Part of a comprehensive stress relief plan involves finding ways to calm down quickly so you can more effectively manage stress as it comes while avoiding the negative effects of chronic stress. Another important way to relieve stress is to maintain healthy lifestyle habits.

Learning to live a healthy lifestyle often brings additional benefits too, such as an endorphin rush, a release of frustration, or added longevity. Many of the healthy lifestyle habits discussed here can also help you to become less reactive to stress, in the long run, providing protection against stress you haven’t even experienced yet

While maintaining healthy habits is a bit more challenging than trying a stress relief method only once, the benefits you receive from maintaining a healthy lifestyle are more than worth the effort it takes to maintain it. The increases in health and wellness that you experience, as well as the reduction in stress, will make you wish you’d made these changes sooner, and can be wonderful sources of continued motivation.


Many people feel intimidated or frustrated with making healthy lifestyle changes for a few reasons, including:

  • Not knowing where to start: There are so many changes that can benefit health and wellness that it can be difficult to know how to begin.
  • Doing too much at once: People often try to make too many changes at once, then find it too difficult (or let perfectionism sabotage their efforts) and give up the effort.
  • Stress: Let’s face it—change is difficult, especially when you’re stressed. Sometimes lifestyle stress takes over and diminishes your momentum.

Given that living a healthy lifestyle can help with stress relief, and that making healthy lifestyle changes can be challenging, the following resources can help you with both choosing new goals for healthy living and with making these new goals a reality by adopting new healthy habits into your lifestyle.


Here are some changes you can make to lead a healthier, less stressed lifestyle:

  • Healthy eating: One of the most popular changes people like to make to live a healthy lifestyle is to eat differently. Because of the negative health consequences of obesity, the influence fitness has on our self-esteem, and the effects on nutrition  on our stress levels and longevity, switching to a healthier diet brings some of the greatest benefits for wellness.
  • Regular exercise: Getting regular exercise is another wonderful way to keep your weight in check, manage overall stress levels, and stay connected with others. Exercise can also help keep many health conditions at bay and is well worth the effort. The trick is to start gradually and work your way up.
  • Quality sleep: People often underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep, and getting the right type. However, lack of adequate sleep has many negative consequences—they’re subtle but significant. Getting enough sleep isn’t one of the most popular changes that people resolve to make, but it should be. Because stress can rob you of sleep, and because many of the techniques that promote sleep can also reduce stress , it’s a very good idea to learn more about how stress affects sleep and how to get quality sleep when you’re stressed.


The great thing about moving is that just a few minutes a day can have other lasting benefits, many of which you may not even be aware of. Just some of the benefits include:

  • Enhances self esteem
  • Helps maintain flexibility as you age
  • Improves joint stability
  • Improves memory in elderly people
  • Improves mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Increases and improves range of motion
  • Maintains bone mass
  • Prevents osteoporosis and fractures
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes


Eating a healthy diet is another part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only can a nutritious diet help with weight management , but it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older.

You already know about the food groups and the fact that it is recommended that you eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. You probably have a list of things you know you should do for a healthier diet but, again, making too many changes at once can backfire. Going on a restrictive diet may make you crave the very foods you’re trying to avoid.​

Another approach is to look for ways to make smaller changes each day.Just a few ideas for changing how you eat include:

  • Cut back on sugary beverages. It’s easy to consume excess sugar and calories in the beverages that you drink. Sugary sodas, sweetened teas, juice drinks, and high-calorie coffee drinks can easily eat up your daily recommended allowance of added sugars. Consider drinking plain water or water flavored with fresh fruit or herbs. It’s a great way to stay hydrated and still get a burst of flavor.
  • Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy. Switching to skim milk or fat-free yogurt is another simple way to eat fewer calories without having to change too much in your diet.
  • Eat more fruits:Add it to your cereal, salads, dinners, or make it a dessert. The fruit is also a great snack after work or school to keep you going for dinner.
  • Make some substitutions. Look through your cabinets or fridge and pick three foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you’re at the grocery store find lower-calorie substitutes for just those three items.
  • Sneak in more veggies. Add them wherever you can—a tomato on your sandwich, peppers on your pizza, or extra veggies in your pasta sauce. Keep pre-cut, canned, or frozen veggies ready for quick snacks.
  • Try a healthy salad dressing: If you eat full-fat dressing, switch to something lighter and you’ll automatically eat fewer calories. You can also put the dressing on the side and dip, or even try making your own dressing.


Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean drastic changes. You may adapt to change better when it doesn’t require you to overhaul your entire life. Just pick one thing and work on that one thing every day, letting the rest of your life and habits stay the same. You may be surprised that those small changes really can make a difference.