How to Relieve Stress?

Updated on February 03, 2013
J.H. asks from Collins, OH
19 answers

Can anyone give me some ideas on how to relieve stress?

Just when things seem to be settling down, they get all crazy again. You know that I've had two broken bones in my house, two surgeries...well, I went in for a routine Women's Well Check (pap) and when she pushed on my stomach, it hurt, so she asked for an ultrasound and blood work. They found a cyst on the right side and a "complex cyst" on the left side. The doctor called me back and drew more blood. (The pap came back normal, as did the first set of blood work.) I still don't have the last set of blood work, and I have an appointment on Monday.

My sister had emergency surgery last Monday to have her gallbladder removed. Her husband just lost his job. (Hubby and I are considering asking them to move in with us until they get back on their feet, but I don't think they'll move.) Friday, my father had a major heart attack and was life flighted to the next nearest (and bigger) hospital for emergency surgery.

I'm just under so much stress right now and I don't know what to do, or how to relieve it. Anyone have any tips or stress releases?

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So What Happened?

I've been doing yoga every morning for the last 8 weeks. Once things got crazy (everything really started up January 1st.) it didn't seem to change anything. Then again, I might be pulling my hair out if it weren't for the yoga, I don't know, lol! I've noticed that the radio is on more than anything else in this house. I've always gravitated to music, so maybe the reason it's been on for the last four days straight is because of the stress.

Riley, I'm so sorry you're having issues! I'm right there with you though, wonky periods, hair falling out of my head, growing a beard and hair on my chest (yeah, that's sexy...) I have to admit though crying blood is a new one! I hope you get to feeling better hon!

I looked at meditating, but I'm not sure I can calm my mind enough to do it. I'll try though!

Thanks for the suggestions all! Keep 'em coming! I'm willing to try anything at this point!

Featured Answers



answers from College Station on

Yoga and mediation. Not the fast paced exercise yoga, but the slow, relaxing yoga.
Also, any kind of exercise you like or tolerate. Walking the mall with a friend (or the neighborhood) etc.
A glass of wine in the evening- just one on occasion, not a regular thing :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

A yoga class twice a week really helps me. Is there someone offering yoga classes near you? It REALLY helps.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

If you find out let me know.

In the past year I've become lactose intolerant, then all dairy intolerant (any dairy makes me VIOLENTLY ill), am breaking out all over my body, have gotten a white patch in my hair, my period has gone sideways, and am now starting to lose my hair out of stress.

LOL... I also started crying blood at one point... But the doctors say that was a mother of a sinus infection. THAT was a trippy "I'm turning Into a VAMPIRE now, too?"

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Sex and chocolate, ideally at the same time. lol

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answers from Chicago on

Another vote for sex--never fails for us.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm so sorry honey. You have more than your share of uber-stress right now.

First, take a deep breath.
Secondly, tackle ONE THING AT A TIME.
Thirdly, take care of yourself first then worry about everyone else. This
way you can be of help to everyone else.

Wait for the results of your blood test.
At your Monday appointment ask what is the next step in taking care of
those cysts. (Ex. must they be removed? What type of surgery is it?
What can you expect of the recovery time? etc.)

Next, think of your father (you can think of doing this before your appt).
See how he is doing. Has he had his surgery yet? Can you speak with
him in the hospital? Call him. If you cannot visit him, calling to speak to
him to reassure him is the next best thing. Find out what they will be
doing in his surgery so you know what to expect. I've known several ppl
to have had a certain type of surgery to help w/major heart attacks.
They were very successful.

Maybe don't extend the invitation to your sis & her hubby to move into
your home until you feel a little stronger. In the meantime, you can send
her a care package. If you talk to your hubby about your sis & her husb
moving in with you, then you can call her to see how she is doing
extending the invite at that time.

Take care of yourself by eating right, taking vitamins, getting rest, call
friends to have a short chat with, exercise to relieve stress & kick in the
endorphins (at least go for moderately paced walks if you can). Lastly,
try to find some humor (watch the comedy channel) to laugh & give you
a boost.

