23 Ways To Positively Redirect Stress

Image via Unsplash/Pierre-Olivier Bourgeois

There’s nothing like stress to render a person absolutely helpless. When we know we have about ten million things on our plates is when it’s easiest to focus on none of them, writhing around in sheer misery and panic instead. Though it’s always annoying to be told that this is the case, you can turn that overwhelming stress into something productive (yeah, yeah, easier said than done). The following should at least serve as a decent start. Baby steps, of course…

1. Exercise

There’s no better way to expend pent-up energy from stress than through moving around. Sprint that stress off, or groan it out as you lift weights.

2. Clean Your Apartment

What was once a daunting and horrific task now seems like nothing in comparison to your real life stressors. Crush those cockroaches with a vengeance (if you can…they’re pretty tough).

3. Get Crafty

Crafts that involve scissors provide an especially satisfying feeling if you’re brain’s in a tight coil inside your head. The sound alone relieves stress.

4. Masturbate

Oftentimes, stress is just waiting to escape you in the form of an orgasm. The easiest way to get rid of it is to achieve one by yourself.

5. Have Sex

But, it’s always more fulfilling if you can knock one off with someone else.

6. Get Into A Long-Overdue Argument

If you’re holding a grudge or have put up with someone’s bullshit for too long, now is the time to release your real feelings on them. Stress may equip you with just the level of assertiveness you’ve been waiting for.

7. Make Dinner

Instead of ordering out, get out your knives and start chopping your stress away.

8. Get Rid Of Old Stuff

Purge yourself of all unnecessary belongings. Then you’ll have the added bonus of making a profit off of them via eBay.

9. Play (And Win At) Sports

Got pent-up anger from stress? Let out your aggression by kicking ass on the court, or field, or wherever you choose to smack a ball around.

10. Go Out On The Town

Let off some steam by getting out of the house and letting loose for a change. This is positive purely because it will make you feel happier (and seeing other people having fun may inspire you to do more of the same).

11. Tidy Up Your Inbox

Go through all of the emails you’ve been avoiding for months and finally delete the ones you’ve been debating on what to do with. And say goodbye to your junk mail once and for all.

12. Consider Having Pets

Not only will they comfort you, but taking care of them will occupy your mind so you have less room for worrisome, negative thoughts. Realizing that another creature relies on you to survive will put your mere human problems in perspective.

13. Dance

Moving your body around like a crazy person will burn calories and make you forget what’s bothering you, if only for long enough for you to thoroughly embarrass yourself in front of everyone on the floor with your wild abandon. Then your anxiety can stem from self-consciousness instead of the more serious stressors that concerned you most before.

14. Alphabetize Your Books

This may sound ludicrous, but mindless activities like this are perfect means of distraction for a restless brain. You’ll thank yourself later when your friend insists you return the book they loaned to you five months ago and you actually know where to find it.

15. Write It Down

Vent about your stress on paper. Good writing often comes from strong, raw emotions. You might surprise yourself with a newfound poetic voice (or just lots of angry scribblings, which double as abstract art).

16. Catch Up On Current Events

Losing yourself in the news will re-focus your nervous energy on issues bigger than yourself, making you realize the scope of your personal problems and providing you with plenty of dinner party banter.

17. Learn Something New

Always been curious about, say, Egyptian ruins and the mummification process? Scour the Internet or, preferably, head to the library and check out some books on the topic. It’ll beat jiggling your legs in anxiety as you contemplate how busy you are to accomplish any pleasure reading these days.

18. Get Your Friend Something Cool

There’s no need for an occasion when stress serves as the cause for your shopping spree. Hit up the stores without adding clutter to your own apartment by getting something thoughtful for a friend. Putting time and effort into finding the perfect gift will harness your thus far useless energy.

19. Stretch

Improve your flexibility while giving yourself a full-body sensation akin to squeezing a stress ball.

20. Get Out Of Town

Traveling, regardless of how exotic (or not) your destination may be will take your thoughts away from whatever’s causing them to spin around so rapidly in your head. Relocating for any period of time will clear your mind and get your creative juices flowing in a new and improved direction.

21. Watch Classic Movies

They always include important life lessons that have the potential to help keep your stress at bay. Plus, the couple of hours you spend watching a classic film won’t feel like such a waste since you’re reaping enjoyment while simultaneously expanding your cultural repertoire.

22. Cancel A Dreaded Obligation

As long as it’s not something terribly important, clearing up your schedule will grant you the sigh of relief you’ve been waiting for. Also, it will allow you extra time to sort out the sources of your stress.

23. Call Someone Out

Sick and tired of those assholes at the bar who won’t leave you and your friends alone even after you’ve asked them to mind their own business several times? Or that mean cashier at the nearby deli who always rolls your eyes when you purchase condoms? For once, direct your bundled up energy towards them by putting them in their places. Don’t go overboard–just say what you’ve been wanting to but haven’t had the courage to get across until stress made you do it.