40 Stress Management Tips
Pick The Ones That Work Best For You

40 Stress Management Tips from Reader's Digest

The following list of stress management tips can go a long way to helping you re-balance your life.

  1. Breathe easily: Breathing from your diaphragm oxygenates your blood, which helps you relax almost instantly.
  2. Visualize calm: It sounds new age-y, but it's highly effective in reducing stress.
  3. Give yourself a mini self-massage: Massage the palm of one hand by making a circular motion with the thumb of the other.
  4. Try a tonic: Try a nerve tonic from your local health food store, or consult a licensed homeopath.
  5. Say cheese: Smiling is a two-way mechanism. We smile when we're relaxed & happy, but smiling can also make us feel relaxed & happy.
  6. Do some math: Rating your current stress level, on a scale of 1 to 10 helps put it in perspective.
  7. Stop gritting your teeth: Stress tends to settle in certain parts of our bodies, the jaw being one of them.There are many other stress management tips related to tensing and relaxing the body. It's far better to be purposeful in this area rather than habitual.
  8. Compose a mantra: Devise an affirmation -- a short, clear, positive statement that focuses on your coping abilities.
  9. Check your chi: Chi is the vital life force that flows throughout the body. It regulates the body’s functions.
  10. Be a fighter: At the first sign of stress, don’t complain: focus on being proactive.
  11. Write it down: Writing provides perspective. Get your thoughts down on paper.
  12. Count to 10: Before you say or do something you'll regret, step away from the stressor and collect yourself.
  13. Switch to decaf: Wean yourself slowly, though, or you might get a caffeine-withdrawal headache.Stress management tips that cause the body to be reactive are to be avoided. Always work with the body, not against it.
  14. Just say no: Trying to do everything is a one-way ticket to serious stress.
  15. Take a whiff: Oils of anise, basil, bay, chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rose, and thyme are all soothing.
  16. Warm up: Rub your hands together vigorously until they feel warm. Then cup them over your closed eyes for 5 seconds while you breathe deeply.
  17. Say yes to pressure: Acupressure stimulates the same points as acupuncture, but with fingers instead of needles.Another of the excellent stress management tips includes the use of EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques, which is like acupressure, but with tapping instead.
  18. Schedule worry time: Many low-grade stressors can be dealt with at a later time, when it's more convenient.
  19. Shake it up: Stand or sit, stretch your arms out from your sides and shake your hands hard for 10 seconds & breathe deeply.
  20. Munch some snacks: High-carb foods stimulate the release of serotonin, feel-good brain chemicals that help induce calm.
  21. Boost your vitamin intake: Take a daily, high-quality supplement with 100% to 300% the RDA’s of vitamin B.
  22. Don’t forget minerals: Make sure you are taking calcium, magnesium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium & zinc.
  23. Avoid stress formulas: Stay away from randomly formulated nutrients, such as the B-complex. Quality and completeness count.
  24. Admit it: Pay attention to your personal stress signals to slow the buildup of negativity & anxiety. Everyone is different. Any stress management tips that seem to follow a one size fits all model are to be regarded with caution. There are general strategies, of course, but each one should be personalized or individualized.
  25. Space out: Stare out the window and find something natural that captures your imagination.
  26. Try tea: Try the calming properties of chamomile, catnip, passionflower, and skullcap or kava kava tea.
  27. Take a walk: It forces you to breathe more deeply and improves circulation.
  28. Soak it up: Nothing is more stress relieving than a hot bath.
  29. Play a few bars: Music soothes the savage “stress” beast. Try some classical.
  30. Fall for puppy love: Petting an animal for just a couple of minutes helps relieve stress. Get a dog.
  31. Practice mindfulness: Heighten your awareness of the moment by focusing intently on an object. Mindfulness leads to relaxation.
  32. Dial a friend: Sharing your troubles can give you perspective, help you feel cared for and relieve your burden.
  33. Stretch: Muscles tighten during the course of the day. Stretching loosens muscles and encourages deep breathing. Exercise of any kind is one of the most stress management tips of all.
  34. Say a little prayer: Studies show that compared with those who profess no faith, religious & spiritual people are calmer & healthier.
  35. Make plans to do for something nice: Looking forward to something provides calming perspective.
  36. Goof off: It temporarily removes you from potentially stressful situations.
  37. Straighten up: Slumping restricts breathing & reduces blood & oxygen flow to the brain.
  38. Tiptoe through the tulips: Tending your garden helps get you out of your head & lets you commune with nature, a known stress reliever.
  39. Put up a wall from time to time: Be clear about your limits, and stop trying to please everyone all the time.
  40. Follow a routine: Routine allows us to take a mental break. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to think. Few stress management tips are more important that consistency, routines, systems and predictability. Use them always.

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