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20 Ways to Cope with Stress

20 Steps in Dealing with Stress Denver CO

based on: Stress Can Really Get On Your Nerves

1. Breathe Deep

Imagine your breath is like a wave that washes your stress out to sea. If you still feel lost when it comes to breathing techniques, here’s a super easy one that is guaranteed to calm even the the most stress-filled candidate:
Breathe in for three (slow) counts, hold for three counts, out for three counts, hold for three counts. Repeat. And again. And again. Until you feel a calm in your body.

2. Listen to Soothing Music

What we hear around us has a strong effect on how we feel. Every notice when you’re angry you might want to listen to something loud? And when you’re sad, something quiet and wistful? To soothe stress, try listening to calming sounds. Try making a Pandora station based xxx, xxx, or xxx and let it play in the background of your day.

3. Express Your Feelings

Expressing your feelings is healthy, versus keeping them bottled up, which causes more stress! While keeping a focus on healthy ways to express your stress (no yelling at yourself or lashing out at friends!), try xxxx.

4. Exercise

Release the extra energy that stress produces in your body. If you don’t it collects as stressful hormones that can cause long term health, weight, and mental struggles. Don’t feel like you have to run five miles. Start with a walk around the block or a mini-exercise routine on YouTube.

5. Expand Your Creativity

Draw, play a musical instrument, sing, or do something else creative. These types of activities activate the left side of the brain, which can simultaneously quiet the over-thinking (but well-intentioned!) right side of the brain.

6. Enjoy Your Hobby

Get into “the flow” of doing something you truly enjoy and forget about your worries. Need helping finding a new hobby? This article on Bustle has a lot of great ideas.

7. Read a Good Book or Watch a Movie

An easy enough suggestion, but take the time to find something worthwhile. Or something light and easy to process. A temporary escape from reality.

8. Eat a Healthy Diet & Get Enough Sleep

One of the most important things you can do is take care of yourself. The basic building blocks of life are food and rest. If you aren’t getting both of those in a healthy form, it could be contributing to your stress levels.

9. Get Organized & Plan Your Priorities

Organization can be a bear for some people. Piles of mail, an overflowing “junk” closet, and a to-do list that never seems to be less than 30 items. Take time to organize the physical items in your life. Take an afternoon and tackle the hardest project. Get rid of anything that isn’t essential or doesn’t give you any joy. Then take on the list of your priorities. For help and advice organizing your closet or to-do list, check out this article.

10. Pinpoint the Causes of Your Stress

This will help you find solutions that will best fit your situations. Mentally beating yourself up doesn’t work, so don’t waste time thinking of what could have been. Use your time thinking of what can now be.

11. Forgive Your Mistakes!

You are human and every single human on the planet makes mistakes. Even big ones. Take this time to see what you will gain from the mistake you made. Maybe it’s a new perspective on life. Maybe it’s a change you’ve needed but could never manage otherwise. Or maybe it’s simply the lesson you learned. For more insights on how to forgive yourself for the really, really big mistakes, check out our helpful article on Forgiving Yourself.

12. Simplify Your Life

Having too much on your agenda – friends, activities, and chores – can be overwheleming. Give yourself a break, even if it’s just a few days. See how much you can relax when you don’t have the “shoulds” of life pressing on your shoulders

13. Laugh It Up

Experts say laughter reduces stress, but there are times when laughing can be difficult. Here is when I urge you to take some time on YouTube and search out funny videos. Cute animal compilations and late night talk show segments are always a hit. Find things that don’t have a relationship or life-stress angle, just plain old humor. Watch until at least one corner of your mouth goes up!

14. Breathe + Imagine

In addition to to the breathing technique mentioned in tip #1, you can also incorporate belly breathing and peaceful imagery as an easy escape.

15. Challenge Your Thoughts

Challenging your negative or worrying thoughts maybe prove to yourself that they are actually partially, or totally!, false! We have listed some practical ways to challenge your own negative thoughts in the article xxx.

16. Form & Use Your Support System

Reach out to your family, friends, and trusted adults to help clear your mind. Be sure to ask for what you want from them – suggestions on how to solve your issue or just a place to vent.

17. Try to Take Some Alone Time Every Day

Consider investing in yourself by committing to relaxation practices such as yoga or meditation. I know it can be so difficult, especially if you are in the throws of raising young children or dealing with addiction recovery. Even 15 minutes a day is enough to set your mind in the right direction. Try waking up 20 minutes earlier than everyone for at least two weeks and see how you feel.

18. Break Down Huge Tasks

Bigger tasks can often be broken down into smaller chunks. Take the biggest task from #9 and map out each step to get it accomplished. Do the smallest steps first and you’ll see how much easier getting past the finish line will become.

19. Work on Your Self-Esteem

We started to look at this in #16 with Positive Self-talk. Now it’s time to focus on your strengths and develop accurate thoughts about yourself. What are you good at? What do you enjoy? What makes you feel a warmth in your heart? (Tip: this emotion is often connected to doing something positive for others.)

20. Positive Self-talk

This is probably one of the biggest challenges of most peoples lives. Once you have started working on your self-esteem, you may notice there is a little voice in your head that wants to tell you what you aren’t and what you can’t do. Now is the time to be your own advocate. Every time that voice comes along, tell yourself “I’m not going to go there” and switch the channel. Think about what you are and what you can do. Over and over again. Just like you would to a small child you love unconditionally.