Meditate if that's your thing.

Make a gratitude list. Make it short. List 5 things you are extremely
grateful for then keep it in your pocket or purse for constant review.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I am so sorry what you are going thru. I am not quite sure if this will help. I am a mother of 2 under the age of 5. I work 50 to 60 hours a week as an executive, try to volunteer as much as I can at my kid's school, run marathons/workout, and am in the process of building a house.

I try to take a run/walk as often as I can even it is only for 20 minutes. I only watch the news in the morning and watch ALOT of Everyone Loves Raymond & Real Housewives on Bravo when going to bed. I find that it lets my mind space out and after an hour of watching I am clear (at least enough to fall asleep). I never get on the computer pass 8 o'clock b/c that just leads to more work or reading the newspaper or thinking about things for my house (which all leads me to worrying about something). I have my family time on the weekend and we try to be social every Saturday evening with a family which really allows me to unwind and vent if needed.

This is my own personal recipe for myself that helps w/ my stress. I will not say it eliminates it.

If you find that answer, let me know.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I've been wondering the same thing. I can't wait to read more comments.

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answers from Honolulu on

You know what really helps?
Just the basics:
YELL IT OUT.... and get it all out of your system.
When no one is there.
Just scream or yell all your frustrations out! Uncensored.
Don't worry about keeping it pent up.
Or, I will tell my husband, "I just need to get this out, it is not a critique and I don't need 'solutions'... I just want to SAY this, then I'll be fine." And then, I do. And being I gave him a head's up, he knows I just need to get it out. Or else, I will self-combust.
And then, I am fine.
That, releases a lot of stress.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Well its not like you have no reason to be stressed! You , or those close to you, are experiencing several of the Major Life Stressors.

Here are things that help me:
exercise (jogs or walks)
quietly reading in bed (or crossword puzzle to distract brain)
prayer and or going to church
writing, making lists (what you can control vs what you can't, or a list of positives, things you are grateful for, or a "to do" list of simple things you can accomplish and cross off)
Coffee date with a friend who will let you vent
Good long cry (watch a sad movie or show to get you going...)
A warm soapy foot soak

Don't underestimate the power of setting the mood or ambience. Like low lighting in the evening, candles that smell good, soft enjoyable music. We have a lot of sensory triggers- curling up under a huge comforter might help, chewing gum or sucking hard candies may be soothing. Throw some pillsbury ready-bake cookies in the oven just to smell them. It's the little things.

Give (and get) lots of hugs from hubby and kids. Maybe you can get a backrub.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Wow I can so relate to you right now. I have had such a crazy 2 weeks. I was having chest pain and back pain. Went to urgent care for xray and turns out I have nodules all over my right lung. Ofcourse you start thinking is it cancer, what could it be. I start crying thinking of my precious little boy. I was sent for a ct scan and turns out it an infection I jave had for years. So I have to see a pulmonary dr. To top it all off I started having really bad panic attacks. So bad I had an ekg done but turns out it was perfect results. So now I was prescribed Lexapro and Xanax. It helps a little but still very anxious. We are taking our son to Disney World Friday and I am a little nervous. I just wanna feel good in Orlando and relax. I cant see the pulmonary dr until Feb. 15 so I have to wait that long to treat my infection. If I were you I would try exercise and you may need medication.

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answers from Redding on

My've certainly been through a lot. I'm sorry to hear it.

Be sure to talk to your doctor. Make sure that you aren't becoming situationally depressed.

I take anxiety medication because my anxiety manifests itself in illness and shingles. I don't have to take it all the time, but I certainly know when my stress and anxiety levels are high enough to cause me a problem.

You can try counseling. They may be able to give you some relaxation techniques.

Another thing that really helps me is watching funny movies.
I also like listening to music.

