The best way to manage your
stress is to learn healthy
coping strategies. You can start practicing these tips
right away. Try one or two until you find a few that work for you. Practice
these techniques until they become habits you turn to when you feel stress. You
can also use this
coping strategies form(What is a PDF document?) to see how you respond to stress.
Stress-relief techniques focus on relaxing your mind and your body.
Ways to relax your mind
Write. It may help to
write about things that are bothering you. Write for 10 to 15 minutes a day
about stressful events and how they made you feel. Or think about tracking your
stress. This helps you find out what is
causing your stress and how much stress you feel. After you know, you can find
better ways to cope.
Let your feelings out.
Talk, laugh, cry, and express anger when you need to. Talking with friends,
family, a counselor, or a member of the clergy about your feelings is a healthy
way to relieve stress.
Do something you enjoy. You may feel that you're too busy to do these things. But
making time to do something you enjoy can help you relax. It might also help
you get more done in other areas of your life. Try:
A hobby, such as gardening.
A creative activity,
such as writing, crafts, or art.
Playing with and caring for pets.
Focus on the present. Meditation and guided imagery are two
ways to focus and relax your mind.
Meditate. When you
meditate, you focus your attention on things that are happening right now.
Paying attention to your breathing is one way to focus. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is one form of meditation that is very helpful with managing stress and learning how to better cope with it.
Exercise. Regular exercise is one of the
best ways to manage stress. Walking is a great way to get started. Even
everyday activities such as housecleaning or yard work can reduce stress.
Stretching can also relieve muscle tension. For more information about becoming
more active, see the topic
Try techniques to relax. Breathing
exercises, muscle relaxation, and yoga can help relieve stress.
Breathing exercises. These include
roll breathing, a type of deep breathing.
tai chi, and qi gong. These techniques combine exercise and meditation. You
may need some training at first to learn them. Books and videos are also
helpful. You can do all of these techniques at home.