10 Ways to Cope with Chronic Stress

Use these tips to prevent or reduce chronic stress.

1. Re-balance Work and Home

All work and no play? If you’re spending too much time at the office, intentionally put more dates in your calendar to enjoy time for fun, either alone or with others.

2. Build in Regular Exercise

Moving your body on a regular basis balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation, helping to flush out stress hormones. Even a daily 20-minute walk makes a difference.

3. Eat Well and Limit Alcohol and Stimulants

Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine may temporarily relieve stress but have negative health impacts and can make stress worse in the long run. Well-nourished bodies cope better, so start with a good breakfast add more organic fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and sugar, and drink more water.

4. Connect with Supportive People

Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Lean on those good listeners in your life.

5. Carve out Hobby Time

Do you enjoy gardening, reading, listening to music or some other creative pursuit? Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy; research shows that reduces stress by almost half and lowers your heart rate, too.

6. Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Yoga

Relaxation techniques activate a state of restfulness that counterbalances your body’s fight-or-flight hormones. Consider taking a mindfulness-based stress reduction course to learn effective, lasting tools.

7. Sleep Enough

If you get less than seven to eight hours of sleep, your body won’t tolerate stress as well as it could. If stress keeps you up at night, address the cause and add extra meditation into your day to make up for the lost z’s.

8. Bond with Your Pet

Clinical studies show that spending even a short time with a companion animal can cut anxiety levels almost in half.

9. Take a Vacation

Getting away from it all can reset your stress tolerance by increasing your mental and emotional outlook, which makes you a happier, more productive person upon return. Leave your cellphone and laptop at home!

10. See a Counselor, Coach or Therapist

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