1. I’m a big stresser/worrier as well. Sometimes my friends mention how they’re down to their last $15-20 and I freak out FOR them, even though they’re not freaking out at all. I’m always of the mindset, “If something bad could happen, it will happen.” Even though that’s not necessarily the case.

    Of your list, I’ll agree with sleep, music, and writing. Especially music. It’s amazing how quickly music can change your mood. Cooking is actually kind of stressful for me unless I’m making something really easy like grilled cheese or tacos. I’m not very good at cooking and especially trying to cook multiple dishes at once really makes me nervous. And video games actually stress me out too! Maybe it’s because I don’t play that often so I’m usually really rusty at them and constantly die/fail… either way, it’s not a good time.

    PS that Cyanide and Happiness comic is great.

    • Video games can also be a big source of frustration for me. If I’m playing video games to destress (which rarely happens recently), I’m dropping the difficulty as low as I possibly can. I don’t particularly care if it’s stupid…easy video games are very, very relaxing.

      I love Cyanide and Happiness. I used to use their comics a lot more (along with XKCD) on the old blog…might have to get back into that here.

  2. Cooking is really fun for me, part of the time. The other time…it’s too much! Haha. I tend to like it more on weekends versus making dinner after work.

    I think a lot of people look at “de-stressing” as…not doing anything. Like sleeping or Netflix binging, etc. I think it’s important to find something that stretches you physically and mentally also, because it’s about truly occupying your mind with something else, not just blanking out from the bad stuff.

    • I’m with you on the enjoying to cook more on the weekends part. I’ve had some terribly long days at work recently. When those days end, I have zero desire to do anything, let alone cook for myself or others.

      I think there’s different types of destressing. Sometimes, the physical and mental act of destressing is the only way to handle all the complex emotions that come with stress. On the other hand, there are times where stress tires you to the point where doing nothing is a way to help you relax.

  3. Writing does it for me too, especially if I can go do it at a coffee shop. I think I find something soothing in the hum of background noise, probably because of growing up in a noisy household.

    I also find exercise and stretching incredibly stress-reducing, especially if I go to the gym alone and with no time constraints, so I can stretch, shower, or use the sauna as long as I want to.

    Cleaning too. I do it without even thinking when I’m having an anxiety attack. In fact almost every time Tyler and I have argued I’ve eventually started doing dishes while we talked without even noticing!

    • Cleaning is a significant source of anxiety for me. So much so that I have extreme dread of doing it and will put it off as long as possible. It’s not cleaning everything…but most cleaning tasks are this way.

  4. You basically just described me. Both in the stress thing, and in the ways I destress. Except, I have a nasty habit of getting so busy I forget to destress, which is something I’ve been trying to work on. I’m terrible with stressing. I stress when there is nothing to stress about because I freak out that I must be missing something that I should have been stressing about. A lot of that, we’ve learned, is due to my anxiety disorder, but it still makes it hard to figure out what’s real stress and what’s fake stress.

    That being said, if it weren’t for playing insane amounts of Dragon Age: Origins, II and Inquisition over the last two months, I’d probably be in a far worse state than I am right now.

    • So last night, the fiancee had some friends over which led to us playing Smash Bros. They were all playing against really difficult computer players, which I was okay with, but didn’t prefer. I made the comment that I don’t play video games for a challenge, I play them to destress, which means easy is great. The point to my destressing was lost on them, but it works for me.

      • EXACTLY! Scott asks me the same thing, because I usually play on easy or casual. But I play it to destress, and get immersed in the story. I’m not looking for an extra super hard challenge (which I could still beat if I wanted to), I just want to decompress from the real world for a while.

        • I’m alright at video games, however I’m not where near as good as most people are. There are certain genres of games I’m good at (turn-based RPGs, sports games), however there are very few people I know who will play such games with me.

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