Top 5 Ways to Reduce Stress in 2023

Sunday, 18 June 2023
  • By
  • Jeff Ammons
  • Tags:
  • Healthy Living
Jeff talking about stress while Zero, a cream colored siamese kitty, relaxes
Jeff talking about stress while Zero, a cream colored siamese kitty, relaxes

Have you ever felt like stress is killing you? Well it very well might be.

Research has linked prolonged stress to a host of health problems ranging from heart disease to increased risk of dementia.

So great! You were stressed before, and now I’ve told you stress is killing you, so now you’re stressed about that too.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you. In this post and the accompanying video, we are going to go over 5 great ways to reduce stress.

My name is Jeff and my life changed when I was diagnosed with coronary artery disease, the same thing that killed my father when he was, well just about my age.

Follow me on my journey as I learn how to live better, live longer, and schedule tranquility into my life.

The good news is you can reduce your stress.

You may not be able to get rid of the things in your life that cause stress, but you can improve your reaction to it.

We’ve all heard of the fight or flight reaction. It’s what made our ancestors able to run away from lions and kill wooly mammoths.

The problem is while they would have two minutes of terror followed by two weeks of boredom, we have stress 24/7.

The fight or flight chemicals that are awesome for a short burst really take toll on our bodies if they never go away.

So our goal then is to carve out some time to focus on something that takes us away from the stress. That could be literally going somewhere or it could be mentally going somewhere.

With that in mind let’s look at my top 5 ways of reducing stress.

I plan on making full videos and posts on each of these, so we’ll keep it short today.

These aren’t in any special order, and I recommend you pick several not just “the top one”.

Number 1 Reading

I don’t mean doom scrolling the internet here. That is the opposite of de-stressing.

No, here I mean scheduling half an hour or an hour each day to disconnect from the world that is stressing you, and escape to one that isn’t.

You could read fiction or non-fiction, it doesn’t matter.

It’s whatever you like, but you really have to disconnect. Either put your phone away or put it in airplane mode.

I love science fiction and fantasy, but I also really enjoy authors like Hemingway, Steinbeck and Twain.

Maybe you love a good mystery. Or the history of the Roman Empire. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get off the stress treadmill for half and hour or an hour.

Number 2 Connecting with Nature

This is a big one for me.

Modern life can be a giant drain on our emotions. Everything moves super fast and feels like it’s life or death.

I think our brains are hardwired to need a connection with the living world around us.

If you close your eyes and really imagine the sound of gentle rain, a river, or the ocean, it will likely make you feel just a bit more relaxed.

I need trees and plants, animals and birds in my life. It’s one of the things I love about living in Florida. One of my favorite things to do is wildlife photography.

You can see (and purchase if you like) some of my photos at

Dream Big: Green heron watching carp larger than itself in a pond

Whether you go hiking in the wilderness or just surround yourself with house plants, you will find stress relief in thinking about the natural world instead of the rat race for a while.

Number 3 Meditating

So a minute ago I talked about closing your eyes and imaging the sounds of water.

Guess what, that’s a form of meditation.

In a nutshell any activity that gives your mind a chance to focus internally instead of externally is a form of meditation.

I don’t meditate daily, but I do use it to calm myself in particularly stressful situations.

When I meditate, I close my eyes and imagine sitting at the base of a waterfall I used to visit up in the mountains of North Carolina. The trick is to try to use ALL your senses. Imagine sights, sounds, smells and touch. If I do this for 5 minutes, I feel like I’ve reset my stress meter.

Number 4 Community

In the US we overly romanticize the “lone wolf”.

The stranger who rides to town and rights all the wrongs, then rides off into the sunset.

You ever wonder what happens to him the next day? He’s out there in the desert talking to his horse and probably hears the horse talk back.

It’s not healthy to be alone all the time. We need a community.

Building your community takes work. Call and check on someone. Meet them for lunch or just coffee.

Take time to really ask about their lives.

Sharing food with people is a powerful way to connect.

The time you spend with them is time you aren’t worrying about the things that are stressing you.

Number 5 Exercise

Last one and it’s a biggie.


For stress relief, exercise really hits on several fronts.

First you have to schedule time to do it. That is empowering. YOU made the decision. YOU made the time. That feeling that YOU are in control, in of itself, can help with your stress. There’s plenty you can’t control in your life, but you took control of THIS.

Next is chemistry. All those stress hormones in your system are there to power your body to run or fight. Guess what’s a great way to use them? Running! Or walking.

Studies have shown that exercise also prepares your body to handle stress. If your heart is working efficiently, then stress is less likely to damage it.


There you have it!

You can’t get rid of everything that causes you stress, but if you start using some of these strategies, you can reduce the harm the stress is doing to you.

Like I said I’m going to dive into each one of these in separate videos and posts, so if you want to see those, be sure to subscribe to the channel.

You can also sign up for my newsletter via the link in the description. You can also use the RSS feed if you like.

In both the channel and the newsletter I’ll be sharing what I learn about living better, living longer, and scheduling tranquility in YOUR life.