Stress Management 101 - Tips and Techniques for Dealing With Stress

I'm all about simple ways to chill out, so when life gets crazy and my stress levels start rising, I know it's time to tap into my self-care toolkit. From quick breathing exercises to taking relaxing baths, I've got plenty of go-to techniques that help me find my zen. Join me as I share my top stress-busting tips that help me maintain my cool during even the most hectic of days. In this post, we'll explore science-backed methods for dealing with anxiety, managing to overwhelm, and improving mental health through mindfulness and more. Whether you struggle with everyday worrying or more serious conditions, these practical strategies will equip you to create a little oasis of calm amidst the chaos. Let's dive in!

Understanding Stress - Causes and Effects on Mental Health

Stress is the body's natural response to demanding situations. When I feel stressed, my body goes into "fight or flight" mode, releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This can be helpful in small doses, giving me an energy boost to power through challenges. However, frequent or long-term stress takes a real toll on both my physical and mental health.

Some common causes of stress in my life include:

  • Work or school pressures: Heavy workloads, tight deadlines, job insecurity, difficult colleagues or classmates, etc.
  • Relationship issues: Fighting with your partner or friends, loneliness, lack of social support, etc.
  • Financial worries: Debt, lack of financial security, income loss, medical bills, etc.
  • Health concerns: Chronic or serious illness, injury, disability, caregiving responsibilities, etc.
  • Grief or loss: Death of a loved one, divorce or breakup, loss of a job, move to a new home, etc.

When I'm stressed for a long time, it starts to negatively impact how I think and feel. I may experience symptoms like:

  • Anxiety, irritability, and mood changes: Feeling overwhelmed, worried, angry, or sad.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Trouble focusing or making decisions. My mind feels scattered.
  • Sleep problems: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, restlessness.
  • Changes in appetite: Eating too much or too little. Stress eating or loss of appetite.
  • Stomach issues: Diarrhea, constipation, nausea. My gut health is closely tied to my mental health.

The good news is there are many effective ways for me to manage my stress and support my mental well-being. Through techniques like exercise, mindfulness, social connection, and self-care, I can build my resilience and ability to cope during difficult times. Reducing stress is a journey, but every step I take to prioritize my health and happiness is progress.

Stress Management Techniques to Relieve Anxiety

When I start to feel stressed or anxious, the first thing I do is take some deep breaths to calm my mind and body. Slow, deep, abdominal breathing is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.


Exercise is one of my go-to methods for busting stress and boosting my mood. Even just going for a walk can help. Physical activity releases endorphins that act as natural mood boosters and stress relievers. I like to do yoga, go for a jog, swim some laps at the gym pool or just get outside for a walk. Any activity that gets your heart pumping can help alleviate anxiety and make you feel good.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

I try to avoid excess caffeine and alcohol intake, especially when I'm feeling stressed. Both can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety like rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure and difficulty sleeping. Instead, I drink herbal tea, water or decaf coffee. Staying properly hydrated is also important for your mental health and stress levels.

Connecting with Others

Social support from family and friends is essential for coping with stress and anxiety. Connecting to others can help ease depression and anxiety, boost self-esteem and provide encouragement and advice. I call a friend, schedule a video chat with my sister or aunt, or meet a friend for a walk outside together. Making social interaction part of your self-care routine can work wonders for your mood and stress levels.

Take up a Hobby or Learn a New Skill

Adding more activities or hobbies that you find meaningful and engaging can boost your confidence and self-esteem, shifting your mind from the worries and anxieties that are causing your stress. I've found that cultivating a hobby, creative activity, or learning a new practical skill gives me a mental break and a sense of purpose. Some of my personal favorites include gardening, photography, learning to cook new recipes, or reading an interesting book. Engaging in an enjoyable activity is a great way to relieve stress and boost your mood.

Staying on top of your stress and anxiety is challenging, but with regular practice of self-care techniques like these, you can learn to better manage symptoms and lead a calmer, happier life. I find that a balanced approach works best, utilizing a combination of techniques that address both the physical and mental aspects of stress and anxiety.

5 Relaxation Exercises for Anxiety Relief

Anxiety and stress can make us feel tense and irritable. To help relax your body and mind, I highly recommend trying the following techniques:

Deep Breathing

Taking slow, deep breaths is one of the simplest ways to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which helps decrease feelings of anxiety. Find a quiet place, sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, making your exhale longer than your inhale. Aim for 6 to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute. This helps shift your mind from your anxious thoughts to the present moment.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This technique involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups one by one. Start with your feet and toes, tense them for a few seconds, and release. Move up to your calves, thighs, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms, and face. Tense each area for 5 seconds and release. Feel the tension leave your body. This helps you become more aware of your body and the difference between feeling tense vs relaxed.

