Coping with Stress

Other supplements, including Rhodiola, ashwagandha, B vitamins, and L-theanine, may also help reduce stress, though more research is needed to understand their potential benefits better. Deep breathing exercises may help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the relaxation response. Studies show that spending time in green spaces such as parks and forests and being immersed in nature are healthy ways to manage stress. Meditating consistently, even for short periods, may help boost your mood and decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety. Stress reduction techniques that utilize mindfulness include meditation and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up.

healthy ways to cope with stress

Supplementing with magnesium has been shown to improve stress in chronically stressed people. A 2021 review of literature points out that several studies have linked excessive smartphone use with increased stress levels and mental health disorders. Regular exercise healthy ways to cope with stress has been shown to improve symptoms of common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression (15, 16). Work, family issues, health concerns, and financial obligations are parts of everyday life that commonly contribute to heightened stress levels.

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Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating when you aren’t feeling stressed. 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. Stress isn’t the same as mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

  • While smartphones, computers, and tablets are often necessary, using them too often may increase stress levels.
  • 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 coffee has health benefits in moderation, it’s recommended to keep caffeine intake under 400 mg daily, which equals 4–5 cups (0.9–1.2 L) of coffee.

So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available. Progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing all the muscles in your body, group by group.

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Meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes and creating a blank space in your mind. Or you can try guided sessions with the help of meditation apps or videos. A second, more general measure of anxiety and stress is the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger et al., 1983). Journaling is a valuable method for reducing stress and identifying patterns of behaviors and thoughts. One of the most significant advantages of journaling is that it is easy to implement and cost effective. With this worksheet, the underlying premise is that if we behave in a way that is incongruent with our core values, then we will experience stress.

  • But when stressors are always present and you always feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on.
  • If you’re spending too much time at the office, intentionally put more dates in your calendar to enjoy time for fun, either alone or with others.
  • We journeyed around Los Angeles to unearth some of the most immersive and creative ways to do a digital detox.
  • Social support is essential for mental health, particularly when you are facing something that causes you to feel stressed or anxious.
  • Yoga combines physical movement, meditation, light exercise, and controlled breathing—all of which provide excellent stress relief.

Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change. Unlike loud noise, pleasing music can help elicit the relaxation response. “Music therapy can be very powerful for healing, and it is used in medical settings for everything from cancer treatment to recovering from COVID-19,” Dr. Ramchandani says. “But you need to be present and engaged in the sounds you’re hearing. If your mind is wandering to a stressful place, music won’t help.” Having a pet may help reduce stress and improve your mood. Yoga may help lower cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate while increasing levels of gamma aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that’s low in people with mood disorders.

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