Stress Management Management Techniques What Coping Strategies Can Help Manage Stress? From Meditation to Journaling, Three Highly Effective Ways to Manage Stress By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD Twitter Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing. Learn about our editorial process Updated on November 20, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Amy Morin, LCSW Medically reviewed by Amy Morin, LCSW Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, the author of the bestselling book "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. Learn about our Medical Review Board Fact checked Verywell Mind content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reputable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact checked after it has been edited and before publication. Learn more. by Karen Cilli Fact checked by Karen Cilli Karen Cilli is a fact-checker for Verywell Mind. She has an extensive background in research, with 33 years of experience as a reference librarian and educator. Learn about our editorial process Print Siri Berting / Blend Images / Getty Images According to the annual Stress in America survey, most Americans of all ages are stressed, and a significant proportion feels their coping abilities are inadequate. Further, they report feeling that stress is affecting their health, both physically and emotionally. The survey results tend to fluctuate a little each year, but the findings generally show the same pattern: People face a variety of stressors, and they need to find effective ways to relieve stress in their lives. Stress is more the rule than the exception. It's important to manage your stress levels in a healthy way; below are a few strategies that may help you. Calming Coping Strategies First, it’s helpful to calm your physiology so you reverse your stress response. When your stress response is triggered, you process information differently and you can feel physically and emotionally taxed. If this state is prolonged, it can escalate to chronic stress. One useful tip to calm yourself is to go to a quiet place and take deep, long breaths. Breathe in, hold for five seconds, then exhale slowly. Repeat several times. This exercise can help soothe your nerves and slow a racing heart. Other calming strategies might include meditation and aromatherapy. 5 Ways to Calm Down Quickly When You Feel Overwhelmed Emotion-Focused Coping Strategies With emotion-focused coping strategies, like maintaining a sense of humor and cultivating optimism, the situation doesn’t change, but your perception of it does. These strategies are great to use in situations where you have little ability to control what happens, and you need to see your stressors as a challenge instead of a threat. Other emotion-focused techniques for coping with stress include: Journaling about your emotionsPracticing loving-kindness meditation to increase self-compassionUsing visualization strategies to increase positive feelings Solution-Focused Coping Strategies Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to change a situation, but often you’ll find an opportunity to take action and actually change the circumstances you face. Solution-focused coping strategies can be very effective for stress relief; often a small change is all that’s required to make a huge shift in how you feel. For one thing, one change can lead to other changes, so that a chain reaction of positive change is created, opportunities are opened up, and life changes significantly. Also, once an action is taken, the sense of being trapped with no options—a recipe for stress—can dissipate quickly. It’s important to be thoughtful about which actions to take, as each situation may call for a unique solution, but a less-stressed mind can more easily choose the most beneficial course of action. While these techniques can be time-consuming, reducing your stress is necessary to improve your well-being and mental and physical health. Solution-focused techniques include the following: Using time-management strategies when you feel overwhelmed by a busy scheduleTalking to HR if you feel overwhelming demands or harassment at workUsing conflict-resolution strategies to mitigate the stress in a relationship If your stress levels do not decrease, it may be a good idea to talk to a therapist or your primary healthcare provider. They can help you identify ways to minimize your stress and develop nutrition and exercise plans to maintain your health as you handle your other obligations. Through coping strategies and good self-care, you can manage your stress healthfully and avoid long-term problems. Get Advice From The Verywell Mind Podcast Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares how you can change your mindset to cope with stress in a healthy way. Follow Now: Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Google Podcasts A Word From Verywell Everyone has stress in their lives, and stress levels vary depending on the day. Having healthy coping strategies in place can help you keep your stress at a manageable level. If, however, you're struggling to manage your stress, seek professional help. A mental health provider can help you manage your stress in a healthy way. The Best Online Therapy Programs We've tried, tested and written unbiased reviews of the best online therapy programs including Talkspace, Betterhelp, and Regain. 4 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. American Psychological Association. Stress in America 2020; A national mental health crisis. Perciavalle V, Blandini M, Fecarotta P, et al. The role of deep breathing on stress. Neurol Sci. 2017;38(3):451-458. doi:10.1007/s10072-016-2790-8 Dimitroff LJ, Sliwoski L, O’Brien S, Nichols LW. Change your life through journaling--The benefits of journaling for registered nurses. JNEP. 2016;7(2):p90. doi:10.5430/jnep.v7n2p90 Lukić J, Lazarević S. A holistic approach to workplace stress management. Škola biznisa. 2019;(1):130-141. doi:10.5937/skolbiz1-21872 By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Stress Management Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.