Here are a couple of my favorite "feel good" songs:
Tears for Fears - Break it Down Again
Oleta Adams/Brenda Russell - We Will Find a Way
Firefall - Just Remember I Love You
If You Love Somebody - Sting
Bill Withers - Lovely Day
Cat Stevens - Peace Train
Van Morrison - Enlightment
George Harrison - Here Comes the Sun
George Harrison - My Sweet Lord
Duran Duran - Ordinary World
Bonnie Raitt - Not the Only One
Boz Skaggs - What Can I Say?
O'Jays - I Love Music
The Manhattans - Shining Star

These are just a few to get you started. My son and I actually have quite a repertoire. We have always loved music. If he knew I was having a bad day, he'd put music on and we'd dance in the living room.

It always made me feel better.

Hang in there! Thinks will work out all right.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

32 oz margarita! Sorry you are going thru this. Things will get better. Hang in!

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answers from New York on

OMG! I'm stressed just reading all thing. Really there's not much you can do right now because it'll really all just overwhelming to you. I had a very stressful last year. Very stressful. The only thing that really helped was to have a good cry in the shower when things were really bad or to lay down in my bed and spend a few minutes doing concentrated breathing.

Concentrated breathing is simple and really does help when your mind is frantic. Close your eyes and breath in through your nose for a count of around 5 and then out through your mouth for a count of around 10. Think about nothing but breathing in and out. In and out. When you open your eyes after a couple minutes you do feel better even if it's for a short time.

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answers from Austin on

I know where your coming from. Just last year my mother lost her battle with cancer after 2 yrs, my dad was in and ut of ER with Heart issues after recovering from cancer, Grandmother In law passed away. Hubby lost his job and started another one making less money. I delivered baby number 3 2 weeks ago and we are still trying to get caught up on bills. I keep waiting for things to calm down and I've done stretching and changed eating habits to more natural foods, we are juicing which I usually feel pretty good after but for stress relief I find praying to God and giving everything over to him and let him deal with it. I still think about some of it but not as stressed out because I know that whatever he decides and does with it there is a reason behind it. Not sure what your religion is if any at all but with everything that we've been through lately I find handing it all to him relieves a large portion of the stress. Just a thought.

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answers from Beaumont on

When nothing else works I "become one with nature..." :) We live near a national forest and I take a hike, walk by the streams, throw rocks in the water etc. Somehow, I always emerge "whole". Hang in there!

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answers from New York on


Deep breathing. 4 long inhales and 4 long exhales. Count slowly while you do it. Keep trying to get to a higher number.

Sometimes, just being able to sit and breathe while you are alone can help a lot. Also, tey to figure out your most anxious time of day. And remind yourself to hang in there, the time will pass and you will feel better. For me it was the AM, but I knew that once 11AM came, I'd be feeling better. And 11 always comes around.

Therapy helps a lot with anxiety. Talking about it over and over brings relief.

Sorry for all of the stress - hope all calms down soon!

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answers from Longview on

I'm so sorry you're going through all of that. I know how you feel. I'm coming off (at least I hope I'm coming off) of the single hardest, most stressful 15 months of my life. Yoga is a regular part of my workout routine, but sometimes it's not enough to settle the stress. A more vigorous workout may help you though. I do a kicking and punching cardio routine that works well, but you could do anything as long as it is high-intensity. The idea is that it is so physically involved that you have no choice but to focus on the workout (and not all the stuff that's going on in your life), and before you know it, you've had a little mental break and a nice physical release. I also think watching funny movies/tv, reading, drinking a glass of wine or chamomile tea, having some alone time, and sex are also good ideas (although sex was hard for me to get into with all of the mental and emotional stress I was under). I hope this helps and you get some relief soon!

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answers from Dallas on

You are seeking help! That is the number one most important thing.

Meditation and herbal stress relievers. If that kind of thing is of interest I could recommend some meditation tapes and I sell vitamin supplements. I can recommend a stress reliever that may help too. They certainly help my family.

Also, you can ask your doc for temporary meds to help.

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