Six techniques for stress relief

Regardless of the time of year, stressors have a continuous presence in our everyday lives. A good way to manage your stress is to learn and practice healthy coping strategies daily. 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. The following stress-relief techniques focus on relaxing your mind and your body.

1. 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 starting a stress journal. This may help you find out what is causing your stress and how much stress you feel.

2. 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.

3. Do something you enjoy. This can be:

• A hobby, such as gardening.
• A creative activity, such as writing, crafts, or art.
• Playing with and caring for pets.
• Volunteer work.

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.

4. Focus on the present. Meditation and guided imagery (below) are two ways to focus on the present and relax your mind.

5. 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.

6. Use guided imagery. With guided imagery, you imagine yourself in any setting that helps you feel calm and relaxed. You can use audiotapes, books, or a teacher to guide you.


Adapted from
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