Stress Relief Techniques for Every Type of Stress

If you're like many people, you may feel that certain stress relief techniques don’t work for you while others work quite well. Often the techniques that don’t seem to work for a particular person are ineffective for one of two reasons: either they are a poor match for the person's personality, or for the situation.

For example, breathing exercises can effectively relieve stress, but may not be a powerful enough technique to be the sole coping strategy for someone experiencing caregiver stress, chronic job stress, or another type of chronically-occurring stress.

There are so many different ways to relieve stress that sometimes finding the right technique for your personality and situation may seem overwhelming, or at least like more work than you want to tackle when you're already feeling stressed.

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Finding stress relievers that work for you, however, can be well worth the effort.


7 Highly Effective Stress Relievers

Whether you have a few techniques that work for you and are just looking to add one or two, or need to overhaul your way of dealing with stress and create a whole new system, the following list can help. These stress relief techniques are grouped according to various categories you may be looking at when deciding how to best manage your stress.


Acute Stress

Woman having stressful conversation on phone

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Acute stress is the type of stress that throws you off-balance momentarily. This is the type of stress that comes on quickly and often unexpectedly and doesn’t last too long, but shakes you up a bit and requires a response, like an argument with someone in your life, or an exam for which you don’t feel adequately prepared.

Your body's stress response is triggered with acute stress, but you can reverse it with quick relaxation techniques, and then go back to your day feeling less stressed again. These stress relievers can help you relax and recover more quickly from acute stress:


Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is the type of stress that tends to occur on a regular basis. This type of stress may leave you feeling drained, and can lead to burnout if it’s not effectively managed. When the stress response is chronically triggered and the body is not brought back to a relaxed state before the next wave of stress hits, the body can stay triggered indefinitely.

Chronic stress can lead to a host of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues, anxiety, depression, and a variety of other conditions. This is why it is important to effectively manage chronic stress.

Managing this type of stress often requires a combination approach, with some short-term stress relievers (like those for acute stress) and some long-term stress relief habits that relieve overall stress. Different emotion-focused coping techniques and solution-focused coping techniques are important for chronic stress as well.

The following long-term habits can help you to better manage general stress that you may feel from the chronic stressors in your life:


Emotional Stress

The pain of emotional stress can hit harder than some other types of stress. For example, the stress that comes from a conflicted relationship tends to bring a greater physical reaction and a stronger sense of distress than the stress that comes from being busy at work.

Therefore, it is important to be able to manage emotional stress in effective ways. Strategies that help you to process, diffuse, and build resilience toward emotional stress can all work well, and different approaches can work in different situations.

Here are some ways to manage emotional stress.

  • Let music aid you: Music can help relax your mind and body.
  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness can help keep you rooted in the present moment.
  • Talk to a friend: Learn about the several different types of social support friends can offer you.
  • Talk to a therapist: A therapist can help you identify the source of your emotional stress as well as which strategies and techniques may help you best combat your stress.
  • Write in a journal: There are several different journaling strategies to try, all with benefits.


Burnout is the result of the prolonged chronic stress of situations that leave people feeling a lack of control in their lives. Certain conditions of a job can create a greater risk of burnout, including not only a high level of demands, but also unclear expectations, lack of recognition for achievements, and a high level of risk of negative consequences when mistakes are made.

Once you reach a state of burnout, it is difficult to maintain motivation to work and complete what you need to accomplish, and you can feel chronically overwhelmed. In addition to the strategies that work well for chronic stress and emotional stress, the following strategies can help you to come back from a state of burnout—or prevent it entirely:

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4 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.
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