“Retail therapy” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to going shopping as a form of stress relief. The reality is that this can quickly become something far more problematic. Impulsive behavior brought on by stress can have severe financial repercussions. Whether it comes in the form of a shopping addiction or another impulsive behavior like gambling, what begins as stress relief can exponentially increase stress long-term. If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help.

The coping mechanism that works for others might not work for you. Get support.Confide in family and friends, or turn to someone professional. Also, it’s important to express your feelings instead of bottling them up, because that can add to your stress. In addition to the physical health problems brought on by overeating, mental health can also be made worse. Once the feelings of euphoria from a meal wane, feelings of guilt may set in, creating a vicious cycle that can further degrade mental health and lead to disordered eating.

Some of these stress-relieving activities may work for you:

Learn these healthy ways to deal with stress so you can live a more productive, functional, and happier life. Be vigilant about taking care of your health. Include physical activity in your daily routine, get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet. Try relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness techniques and deep breathing. Stress affects us all, it’s a seemingly inevitable part of life.

healthy ways to cope with stress

When you connect with people in person, your body releases a hormone that stops your fight-or-flight response. When you practice deep breathing, you turn on your body’s natural ability to relax. This creates a state of deep rest that can change how your body responds to stress. It sends more oxygen to your brain and calms the part of your nervous system that handles your ability to relax.

Related to Stress Management

Plus, it can promote psychological well-being . Taking time for yourself is essential in order to live a healthy life. This is especially important for people who tend to be highly stressed, including nurses, doctors, teachers, and caretakers. A number of studies have linked excessive smartphone use and “iPhone addiction” with increased healthy ways to cope with stress levels of stress and mental health disorders . What’s more, regular exercise has been shown to improve symptoms of common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression . Learn to relax – purposeful relaxation, such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation and meditation is essential in training your body to relax.

Know what your stressors are and be aware of stress symptom—including how they show up physically and mentally. Learn how to cope with stress by using a variety of activities in your stress management toolbox—starting with eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep. While it’s normal to occasionally feel stressed out, it’s not healthy when stress persists. Your automatic stress response (a.k.a. “fight or flight” response) activates the sympathetic nervous system. This elevates heart rate, enhances blood circulation, increases breathing rate, and releases stress hormones. Left unchecked, high stress levels can impact both your mental and physical health.


Her TED talk on the subject, “How To Make Stress Your Friend,” has been viewed 14 million times. Deep breathing exercises include diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing, and paced respiration. Hiking and camping are great options, but some people don’t enjoy — or have access to — these activities.

  • Keep a positive attitude – sometimes the way you think about things can make all of the difference.
  • Some activities may relieve stress initially, but can make stress worse down the road.
  • Consider spending less time worrying and stressing over your limited social circle and finding ways to connect with others.
  • Yoga combines physical movement, meditation, light exercise, and controlled breathing—all of which provide excellent stress relief.
  • Experts agree that coping is a process rather than an event.
  • This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or a recommendation for any specific product.

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