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Eight Tips for Managing Stress

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Eight tips for managing stress.

The causes of stress are different for different people. Too much stress can be overwhelming. It can lead to feeling tense, worried, frustrated, and angry. It can stop us from thinking clearly.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Did you know that stress is a normal part of life?  However, too much stress can be overwhelming. It can lead to feeling tense, worried, frustrated, and angry.  It can stop us from thinking clearly.

Try these eight tips for managing stress:

  • Get Physical: Take a walk or do something that requires physical activity. Staying active on a regular basis can help even if it is only minutes a day. Start small and build up.
  •  Problem Solve: Learn problem-solving skills. This can help you better cope by developing a plan for action. It can also help you identify what is and is not in your control. This can help you feel less overwhelmed. 
  • Learn to Relax: Learning how to relax can help reduce physical symptoms of stress, and can help you feel and think better. You can find resources for learning relaxation skills online, at your local library, or through your local VA clinic or medical center.  Check out our relaxation audio downloads.
  • Talk to a Friend or Loved One: Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust can help you feel less alone and cope more effectively. Even journaling your thoughts and feelings can help you to cope better.
  • Manage Your Time: Make a list of what needs to be done, make a plan for when it needs to happen, and stick with the plan. Find a book on time management at your local library.
  • Do Something Fun or Enjoyable: Stress may be taking the fun out of your life. Find and take part in enjoyable activities. This will help you to keep things in perspective and boost good feelings so you can better manage stress.
  • Be a Friend to Yourself: We can be hard on ourselves during stressful times. Be a good friend to yourself by giving yourself encouragement and accepting yourself where you are in your life.
  • Develop Gratitude: Although stress can cause us to focus on the negative, making the effort to appreciate the positive things can help us keep things in perspective and feel better.

Sometimes we need help managing our stress. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact your local VA clinic and ask for Behavioral Health Service, or talk to your Primary Care Provider. If in crisis, call the Veterans’ Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 for Veterans.   

Learn more about managing stress through these online resources:
http://www.prevention.va.gov/Manage_Stress.asp
http://www.startmovingforward.org/

Brought to you by the Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program.