Hi there!
You are right! Tuning the guitar down a half step releases some tension and for some people it might feel a bit easier to play! The playability has very much to do with the setup of the guitar. How high the action is (strings far away or close to the fretboard), string gauge, angle of the neck (truss rod), playing style etc etc. What I suggest you to do is to try a much lighter string guage, to see if it feels ok to play even in standard tuning. Also, if you haven't already, get your guitar set up properly in terms of neck angle and action. The guitar should be easy enough to play in standard tuning. IF you feel like you still have to tune down a half step, and wants to play together with a backing track in E or something, and want to play using open strings etc, you could download a software that can change pitch for your backing track (for example the software "Transcribe!"), and tune down the pitch a half step. Then you can practice along to it. This obviously doesn't solve the issue when you're playing together with other musicians :) You'd have to be in the same key as them, whatever they play ;-) Anyway, let me know if I can help with any further question! Kind regards/Emil