Stress Relief Activities & Exercises
Relax and have fun with these soothing activities and videos. We kick off this section with an interesting test, and then proceed with a wide variety of stress relief options.
1. Test your knowledge
You can test your stress knowledge using this simple quiz developed by APA.
2. Stress Management â anywhere, anytime
How? Firstly, you can start by simply being aware of your thoughts.
Try to observe your thoughts as an outsider. Take note of whatâs going on, but without judging or attaching to the details. Then just let them go. Theyâll come back again thatâs for sureâbut continue to do the same thought watching and theyll slowly lessen. This is otherwise known as being âmindful.
More information on being mindful can be found here.
Another great tool that you have on hand at all times is the ability to tap into your senses an old meditative trick that you can use, anywhere anytime. By tuning into your senses See, smell, touch, taste and hear, this will automatically slow down the brain.
Spend at least one minute on each:
Another stress management tool that you can do anywhere, anytime is a self-massage. The below clip shows you how.
4. Relaxing music
Or if youâre looking for some background sound, put on this relaxation music and experience the calming effects.
5. Schedule time to de-stress
Set aside time each day to intentionally wind down.
6. Deep breathing
8. Game time
10. Do it in groups
11. Media platforms
Embrace The Adrenaline And Treat It As Positive
Fortunately, there is evidence that some level of stress is actually helpful, and can improve performanceprovided you believe that this is the case.
Elite athletes, for example, often believe that adrenaline, one of the main stress hormones, is helpful in improving performance. It is, after all, the flight or fight hormone, so you can harness it to help you to fight. Changing your mindset to embrace adrenaline can be a good start to changing how you view stress, especially if you have taken steps to reduce and avoid it more generally.
More on Stress Management:
Rethink The Workplace Culture
Your workplace culture sets the tone for every employee. If the company culture emphasizes a highly competitive environment, no breaks and long hours, you and everyone else will likely be stressed forever. Evaluate the culture and ensure it supports stress management. Improve the culture with little changes to help everyone reduce their stress.
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Tips To Manage Stressful Situations
It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasnt until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress.
Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. Weve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.
Offer An Open Door Policy
While you cannot control everything in your office, you can certainly have an open-door policy for your employees. An open-door policy means that your employees are free to approach you with any concerns or questions they may have. By creating this environment, you can ensure that your employees feel comfortable and safe while they are at work.
Furthermore, having an open-door policy can prevent issues from arising in the first place. By ensuring that your team has a way to communicate with you, you can address problems immediately.
Try to arrange regular meetings with your employees to learn more about their day-to-day work experiences. Doing so will help you understand the challenges they face and how you can help them resolve these issues. You can encourage your employees to feel more connected and engaged in the workplace with an open-door policy.
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Taking Control Of Your Emotions
Perhaps youre currently experiencing a personal crisis and need something to help you cope with the stressful situation. This workbook created by Elly Prior is a great option.
In a gentle, informative way, the worksheet walks you through the emotional rollercoaster you may be going through right now and helps you find solid footing through actionable ideas that keep you from being overwhelmed.
Some Techniques For Lowering Stress Naturally
Chronic stress is not caused by a single factor, and for many people it gets to the point where they need to take medication to keep it at bay.
Here are some suggestions on how toreduce stress naturally.
- Get enough sleep. The habit of going to bed after midnight has negative effects on your health. Find healthy ways to fall asleep earlier and you will likely see a decrease in your stress levels.
- Learn to let go. Holding on to negative feelings can put you constantly on edge. Develop the habit of letting go and moving on from the past to reduce your stress response.
- Eat whole foods. Research show that there is a correlation between the consumption of ultra-processed food and elevated stress levels. If youre constantly stressed out, consider eating foods that are close to their natural state .
- Develop an exercise routine. Moderate exercise is beneficial for lowering stress levels. You might want to consider signing up for yoga, going for a swim, or taking a walk to improve your mood and keep stress and anxiety at bay.
