Managing Stress in Your Life

Everyone has stress in their lives. Here are some tips to help you keep your stress from escalating to unhealthy levels.

  • Say “no” when asked to do something you really don’t want to do. When possible, say you’ll check your calendar before you say “yes” automatically. This will give you time to sense how you really feel about it.
  • When you’re concerned about something, talk about it with someone you trust, or write your feelings in a journal.
  • Make time — you’ll rarely “find” time — to be alone on a regular basis. Use this time to listen to your heart, reevaluate your priorities, and think about your goals.
  • Plan to do something each day that you enjoy. Even small things count.
  • Notice your breathing and take deeper, slower breaths often throughout the day.
  • Take time to be in nature. Notice the seasonal changes with all your senses.
  • Practice doing one thing at a time, keeping your mind focused on that activity.
  • Organize your life around a realistic schedule, allowing transition time between activities.
  • Eliminate unnecessary commitments.
  • Become aware of the demands you place on yourself and look at your motivations for these.
  • Learn to delegate and trust others to help you.
  • Lower your intake of caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. All have been shown to raise baseline arousal levels.
  • Exercise 20-30 minutes a day, 3-5 times a week. Regular exercise creates an internal buffer for stress.
  • Eat a balanced diet including protein, carbohydrates, and green vegetables.
  • Incorporate a relaxation practice into your daily schedule.