16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

The worksheets are easy to administer and appropriate for clients experiencing stress in different domains of their lives. Two of these tools are designed for assessment and can help identify energy levels, the most effective ways to recharge, and how clients approach and reframe life events. The third tool is an exercise to help develop work–life boundaries. For example, do not accept all tasks or requests that come your way, learn to say no or delegate, do the most difficult task first, and use a time-management system. One example of an effective time-management system is the Pomodoro technique, where you work for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break, and then after three cycles, take a longer break. Therefore, to reduce stress, we must identify our core values and how to align our behaviors to achieve, preserve, and satisfy them.

healthy ways to cope with stress

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Use them to help others recover from personal challenges and turn setbacks into opportunities for growth. Research by Skinner and Zimmer-Gembeck (2007) reviewed 44 studies and identified and structured common adaptive coping strategies. From this research, the Adaptive Coping Wheel was developed by our very own Hugo Alberts, Ph.D., and can be found in our Positive Psychology Toolkit©. When a person seeks emotional or instrumental support from the community, they are engaging in a social coping or support-seeking coping style (Algorani & Gupta, 2021).

Healthy Coping Strategies and Mechanisms: A List

Make a conscious effort to spend less time in front of a screen — television, tablet, computer and phone — and more time relaxing. Many people benefit from practices such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga, meditation, mindfulness or being in nature. Get a massage, soak in a bubble healthy ways to cope with stress bath, dance, listen to music, watch a comedy — whatever helps you relax. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful and overwhelming. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will help you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient.

  • But constant, elevated stress levels can take a toll and make it challenging to function.
  • It’s OK to say “no” to demands on your time and energy that’ll place too much stress on you.
  • If you have diabetes or kidney disease and a referral from your primary care provider, your health insurance may cover MNT.
  • For example, if the smell of peppermint reminds you of holidays at home, use peppermint.

Negative to positive

healthy ways to cope with stress

But by paying attention to what causes your stress and practicing ways to relax, you can counter some of the bad effects of stress and increase your ability to cope with challenges. You can reduce your stress level, improve your quality of life, improve your ability to focus, have better relationships and improve your self-control. If your stress gets worse, you might find it helpful to talk to a mental health professional. Physical activity can help you reduce stress, manage your weight, and achieve your blood pressure and blood glucose goals.

  • Physical activity can help you reduce stress, manage your weight, and achieve your blood pressure and blood glucose goals.
  • Getting enough sleep is important to your overall physical and mental health and can help you meet your blood pressure and blood glucose goals.
  • When you’re focused on the here-and-now, you won’t be able to ruminate about something that already happened and you can’t worry about something in the future.
  • But sometimes, you won’t necessarily get relief until you change the environment.

Physical activity improves your body’s ability to use oxygen and also improves blood flow. Both of these changes have a direct effect on your brain. Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it can reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you deal with your problems more calmly. Some complementary approaches that may also be helpful for reducing stress include acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage, yoga, and meditation.

In other words, the aim is to regulate one’s emotional distress by merely altering the emotional response, which may not address the actual stressor. Some assert that emotion-focused coping can be dangerous as it is affiliated with mental health problems through behavioral problems (Yang, 2021). These may include drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, smoking, eating too much, or using illegal substances. These habits can harm your health and increase your stress levels.

  • One study found that anxiety levels decline in people who were coloring complex geometric patterns, making it a perfect outlet for stress reduction.
  • Physical exercise reduces stress by releasing endorphins, improving mood, combating depression, and improving physical health (Belvederi Murri et al., 2019).
  • Several vitamins and minerals play an important role in your body’s stress response and mood regulation.
  • Depression is common among people with a chronic, or long-term, illness.
  • Gratitude helps you recognize all the things you have to be thankful for.

Get more physical activity

Another study found that people who engaged in proactive coping were better equipped to manage their type 2 diabetes. Participants who planned ahead and set realistic goals enjoyed better psychological well-being. Proactive coping can also help people deal with unexpected life changes, such as a major change in health. A 2014 study found that people who engaged with proactive coping were better able to deal with the changes they encountered after having a stroke. For example, feeling sad after the death of a loved one can help you honor your loss. Social support is an extremely effective way to relieve stress.

healthy ways to cope with stress

A 2022 review of research suggests that people who follow a diet high in ultra-processed foods and added sugar are more likely to experience higher perceived stress levels. Although the tips below may relieve many types of stress, they are not a substitute for treatment from a mental health professional. Quitting smoking may help you meet your blood pressure goals, which is good for your kidneys, and can lower your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. A dietitian who knows about kidney disease can work with you to create a meal plan that includes foods that are healthy for you and that you enjoy eating.

Accept the things you can’t change