Stress Management Management Techniques Creative Stress Relief Activities By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD Twitter Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing. Learn about our editorial process Updated on August 20, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Margaret Seide, MD Medically reviewed by Margaret Seide, MD LinkedIn Margaret Seide, MS, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of depression, addiction, and eating disorders. Learn about our Medical Review Board Fact checked Verywell Mind content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reputable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact checked after it has been edited and before publication. Learn more. by Aaron Johnson Fact checked by Aaron Johnson Aaron Johnson is a fact checker and expert on qualitative research design and methodology. Learn about our editorial process Print A good dog can be a great stress reliever. Here are some more that you may not have considered. Anthony Murphy/Moment/Getty Images Much has been written about the many effective ways to manage stress, such as meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, and other well-known strategies. Their benefits are proven, and they're popular strategies for a reason. New Year's resolutions often involve them, and adopting them as part of your daily life can add years to it. However, they're not the only ways to relieve stress, and they may not even be the most effective ways for you to relieve stress. This is because the best stress management strategies are the ones that you enjoy enough to practice regularly. If you don't actually have motivation for meditation, for example, or if journaling feels like work, you may not get any of the benefits of these strategies because you just won't do these things on a regular basis. Stress relievers that are truly enjoyable or that have built-in motivation features may be the best ones for you because they're perhaps easier to incorporate into your life. Here are some that work well for many people: Playing With Pets For those who love animals, there's a special peaceful energy that comes from taking five or ten minutes to caress a cat or love up a dog. Other types of pets can be great "stress-management tools" as well: Fish, rabbits, and even rats can provide their own soothing benefits. The best pets provide unconditional love and entertainment and stay in our hearts as they help us remember to stay in the moment. How Owning a Pet Can Reduce Stress Exercise Classes You probably already know that exercise is a great stress reliever, but creative exercise classes can provide you with extra help. The fun of learning something new can take your mind off your stressors, and the class atmosphere can foster a positive type of peer pressure to keep you wanting to show up - even when you really don't feel like working out. Zumba, cardio kickboxing, and other classes can take the mind off of stress while helping promote health. The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Exercise Baking Many people really enjoy baking with their kids — it's a fun tradition that helps parents and kids bond and stays in the present moment, and almost always ends in something warm and delicious. This can apply to many forms of baking, including classes or cooking with a spouse. Baking provides comforting aromas and soothing, repetitive motions to keep you "in the now" as you're baking and a delicious reward when you're done. Put on an audiobook or some music if you don't have any "helpers" with you, and you'll enjoy it even more! Laughter Seeking out situations that will bring out the laughter in you can help you relieve stress in a really fun way. Go ahead — be goofy! Consider the benefits to your health and well-being. Maintain a sense of humor about what stresses you, and you'll be much less stressed by everything that life has to throw at you. How Laughter Can Relieve Stress Daydreaming Many people find themselves involuntarily daydreaming when bored at work. But visualizations are actually great for stress management as well, so daydream with pride! Vividly imagine your best memories, visualize your success or walk yourself through a peaceful walk on a secluded beach. Giving yourself a mental break in this way is a quick and fun way to step back from your stressors and start fresh. Using Visualization to Reduce Anxiety Symptoms Sex! Now that you're paying attention, it should be mentioned that sex (with a worthy partner) can be a great stress reliever for several reasons, including lowered blood pressure, increased intimacy, and stress-relieving hormones. You may have an issue though if you find yourself too stressed for sex. How Does Sex Relieve Stress and Anxiety? 6 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Kalenkoski CM, Korankye T. Enriching lives: How spending time with pets is related to the experiential well-being of older Americans. Applied Research in Quality of Life. Published online January 8, 2021. doi:10.1007/s11482-020-09908-0 Clark MM, Soyring JE, Jenkins SM, et al. The integration of studio cycling into a worksite stress management programme. Stress and Health. 2013;30(2):166-176. doi:10.1002/smi.2514 Panis E. Stress management amidst of the Covid-19 pandemic of public junior high school teachers in selected high school of Aborlan North District. Journal of World Englishes and Educational Practices. 2021;3(5):39-53. doi:10.32996/jweep.2021.3.5.4 Turaga R. Stress Management Techniques. IUP Journal of Soft Skills. 2019;13(3):56-64. Mar RA, Mason MF, Litvack A. How daydreaming relates to life satisfaction, loneliness, and social support: The importance of gender and daydream content. Consciousness and Cognition. 2012;21(1):401-407. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2011.08.001 Ein-Dor T, Hirschberger G. Sexual healing. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 2012;29(1):126-139. doi:10.1177/0265407511431185 By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Stress Management Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.