The most effective methods to reduce stress are to reduce stagnancy. When we are stagnant we think more. When we are stressed we think about things that leads to feeling even more stress. It can be very difficult to increase activity when you are depressed and/or anxious. That's why I believe it's so important to start with mildly uncomfortable situations rather than ones that bring on more significant discomfort. I recommend reading 'The Depression Cure'. I initially read the title and was deterred by the word cure. But after reading the text everything made sense. The book includes the 7 most important steps to reducing depressive symptoms. It is also easy to read & understand. Great book.