10 Tips for Managing Your Stress

  1. Keep a daily gratitude journal. When we are stressed out, we often focus more on the problems and negative aspects of our lives. Taking a few moments to reflect on things for which we are grateful can help shift this negative thinking to a more helpful pattern. In a personal notebook, write down a few things that you are thankful for in the moment.


  1. Practice mindfulness. Meditation and mindful prayer can be powerful ways to relax the body and mind. There are many different ways to practice mindfulness. For example, try sitting in a quiet room and focusing only on your breath for five minutes. Notice the sensations as you inhale and exhale. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to your breath.


  1. Yoga is a practice that combines breath control, body postures, and meditation. Research shows that yoga can reduce stress. It also offers a wide variety of additional health benefits.


  1. Laugh and smile. Laughter can quickly ease tension and improve mood. Do a quick web search for funny images, turn to a comical book or TV show, or simply try to find humor in whatever situation you find yourself.


  1. Enjoy a hobby. Take a break from your worries by doing something you enjoy. It can be any activity that gives you joy, such as cooking, reading, gardening, crafting, or listening to music. The important thing is that you schedule at least a few minutes for self-care every week.


  1. Exercise. is great for your body, and it is also wonderful for your mental health. A regular exercise routine is ideal, but even a brief walk, run, bike ride, or dance session can improve your stress. Every little bit helps!


  1. Treat your body well. Lifestyle is strongly associated with stress levels. Eating a healthy diet and getting adequate sleep can both improve stress.


  1. Seek social support. Reach out to a friend or family member. Try a phone call, a text, or meet up in person. Choose someone you trust who will understand you and will make the time to be there for you.


  1. Check in with yourself. Are you taking on more than you can handle? Do you have unrealistic expectations of yourself? As difficult as it may be, it is sometimes necessary to say no to requests that will add more stress to your life.


  1. Avoid unhealthy coping behaviors. Behaviors like drinking alcohol, smoking, or using drugs, may help you feel better in the short term, but they do little to actually improve the situation. Plus, the consequences can make life even more stressful. Try to find healthier alternatives to these behaviors.