Orlando Bloom is feeling stressed. Justin Bieber insulted him in Ibiza (why are they in the same club, much less the same city or even country?) or he insulted Bloom's ex-wife, the model Miranda Kerr, and he lashed out at Justin Bieber. Or tried, the wall of bodyguards that makes Justin Bieber brave made that difficult.

Still, that has the Belieber hordes out in full force mocking Bloom. And that third Hobbit movie is still a long way off. Bloom also may not be coping with the stress of divorce very well, even though he is being spotted with the ex-wife of his ex-wife's new billionaire boyfriend. There may be good news, though. There are simple ways to relieve stress and feel happier, says Keith King, professor and coordinator of University of Cincinnati's Health Promotion and Education Program. 

In a recent paper, he and colleagues suggest a few immediate and long-term methods for soothing frayed nerves.


  • Stop, pause and breathe: "In the moment when you're stressed, you need to slow down, you pause, you take some deep breaths. Maybe you count backwards from 10. Those types of things calm everything down and slow it down."

  • See the bigger picture: "Try to see the bigger picture. Is what you're experiencing really that big of a deal or not?"

  • Contact a friend: "Everyone has phones on them. Call your buddy and let him know what's going on so you can express those feelings and get them off you as quickly as possible."


  • Diet and exercise: "People who eat healthy and exercise tend to have lower stress levels. Exercise allows for some of that negative energy to get burned off. Eating healthy helps individuals avoid feeling weighted down."

  • Daily "me time": "Take time out of the day that's your time. It could be just 10 minutes. Go outside and walk, just enjoy something for you. If you hate exercising, then do something you enjoy. That's paramount."

  • Remember to H.A.L.T.: "Make sure you're not Hungry, you're not Angry, you're not Lonely and you're not Tired. If you can take care of those four things, you're significantly more likely to be unstressed."

The University of Cincinnati's Keith King (at right).  Photo provided by Keith King

"It's not rocket science, but the reality of it is a lot of people aren't doing the positive to get happy. People don't really know or they think some of the basics to happiness that we suggest are too fluffy. They're not. They're research-supported. Do these things and you'll feel happier," King says.

It's something he says everyone could benefit from.

"This study is looking at college students, but it is generalizable to all people. We recommend the students take this information and share it with their families. Let them know if they want to be happier, they need to focus on reducing their stress and get some social support and care."

Citation: Keith A. King, Rebecca A. Vidourek, Ashley L. Merianos, Meha Singh, 'A study of stress, social support, and perceived happiness among college students', The Journal of Happiness&Well-Being, 2014, 2(2), 132-144. Source: University of Cincinnati