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10 Effective Ways to Relieve Stress and Find Inner Peace

Written by: Kristine Keykal, M.P.H. | Co-Founder & CEO of AdvantageHealth

Stress has become an unavoidable part of modern life, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether it's due to work, relationships, health issues, or other concerns, prolonged stress can have detrimental effects on both our physical and mental wellbeing. However, the good news is that there are numerous techniques and practices that can help you manage and reduce stress levels. Here are ten effective ways to relieve stress and find inner peace:

1. Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while promoting feelings of calm and relaxation. Set aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness meditation, focusing on your breath or bodily sensations.

2. Exercise Regularly

Physical activity is not only essential for your physical health but also for your mental wellbeing. Engaging in regular exercise releases endorphins, the body's natural stress relievers, and helps to reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone. Whether it's going for a walk, jogging, cycling, or practicing yoga, find an activity that you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine.

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Lack of sleep can significantly contribute to stress and anxiety. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night to allow your body and mind to rest and rejuvenate. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, avoid caffeine and electronic devices before bed, and create a comfortable sleep environment to promote better sleep.

4. Connect with Nature

Spending time in nature has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind and body. Whether it's going for a hike in the mountains, taking a stroll in the park, or simply sitting in your backyard, immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world. Take deep breaths of fresh air, listen to the sounds of birds chirping or leaves rustling, and allow yourself to unwind and recharge.

5. Practice Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can help activate the body's relaxation response, reducing stress and promoting a sense of calm. Try techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, where you inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to expand, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Practice deep breathing exercises whenever you feel stressed or anxious to restore balance to your mind and body.

6. Engage in Creative Activities

Engaging in creative activities such as painting, writing, gardening, or playing music can be incredibly therapeutic and stress-relieving. These activities allow you to express yourself freely, channeling your emotions and thoughts into something tangible. Set aside time each day to engage in a creative pursuit that brings you joy and fulfillment.

7. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet plays a crucial role in managing stress levels. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine, sugar, and processed foods, which can exacerbate stress and anxiety. Instead, focus on eating whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, which provide essential nutrients that support your body's ability to cope with stress.

8. Practice Gratitude

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can shift your focus from what's stressing you out to what you're thankful for in your life. Take a few moments each day to reflect on the things you're grateful for, whether it's your health, relationships, or simple pleasures like a beautiful sunset or a warm cup of tea. Keeping a gratitude journal can help you stay mindful of the positive aspects of your life, even during challenging times.

9. Set Boundaries

Learning to say no and setting boundaries is essential for managing stress and preventing burnout. Prioritize your tasks and commitments, and don't be afraid to delegate or decline additional responsibilities when necessary. Establishing healthy boundaries with work, family, and social obligations will help you maintain a better balance in your life and reduce unnecessary stress.

10. Seek Support

Finally, don't hesitate to reach out for support when you're feeling overwhelmed by stress. Whether it's talking to a trusted friend or family member, seeking guidance from a therapist or counselor, or joining a support group, sharing your feelings and experiences with others can provide valuable perspective and validation. Remember that you're not alone, and there are people who care about you and want to help you through difficult times.

AdvantageHealth offers many employee wellness solutions focused on stress management including Health and Wellness coaching, wellness webinars/seminars and wellness challenges.

AdvantageHealth offers many webinars/seminars on this topic including:

  • #DOMOREWITHLESS: Managing Stress, Time and Energy

  • De-stress Rather than Distress

  • Enhance Your Life Through Mindful Living

  • Just Breathe

  • Managing Stress Naturally

  • Resilience Is Your Superpower: Thriving Through Change and Adversity

  • The Mind/Body Connection and Mental Health

AdvantageHealth offers many wellness challenges on this topic including:

Stress Less Challenge (7 weeks): Learning the simple techniques presented in this 7 week (or can also be 21-day) challenge will help participants to reduce their stress on the spot. The eight techniques presented in the challenge will allow participants to note their stress level pre and post activity, while allowing each person to determine what works best for him or her.

Happy 'n Healthy: A Resiliency Challenge (21 days): There are proven ways we can improve our moods and raise our levels of happiness and resiliency throughout the day. Each activity listed in this 21-day challenge not only provides a quick boost of positive emotions, improving participants performance and focus in the moment; but if performed habitually over time, each has been shown to help permanently raise participants happiness baselines.

30 Days of Mindfulness (4 weeks): Participants learn simple tasks that they can do every day to be more present in one’s own life. While the primary goal is to encourage a greater sense of feeling present, these tasks also result in a greater feeling of calm, easy, empathy, appreciation, gratitude and balance.

Schedule A Consultation

Email Kristine at to get started or call 612.823.4470 (select option “1”).

Let Kristine Keykal, M.P.H, co-founder of AdvantageHealth with over 25 years of experience, consult with you on your employee wellness program.

Since 2001, Minnesota-based AdvantageHealth has been delivering award-winning employee wellbeing programs and fitness center design & management throughout the U.S.

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