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How do I Prevent Stress?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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When people ask the question of how to prevent stress they may be discussing emotional stress or physical stress. In the latter they might refer to how to prevent repetitive stress injuries. In the former they may be talking about how to make sure they can avoid suffering too much emotional stress in daily living. These are two very different topics that occasionally have some relationship, but they’ll require very distinct guidelines that are separate.

On the issue of preventing emotional stress, it ought to be noted that it may be impossible to fully prevent stress. People may encounter more stress even in circumstances that are deemed positive, like getting married, having children or taking a vacation. However, there are certainly ways to avoid states of being always stressed out. Some tips for stress minimization include the following:

  • Try to make life simpler by combining activities or not taking on extra work.
  • Consider finding low stress work if a present job is too high energy or if a job environment is constantly negative.
  • Manage time well using whatever means that work, like calendars or planners.
  • Avoid behaviors that are self-destructive, such as over drinking, smoking or using drugs.
  • Have someone to talk to when stress hits, such as a trusted friend, spouse or counselor, and use counselors to learn ways to be kinder to the self.
  • Make sure that life includes some self-care, relaxation or fun time, since these counterbalance stressful times.
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep a night, since less risks depression.
  • Eat healthily and plan on an exercise that is enjoyable and can be easily incorporated into daily living.
  • Accept the premise that it is impossible to control all aspects of life, and attempting to do so leads to self-blame and mental anguish.

These tips to prevent stress are common ones and there are many others that may work for each individual. It’s also important to note that people have different handling capacities when it comes to stress. Some people seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders without being significantly affected, and others can’t do as much. Not comparing yourself to other people in terms of stress handling capacity is important.

As for the issue of preventing repetitive stress injuries, some of the advice may sound familiar. One of the crucial ways to help avoid this issue is to take frequent breaks (good advice for emotional stress too). However, breaks should be even more frequent, for people who do the same thing repeatedly, like typing. Planning to take a break once an hour can do much to prevent stress injuries.

Since many repetitive injuries revolve around computer use, some of the best advice is to set up a computer station that is most kind to the body. A couple of tips include that when seated a person’s arms should form a 90 degree angle, and that people should not need to reach upward or far down to type or use a mouse. Instead hands should be in a neutral position, feet should be comfortably planted on the floor and people should be able to sit up in a good postural position without slouching. Monitor position is also useful and top of a monitor should align with the forehead.

Other things may help avoid stress injury, including doing regular exercises of the areas that move in the same way repeatedly. Each area of the body can have different exercise recommendations, and the best place to get advice might either be through the workplace, or through a physical therapist or doctor. Getting regular physical exercises for the whole body can be important too.

Stress is always a risk, and perhaps a consequence of being human. Whether that stress is physical or emotional, too much can begin to seriously affect how well people can function. Taking care to prevent stress as much as possible may be a great way to live a more relaxed and comfortable existence.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By Ana1234 — On Jan 04, 2015

@MrsPramm - That's a good way to look at it. Chronic stress is sometimes caused by things that are outside our control, like work or family members or whatever, and it's important for people to find methods of coping with it even if they can't escape it completely.

With that said, reducing the origins of stress is also a very good and important thing to do, as coping with stress is only part of the battle.

By MrsPramm — On Jan 03, 2015

@Fa5t3r - I don't really get that stressed about finishing work, but I've heard that's a personality trait of certain people (I saw a study where they compared different kinds of students and how they reacted to deadlines) and it's actually a good thing for a lot of people to have that kind of stress and anxiety, because it is motivating.

I tend to get stressed over money and things like that, which are more abstract. Unfortunately, because they are abstract, it doesn't seem to be very motivating. If anything that kind of stress makes me not want to work because I start feeling miserable. So reducing it through relaxation and exercise is actually a big help for me, because it helps me to concentrate better on what I actually need to do to reduce the ultimate source of the stress.

By Fa5t3r — On Jan 02, 2015

Routines tend to be the best way to reduce stress for me. This won't be true for everyone, but I find that when I interrupt my daily routine I feel very anxious and stressed until whatever I haven't done has been made up. Even if it's not something that has to be done immediately, it still weighs on my mind until it's finished.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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