Stress Management Techniques

Manage Stress so that it Doesn’t Manage You

Stress is a natural response to feeling challenged or overwhelmed by the demands that life places on you. Managing stress can be, well, stressful. That’s why it’s important to find positive means of coping with the pressures of day-to-day living. Developing healthy habits in regard to stress can assist you in treating and recovering from a behavioral health diagnosis.

Fortunately, there are almost as many positive ways of coping with stress as there are causes of stress. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Regular exercise
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Napping and sleeping
  • Taking care of a pet
  • Friendship and social activity
  • Reading and reflective “alone time”
  • Smiling, laughter, and having a sense of humor
  • Cultivation of a hobby or other leisure-time activity
  • Meditation and relaxation techniques
  • Taking a break from the sources of stress in your life

Remember that not every coping mechanism is positive. Negative coping includes drug and alcohol abuse, overwork, problem avoidance, denial, and bottling up one’s emotions. In the long run, these will only add to your troubles – and your stress level. 

United Stress of Americans

According to the American Psychological Association's 2012 Stress in America survey:

  • 39% of those surveyed reported increases in stress over the previous year
  • Only 29% felt they were doing a "very good" or "excellent" job of handling their stress
  • Leading sources of stress included money, work, economy, relationships, family responsibilities, family health, personal health, job stability, housing, and personal safety
  • Members of racial and minority groups reported additional sources of stress

-"4 Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress" (