What are the Best Ways of Coping with Stress?

Stress is a part of life, but it is important to find effective ways of coping with stress so that it does not take over. Prolonged stress can lead to high blood pressure or heart disease and stroke, and has been show to increase the chances of developing cancer. Coping with stress can take a few different forms, from proactive techniques to reduce stressful situations in life, to relaxation techniques done throughout the day to prevent the body's stress response, such as anxiety, quicker, shallower breathing, or anger.

One of the best ways of coping with stress is to try to find creative solutions to problems that may be causing stress. For instance, stress in the workplace is often one of the main sources of stress for people. In some situations it is unavoidable, but in others, there may be a way to deal with the problem. One might choose to come in to work a little early in order to get a head start on answering emails, for example. Even though it may be difficult, saying "no" to a project rather than taking on more than can easily be handled is another way of reducing stress.

Developing a routine for the day might also be a good way of coping with stress. This routine can be for the workplace; for instance, one might choose to only respond to emails for an hour or two each day, and the rest of the day will be spent on completing work. Routines in the home can also help. If everyone sets out clothing, and makes lunches for the next day the night before, this can save some valuable time in the morning and help to prevent stress and arguments.

Some people find that relaxation or meditation techniques are the best ways of coping with stress. These might include a daily yoga practice, a walk at lunchtime or at the end of the day, a brief period of meditation before bed, or a hot bath or a cup of tea in the evening to help unwind from the day. While stress is occurring, taking deep breaths, and consciously remaining calm in stressful situations can be an effective coping method as well.

If stress becomes overwhelming, a visit to a therapist might be helpful. A therapist might be able to give specific suggestions for coping with stress, and may also be able to help facilitate communication among family members. Even though stress may be a part of everyday life, the way each person reacts to it can still be a choice.



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