Yoga or Tai Chi

Yoga incorporates gentle stretching and poses with deep breathing. Tai Chi focuses on slow, controlled movements and balance. Both are excellent for anxiety relief and flexibility. Aim for 20-30 minutes a few times a week. The controlled movements calm your mind while releasing pent-up energy and tension.

Guided Imagery

Close your eyes and visualize a peaceful calming scene. Focus on the details using your senses. Hear the sounds, smell the scents, and feel the warmth. This transports your mind from your anxiety and stressful thoughts to a relaxed state. There are many free guided imagery podcasts and videos online to help you through the process.


Write down your thoughts and feelings. Let your anxious worries and stresses flow out onto the page. This is a release for your mind and emotions. As you write, notice if your body feels less tense. Journaling regularly, especially before bedtime, can help decrease anxiety and improve your sleep.

Using these techniques, you'll be well on your way to staying calm and collected when life feels stressful! Give them a try and stick with what works for you. Your mental and physical health will thank you for it.

Lifestyle Changes to Improve Your Mental Health Naturally

It’s time to make your mental health a priority! Here are some lifestyle changes I’ve made that have worked wonders for reducing my stress and anxiety levels.

Exercise Regularly

Exercising is one of the best things you can do for both your physical and mental health. When I'm feeling stressed or anxious, going for a 30-minute walk or doing some light exercise like yoga helps release feel-good hormones that instantly improve my mood and calm my mind. Find activities you genuinely enjoy so you'll stick with it. Even just moving your body for a few minutes a day can help.

Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

What we eat has a direct impact on how we feel. Focus on whole foods like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Limit excess sugar, caffeine, and processed junk food. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water is also key. When I make healthy meals a habit, I have more energy and my mood stabilizes.

Get Enough Sleep

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to feel well-rested. Lack of sleep exacerbates symptoms of stress and anxiety. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, avoid screens before bed, and make your bedroom as dark as possible. I started going to bed 30 minutes earlier and it's made a big difference in how I handle challenges during the day.

Practice Self-Care

Make time for hobbies, social interaction, and relaxation. Do something kind for yourself each day, like reading, yoga, or calling a friend. Limit negative influences when possible. I like to unwind by taking a warm bath, cooking a nourishing meal, or getting lost in an engaging novel. Caring for yourself will boost your resilience and peace of mind.

There are many lifestyle changes you can make to support both your physical and mental health. Start with small steps and build on them each week. Your mind and body will thank you! Making these changes has allowed me to better manage stress and anxiety, and I hope they are as helpful for you. Stay positive - you've got this!

FAQs: How to Deal With Everyday Stress and Overcome Anxiety

Stress and anxiety seem to be a constant in life these days. Between work deadlines, health issues, relationships, finances, and world events, there’s plenty to feel stressed about! But don’t despair—there are effective ways to relieve stress and ease anxiety. Here are some tips I’ve found helpful:

  • Exercise regularly. Go for a walk or jog, do some yoga, ride your bike. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that improve your mood and act as natural stress relievers. 
  • Practice deep breathing. Taking some deep, slow breaths can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relaxing your body and mind. Try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. 
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol. Both can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety. Cut back or eliminate them from your diet and you'll feel more at ease. 
  • Get enough sleep. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can intensify stressful feelings. Sleep helps your mind and body rest and recharge. 
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. A healthy diet can boost your mood and reduce stress. Focus on whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Limit processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats. 
  • Do something you enjoy. Make time for hobbies, art, music, sports. Engaging in activities that you find meaningful or fun helps take your mind off of worries and improves your mood. 
  • Practice mindfulness. Spending a few minutes each day being fully present in the moment can help reduce racing thoughts and stressful feelings. Try meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or journaling. 
  • Connect with others. Call a friend or family member, join an online community, or see a therapist. Social support can help ease stress and anxiety. Talking to others who understand what you're going through can help you feel better.

The good news is, that by making a few lifestyle changes and practicing self-care, you absolutely can learn to better manage stress and overcome anxiety. Stay positive—you've got this! Focus on the things you can control and make your well-being a priority each and every day.