow less anxious and more comfortable around people, you may find that the company of others whom you trust is one way to relax and reduce stress.

Spending time with close friends can be a good way to relax and forget about your stress. If you’re feeling up to it, inviting one or two of your closest friends over for some games, a movie, or even just to chat can be a way to relieve stress.

If having people over just isn’t feasible in your life, even a text or phone conversation can offer a distraction and help to reduce stress in the moment.


Find a good hobby to help alleviate stress. Try out different things to see if maybe you have a special talent. Even if you don’t have any particular talent or something you’re amazing at, doing new and exciting things can help with the reduction of stress.

Paint, sew, find a Pinterest activity, switch around your living room, or even just “binge watch” every episode of a series on Netflix to escape and reduce your stress for a while.

Sometimes, distraction is the key to help you get a better handle and perspective on life.

Hopefully at least one of these ideas will give you a way to reduce stress in your life or kick start your own ideas.

They key is to find what works for you, for your social anxiety, and for your lifestyle. Life is too short to spend it stressed out. Not one single trick will work on every person. Good luck on your journey to finding ways to reduce stress in your life and learning to enjoy things as they come.

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