- Use a worksheet. Worksheets are a wonderful tool for learning how to control your stress response. They are easily accessible through different resources. The key is finding reliable resources that are designed or created by experts in stress management.
To help you out, weve rounded up the best worksheets that can be printed out and used instantly. Continue reading to check them out and see what works best for you.
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Managing Stress In The Workplace: 12 Stress Management Tips For Managers
Your body naturally reacts with stress when you face a challenging or demanding situation. This natural reaction can happen a lot at work, especially if you work in a fast-paced, demanding field. Sometimes stress pushes you to work harder, but other times it has a negative effect. When employers effectively manage stressful situations, it sets a positive example for the rest of their team and promotes mental health in the workplace. Thats why its important to research techniques and practice strategies for managing stress in the workplace.
Helping Children And Youth Cope With Stress
Children and youth often struggle with how to cope with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic eventlike a natural disaster, family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents, caregivers, and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
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High Blood Pressure And Heart Disease
According to the American Heart Association, stress can have serious long-term health consequences.
When your stress response activates, your heart rate is higher than normal. This increase is not a problem if it only lasts a short time. But when stress dominates your everyday life, it can put pressure on your heart.
Make Time For Fun And Relaxation
It is important to include time for fun and relaxation in your schedule. These are important for helping you to feel good generally, and that in turn reduces stress, and keeps you healthy. Looking forward to doing things that you enjoy, and that give you pleasure, helps when you have to cope with less pleasant aspects of life. Whats more, laughter has huge positive benefits for both mental and physical health.
If you are working hard, and are conscientious, however, it can feel wrong to take time out to relax and have fun.
It is therefore important to remember that you and your health are important. You should not ignore your physical or mental health in favour of more urgent activities.
If you consciously put relaxing or fun activities into your diary, and think of this as a way to keep yourself healthy and able to work, you are likely to feel much more positive. This, in turn, will mean that you feel less guilty, and therefore stressed, about doing it.
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Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Stress Can Be A Good Thing
In small amounts, stress can be a good thing. It gives us motivation and helps us to get things done.
Unfortunately, we live in an age where chronic stress has become a problem. Many of us have to deal with daily challenges in the workplace, making ends meet, and looking after our familys and our own welfare.
Our fight-or-flight response is triggered to cope with what the body perceives as threats. When this happens constantly, we develop physical ailments such as respiratory problems, digestive issues, and heart disease that can lead to stroke.
Knowing how to manage stress is important not just for our health, but also for the overall quality of our life.
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Healthy Ways To Handle Lifes Stressors
When stress becomes unmanageable, try these evidence-based tools to tackle it in healthy ways.
Healthy ways to handle lifes stressors.
Stressful experiences are a normal part of life, and the is a survival mechanism that primes us to respond to threats. Some stress is positive: Imagine standing in front of a crowd to give a speech and hitting it out of the park. Stressful? Certainly. But also challenging and satisfying.
But when a stressor is negative and cant be fought off or avoided such as layoffs at work or a loved ones medical crisis or when the experience of stress becomes , our biological responses to stress can impair our physical and mental health.
Fortunately, there are many evidence-based tools to help combat the negative effects of stress in healthy ways. They recommend that you:
Handy Pdfs & 1 Ppt About Stress Management
Now that weâve covered the various stress management solutions, here are some handy downloadable PDFs for creating your personal stress management plan:
For adults and teens, this PDF Stress diary is an excellent template put together by Mindtools.com. It helps make us aware of when we stress, how we stress and how often we stress. Download the diary and make regular entries to start increasing the awareness surrounding your stress.
Itâs easy for stress to come and go, with us accepting itâs just part of our lives instead of something that needs addressing. Once we bring our awareness to these key stress components, we can start taking steps to manage it.
Once youâve identified how you show stress, you can start fleshing out a plan that works best for you. This Stress management PDF will help you to put in place some solid solutions, such as social support, emotional skills, ideas for a healthy life balance, and how you can best attend to your basic needs.
