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Stress is a part of life. But it doesn't have to control your life. Even if sometimes you can't avoid stress, you can build skills to respond to it in a healthy way. Here are a few ideas.
Find healthy ways to cope.
Try activities that reduce stress, like meditation, deep breathing, physical activity, and making art. New behaviors take time to develop. Try doing one thing at a time.
Make time for joy.
Take some time to think about the things that are important to you and things you enjoy. These might be safe things that make you feel happy, excited, or energized. Some examples are reading a book, playing with your dog, or seeing friends. You might schedule this ahead of time by putting it on your to-do list or calendar.
Unplug from devices.
Think about taking time to do this each day. Try setting limits on when you use devices. For example, try avoiding social media and email before 7:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. Setting your phone to "do not disturb" or using apps that track or block your screen time can help. Make rules that feel right to you.
Write it out.
Try writing down thoughts and feelings about a stressful experience. Set aside time each day to write about it. Write nonstop and don't screen your thoughts—give yourself permission to write what comes to mind.
Everyone needs help sometimes. Ask others how they find support. You might also want to see a counselor who is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The counselor can help you create and use skills to cope with stress.
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health
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