No one lives a stress-free life. But, as Hans Selye said, “It’s not stress that kills us; it’s our reaction to it.” 

We can control our response to stress – and that will make all the difference.

Use the following 12 tips to help you manage your stress more effectively so you can live a more productive and fulfilled life.

1. Add Balance to Your Life

Everyone has heard the importance of having a healthy work/life balance, but just because you know it is important doesn’t mean you are actually doing it.

This work/life balance goes beyond making sure you aren’t working 80-hour weeks. Are you incorporating fun and friendships into your life?

Outside of doing “what you must do,” what do you spend time doing? If you are feeling stressed, knowing you have something to look forward to – like a hobby or regular brunch with friends – is a wonderful way to lessen stress. 

2. Focus on Productivity at Work

Many people are stressed because of their jobs – specifically, all the work they must do. What about you? 

Do you struggle with productivity? Are you easily distracted while on the clock? Do you procrastinate from doing other things? 

If you answered yes, then you might be experiencing more stress because work keeps piling up. 

How can you correct this? Find ways to boost your productivity at work. For example, download a browser extension that prevents you from going to certain websites while working. Determine to work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break. Set timers to help you stay focused and on track. 

Find New Productivity Hacks on Audible

If you want to make better use of your time to reduce stress and get more done, Audible features a wide range of health- and productivity-related audiobooks to help discover a new you.

You might want to check out “Getting Things Done” or “The Stress-Proof Brain.”

When it comes to audiobook selection, Audible has the best. Audible subscribers also enjoy free access to original podcasts and other engaging content.

There is no limit to how many books you can store in your digital Audible library – and they won’t take up any space in your home! Best of all? You can try Audible free for 30 days.

3. Disconnect During Breaks

Winnie the Pooh once said, “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” 

This is wise advice – especially for those of us who have trouble disconnecting. When you are on a break or a vacation, don’t get pulled back into the things that stress you out (like work emails or mindless social media scrolling). 

Take time to simply be still, turn the noise off, and disconnect. 

4. Take a Social Media Fast

There is a clear correlation between social media and stress levels. Some people become stressed when they view what others have or how others live their lives in comparison to their own. 

Others stress because social media acts as a time suck, where they somehow lose hours every day mindlessly scrolling.

Sure, social media can be good for connecting with others, but it is wise to set some limits. Put app limits on your devices that keep you from spending an unhealthy amount of time on social media.

Or, if you are really overwhelmed, take a social media fast: Stay off the social networks for a predetermined amount of time and focus on you.

Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop

The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.

We want to help you do both.

Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt. 

What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:

  • Hacks to lower your monthly bills
  • Hacks to spend less on debt
  • Hacks to start investing
  • Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)

This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.

Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.

5. Include Breaks in Your Schedule

When was the last time you added a break to your schedule? Take a good hard look at your calendar. 

Are you busy all day, every day? Have you given yourself any time to take a much-needed break? Many people don’t. 

From now on, carefully review your schedule and add breaks where you need them. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be an entire day off. Just a few minutes to decompress may be all you need to keep your stress levels in check. 

If you schedule your day down to the hour, add in a coffee break after what you think will be a stressful morning meeting.

6. Spend Time Outdoors

It’s amazing what a little bit of time outdoors will do for you. It’s good for your health and your stress.

Studies have shown that being outside lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) and can decrease your heart rate.

Get outside and breathe in some fresh air. If you have time, try to add in a daily outdoor walk or run. Think you don’t have time for a walk? Try walking during your lunch break.

Earn Rewards As You Move With Sweatcoin

Do you need a little extra motivation to get off the couch and get moving to improve your health? Well, there’s an app for that for real. You can earn rewards by exercising with the Sweatcoin app

It is a step counter app that converts your steps into Sweatcoins, a digital currency. In other words, you get paid to walk! You can use Sweatcoins to buy a number of goods and services in the Sweatcoin marketplace – even iPhones and Apple watches – through the app.

7. Practice Meditation

What’s on our minds can lead to increased stress. Let meditation be your ultimate de-stressor.

Taking just a few minutes to meditate daily will go a long way toward decreasing your stress levels.

If you are new to meditation, there are many guided meditations available online, as well as multiple guided meditation apps, like the Yours app. Guided meditations are led by experts who help people enter a state of relaxed concentration.

Enhance Your Well-being with the Yours App

Does it seem as if your life has become busier? more hectic? more chaotic? Given all of the pressures we face, it can seem like there is no way to shut out the world and just relax and calm down. Thankfully, there is a way we can find some inner peace and practice mindfulness.

Yours App will help you sleep and feel better through its four main features: Meditation, Sleep, Body, and Music. The Yours App will guide you on mindfulness meditation and breathing exercises. You will sleep better with meditations, bedtime stories, and calming music.

