wikiHow to Recover from Chronic Stress

Three Methods:Relaxing Your MindTaking Care of Your BodyEngaging with Your Community

Chronic stress is a potentially serious condition that can cause serious ailments over time. When left unchecked, chronic stress may lead to a host of other medical issues, including hypertension, heart irregularities, insomnia, and depression. If you are experiencing any these serious conditions, seek help from a doctor. Learning how to recover from chronic stress is an important step in regaining control over your life and improving your physical and mental health. Fortunately, taking some time to take care of your body, mind, and social life can minimize your symptoms and keep stress from coming back.

Method 1
Relaxing Your Mind

  1. 1
    Adopt a positive attitude. The human body feels stress when there is a real or perceived threat. This causes a release of hormones that prepare us for a “fight or flight” response. Unless you are in real danger, many stressful situations can be eased by practicing a mindful change in attitude.[1]
    • Keep things in perspective. Work, school, and family commitments are common stressors in the 21st century. The pressures you feel are real, but are not always life-or-death situations. Try to recognize the positive and see how things can be worked out in the future.[2]
    • Set realistic expectations. Some people feel overly stressed because of the pressure they put on themselves to do things perfectly. Try to set expectations that are fit your situation. Stick to a realistic goal and try not to push yourself over the edge.[3]
    • Don’t over think things that are out of your control. If you have a problem, set an action plan to work things out in the best way possible. Do what you can, and try not to worry once matters are out of your hands.
  2. 2
    Give yourself some relaxation time. Set aside time to relax and do the things that make you happy. Watch a movie, read, or take a warm bath. Make sure it is an activity that brings you joy and comfort.[4]
  3. 3
    Meditate. Meditation can make you more aware of your thoughts and general mental state. Bringing awareness to your stress can often help reduce its presence. There are many types of meditation, so do some research to find what is best for you.[5]
    • Consider guided meditation. If you are new to the practice, guided meditation is a helpful way to get you started. There are many applications and websites that provide meditations for different needs. Both and provide meditations that can be accessed on a computer or as a cellphone app.

Method 2
Taking Care of Your Body

  1. 1
    Get a good night’s rest. Many people experience stress from lack of sleep or poor sleep quality. Stress can also cause people to stay awake at night and ruin the natural sleep cycle. Learn to improve both your quantity and quality of sleep.[6] Most adults require between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night.[7]
    • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Try not to change your sleep cycle, even on the weekends when there is temptation to sleep in. Take a nap if you lose a few hours of sleep due to a late night.[8]
    • Spend time outside during the day. Get as much sunlight as possible and stay active.[9]
    • Avoid screens one to two hours before bed. Try not to be on the computer, watch TV, or be on your cell phone before going to sleep. Instead, read a book or get ready for the following day.[10]
  2. 2
    Maintain a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help you improve your sleep, energy, and mood. Examine your current diet and see where you can make some small changes.[11]
    • Drink water. Water helps keep the body free of toxins and boosts energy levels. Fill your water bottle regularly throughout your day.[12]
    • Prepare your own meals. Focus on buying whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains. Health food stores tend to carry foods with fewer additives and chemicals, but remember to read the packaging. Even packaged foods that appear to be healthy are sometimes filled with added sugars and unhealthy fats.[13]
  3. 3
    Exercise. Exercise is a known way to blow off steam and improve your mood. Regular exercise will also improve your physical health. You don’t need to exhaust yourself. Choose something that works for you. Anything from yoga to a game of tennis can help with stress relief.[14]

Method 3
Engaging with Your Community

  1. 1
    Take control of your schedule. An overwhelmingly packed schedule often brings on a stress-infused lifestyle. Organize your schedule and set limits on how much you can accomplish in a given day.[15]
    • Eliminate non-essential activities. Look through all your commitments and cross off the things that are not needed for your survival or stress reduction. Explain to your friends or peers that you need to take some time off to get back to a healthy lifestyle. Try saying, “I really want to continue volunteering at the shelter, but I need to take care my health. I will be in touch in the future.”
    • Talk to your boss or teachers about the minimal and specific tasks that you need to accomplish to stay up to date. Plan to have a private meeting to explain yourself. Try saying, “I am committed to my work here, but I need to focus on getting my health together. What exactly do I need to accomplish in the next few months to keep up?”
    • While some stressful situations cannot be avoided, there are many that can. For example, if watching the news is a stressful for you, eliminate or minimize the amount of time you spend on this activity. If a particular person stresses you out, take some time away from that person to re-evaluate your relationship.
  2. 2
    Socialize. Spend time with people that make you happy. Have dinner with friends or see a movie. This can take your mind off your stress and help improve your general outlook.[16]
    • Have a laugh. Like exercise, laughter releases beneficial hormones and relieves stress and tension in the body. Whether you invite your friend over for a movie or chat with family about funny family moments, that belly laugh offers more advantages than you may realize.
  3. 3
    Consult your friends, family, or peers. Talk to close friends or family members about the cause of your stress. Someone who has more experience with work, school, or life issues has probably faced similar challenges. You might also know someone who has also experienced your type of chronic stress and can offer some advice. [17]
    • If you are reaching out to a friend, for example, you might say, “Miguel, can I tell you about my situation at work? It’s really stressing me out, and I think you might have some good tips.”
  4. 4
    Learn something new. Take a group class or join a social group if you have time. Take your mind off whatever is bothering you and channel your energy into something positive. Make sure you really enjoy in the new activity. It should help balance out any negative feelings caused by stress.[18]
    • Think about something you’ve always wanted to do and see if it fits nicely into your schedule. Consider taking a dance class or joining a cooking club.
  5. 5
    See a therapist. If you are struggling to get through the day or feeling uncontrollably anxious, consider seeing a psychologist. A psychologist or mental health counselor is trained to listen to your challenges and help you come up with coping strategies.[19]

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Categories: Stress Anxiety and Crisis Management | Mental Disorders