Mind and Body

Fight stress with these 6 strategies

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Everyone deals with stress, from small stressors that crop up day to day or chronic stress from work or other life challenges.

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Chronic stress can contribute to health issues like heart disease, diabetes, irregular periods, or mental illness.

Here are 5 ways to fight stress.

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Start practicing mindfulness, which brings non-judgemental awareness to the present. This practice can reduce stress and anxiety.

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Try proactive coping — preparing for potential future stressors, like setting aside money for a hypothetical emergency or coming up with a script for a difficult conversation.

Box breathing — 4 seconds of inhaling, 4 seconds of holding that breath, then 4 seconds of exhaling — has been shown to stave off panic attacks before their immobilizing effects set in.

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Chronic-work-stress-induced burnout can be mitigated by psychological detachment (not thinking about work), relaxing by taking walks or lounging, or improving non-work related skills.

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Maybe it's time to adopt a pet. Research shows that pets can stave off loneliness or give us reasons to be more active.

Read more mental health stories here.

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