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10 Tips for Reducing Stress by Sylvia Hanna, M.S.

Category: Stress and Anxiety

Our 10 tips to reduce stress in your life are a place to start when you can’t sleep, feel overwhelmed or are tensed out. Give them a try!

  1. Make a “to do” list. Going through our mental “to do” list is what keeps us awake at night. If you write it down instead, you won’t be worried about forgetting something important.
  2. Use a planner or calendar to keep track of all of your deadlines, commitments, and appointments. Even pencil things in such as times to work on certain projects or tasks, gym time, grocery shopping, your children’s sports or dance practices, etc.
  3. Any time you start to feel stressed or tense during the day, take just a couple of minutes to engage in some deep breathing. Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, paying attention to your diaphragm slowly filling with air, then exhale through your mouth for 8 counts. Repeat several times.
  4. Take a few minutes and engage in some progressive muscle relaxation. Start at the top of your body, and contract your muscles for 5-10 seconds and then relax them, focusing on each muscle group separately – face, shoulders, arms, hands, back, legs, and feet.
  5. Write down 3 things you are thankful for everyday – these can be as small as finding a good parking spot or more global things like being in good health.
  6. Take a nice long shower or bath to unwind at the end of the day.
  7. Listen to relaxing music before going to sleep.
  8. Engage in regular exercise. Exercise causes hormone-like chemicals called endorphins to be released in the brain. These endorphins help reduce stress and anxiety and give us a general feeling of well-being.
  9. Pick up a new hobby or make time for an already existing hobby. Hobbies can include anything such as crafts, gardening, reading, scrapbooking, or playing a musical instrument.
  10. Unfortunately, sleep is often one of the first things that become compromised when life gets hectic. However, sleep-deprivation has many negative physical and emotional effects. Make sure you are getting an adequate amount of sleep each night.

Be sure to take some time out of each day to take care of yourself. Remember, taking care of ourselves makes us better able to take care of those we care about.

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