06/03/2014 04:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Stop It! 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress

Richard Clark via Getty Images


Our lives are so busy these days, it's hard not to feel some stress at one point or another. But life doesn't have to be so stressful. Here are five simple tips to help alleviate anxiety and stress.

1. Learn to say "no."


Sometimes we take on too much, causing unnecessary stress. Don't say yes to an invitation if you're not committed. It's okay to say "no."

2. Avoid those who stress you out.


We all have at least one friend who brings drama to the table. Don't let it stress you out. If you don't want out of the friendship, you can limit your time with these people. It's also a good idea to see these friends in a group setting so others can help offset the drama.

3. Ask yourself, is it really a big deal?


The question I always pose when I start to feel stress is, "Will this matter a year from now?" The answer is almost always "no." And if it won't matter in a year, then don't let it bother you now.

4. Make a "to do" list.


Writing down the things you need to do might seem overwhelming but as you cross them off, you start to feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. This also keeps you organized. Rather than running in several directions, you can tackle projects one at a time.

5. Take a walk.


This is my No. 1 stress reliever. Walking allows me to clear my mind, prioritize things in my life and calm down. Put some great tunes on your iPod and get lost in a daily stroll. It really does help.

Bonus: Stop it!

When feeling stress, simply take a time out. This allows you to step back for a moment, assess the situation and perhaps apply one of the five tips.

Photos courtesy of Brad Wheelis