Specifically for teens, this PDF is an easy to use 10-point plan put together by www.fosteringresilience.com to help manage stress. It has been broken down into four digestible parts for you to work through including:
If youâre looking for a handy PPT, this Reducing Stress Presentation explains how we can best manage our stress by changing our health behaviors.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Stress
16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety Exercise. Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress. Consider supplements. Several supplements promote stress and anxiety reduction. Light a candle. Reduce your caffeine intake. Write it down. Chew gum. Spend time with friends and family. Laugh.
How To Handle Stress At Work
- Luana Marques, PhD, Contributor
If youre currently working, you probably know what it feels like to be stressed on the job. A must-do project arrives without warning. Three emails stack up for each one you delete. Phones ring, meetings are scheduled, a coworker drops the ball on a shared assignment.
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Be Clear On Requirements
A factor known to contribute to job burnout is unclear requirements for employees. If you dont know exactly what is expected of you, or if the requirements for your role keep changing with little notice, you might become extremely stressed.
If you find yourself never knowing if what you are doing is enough, it may help to have a talk with your supervisor. You can take the time to go over expectations and discuss strategies for meeting them. This can relieve stress for both of you!
Taking Steps To Manage Stress
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection .
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.
How To Answer How Do You Handle Stress
To answer this question successfully, you’ll want to provide specific examples of how you’ve handled stress well in the past. You might also provide examples of times when pressure actually made you work more productively.
Be careful how you respond. If you say you get stressed when you’re given multiple projects, and you know the job will require you to juggle many assignments at once, youll look like you’re not a good fit for the position.
Consider mentioning how a little stress can be a helpful motivator for you. Try to provide an example of a time when the stress of a difficult project helped you be a more creative and productive worker.
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Map Your Social Network
During times of high stress we have a tendency to retreat. We cancel social plans and focus on the work, money crisis or trauma that is our source of stress. But friends and social support are among the best forms of therapy to help you escape stress for brief periods of time. Friends can also make you feel better about yourself, and that mountain of stress in your life wont look so steep.
When Dr. Southwick, Yale Medical School psychiatrist, co-wrote his book on resilience, he interviewed a number of people who had shown resilience against all odds, including former prisoners of war and people who had survived trauma. One thing they had in common was social support.
The resilient people we interviewed actively reached out for support, said Dr. Southwick. They dont sit around and wait.
Even POWs held in isolation devised a tapping method of communication with their fellow prisoners. Most, if not all, said it was life-saving to know they werent alone and they were cared for, said Dr. Southwick.
When Dr. Southwick, a psychiatrist, meets with a new patient, one of the first things he does is construct a diagram of the patients social network. Sometimes they just talk about it some patients want to map it out on paper. Who is in your life? Who can you count on? asks Dr. Southwick. Make your own list of your social network and keep it handy when you need to call on someone for support.
Effects Of Too Much Stress
“If constantly under stress, most of us will eventually start to function less well,” says Malaika Stoll, M.D., chief medical officer of SutterSelect. Multiple studies link chronic stress to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, weight gain, memory loss and even premature death, so “it’s important to recognize the warning signals,” she says.
Talk to your doctor about ways to manage stress if youre experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Prolonged periods of poor sleep
- Regular, severe headaches
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Feelings of isolation, withdrawal or worthlessness
- Constant anger and irritability
- Loss of interest in activities
- Constant worrying or obsessive thinking
- Excessive alcohol or drug use
- Inability to concentrate
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What To Do If You Have Trouble Sleeping
Sleep is often sacrificed when youre overwhelmed with stress. You may experience insomnia because of discomfort, stress from personal concerns, or side effects from your medications. If you cant sleep, try these tips:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule: go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Make sure your bed and surroundings are comfortable. Arrange the pillows so you can maintain a comfortable position.
- Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.