Yours app also offers simple exercises and yoga exercises to help you improve your health. And, there is a wide selection of music to help you be more productive during your waking hours.

Let Yours App guide you to a better you. Try it free for seven days to sleep better, feel better, and be more productive.

Download Yours App today for your free trial.

8. Make Healthy Choices

The healthier you are, the more prepared you and your body will be to handle any stress that might arise. Adding exercise to your daily routine is beneficial.

If you haven’t been sleeping well, you will not handle stress as well as someone who does. Instead of staying up late binge-watching TV, have a regular bedtime that ensures you get the right amount of sleep. A good mattress, like a Zinus gel-infused memory foam hybrid mattress, can help.

Similarly, eating healthy and avoiding alcohol strengthens your mental defenses.

Subscribe to $5 Meal Plan to Start Eating Healthier

One way to eat healthier is with a meal plan, but it can feel overwhelming and intimidating. Not only do you have to decide what you want to eat each day, but you also need to find a recipe and shop for ingredients. The $5 Meal Plan makes it easy to organize this part of your life with complete recipes and grocery shopping lists. 

$5 Meal Plan is a unique service that costs, you guessed it, $5 a month. When you subscribe, you receive meal plans where every meal costs about $2 or less. The detailed recipes and shopping lists make meal planning fast and easy.

Get started with a $5 Meal Plan.

Save on Groceries with Ibotta

Ibotta earns cash back at the grocery store, which makes it a perfect fit if you use the $5 Meal Plan and is just as good if you do your own meal planning. 

Ibotta wants to give you cash back on the staple grocery items you buy every week. If you want to save on food costs while cooking at home, you need to be a smarter grocery shopper. Earn cash back on groceries with Ibotta.

Ibotta users earned $186 million in 2019. Download the free Ibotta app today, and Ibotta will get you started with a $20 welcome bonus.

Want to hear even more ways Ibotta can save you money? Check out our Ibotta explainer video, here!

Download Ibotta Here & Grab Your $20 Welcome Bonus

9. Decorate Your Home with Plants

Indoor plants are a wonderful way to decorate your space and bring a little bit of the outdoors inside.

In addition to providing beauty, they also have many health benefits, like improving quality, boosting your mood, and reducing your stress. 

Having a few indoor plants is an effortless way to create a calming vibe in your home.

10. Watch What You’re Watching

What are you filling up your mind with? If you are spending chunks of time watching, reading, or listening to news stories about difficult topics, you will likely feel more stressed. 

This doesn’t mean you have to live unaware of what’s happening around you. What it does mean is being aware of when you’ve had too much. 

Set appropriate limits to protect your mind. Note, it’s not just news stories. It could be personal stories on social media, political talking heads on YouTube, true crime podcasts, and the like.

Pay attention to anything that gets your heart racing, as this may be triggering your stress. 

Let Trim Find Forgotten Streaming Subscriptions and Save You Money

You know what you are watching, but do you know if you are paying to watch shows on a streaming service you have forgotten about? Maybe you got a free trial and then never paid attention to it again, but you are getting charged monthly for a service you don’t use.

The Trim app’s AI functionality gives you a clearer picture of your finances than ever before. 

Trim will find your forgotten subscriptions that need cancelling.

It will even negotiate lower internet, medical, and cable bills.

Is Trim free? Yes and no.

If Trim can’t lower your expenses, you don’t pay a dime.

But if Trim is able to lower your bills, you keep 66% of your savings the first year and 100% of your savings every year after. 

Please note that Trim takes their payment immediately.

For example, if Trim saves you $10/month on your internet bill, they will request their 33% fee ($40) right away. But you keep 100% of the savings after that. 

Download Trim and let its AI abilities make you more productive by getting rid of expenses you don’t need.

11. Make Time to Connect with Others

In life, there are people who will fill you and those who will drain you.

When you feel stressed, you must avoid those who leave you feeling drained. Instead, look for opportunities to spend time with people who fill you up. 

Who do you spend time with that makes you feel comfortable? Who is a good listener? Who in your life makes you laugh freely? Who do you enjoy being around? 

These are the people you want to surround yourself with. Meaningful connections can help you find support when you are feeling stressed so you can leave feeling better.

12. Lower Your Expectations

Often, our stress is directly related to our expectations. 

We stress ourselves out trying to meet expectations, often unrealistic ones, because of an idea of how something should be rather than what it really is.

Things never go perfectly. Plan for some things to go wrong. If you are setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, stop it and consider setting more realistic expectations.

Yes, we can all do better, but give yourself some grace while you grow into the person you want to be.

Want to save these tips for later? Click here to pin this post!

Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more money-saving life hacks!