6 Stress Coping Techniques

Meditation or Yoga. Both involve a focus on calming your body and entering a state of relaxation. The idea behind this common recommendation is that you become more aware of your body and learn to sense when stress is affecting you. As you practice learning how to relax, you are able to calm yourself more often and more effectively when you do feel stress.

Calming Activities. If yoga or meditation isn’t your thing, that is ok and you can substitute it for something else. You can go for a run, you can read a book in an empty room, you can get together with your best friends, or you can watch a couple of favorite movies. Recognize when you need to take the time to do these things to refresh yourself so you can be more effective in other areas of your life.

Reset Your Posture. When under stress, we tend to tense up. Even mundane stresses over the course of a work day can cause us to strain. Sit up straight and move your shoulders back and down from time to time. Take a few minutes to walk around. Stand up from your desk, roll your shoulders forward and backwards, do some trunk twists and stretch out your arms. Roll your head in a circle and from side to side.

Breathe Deeply. Over the course of a work day, and especially when under stress, we tend to switch over to a shallow breathing pattern. Take slow, long deep breaths and see how this impacts you. Likely you will notice that your heart rate slows down, relaxes your muscles, and brings you calmness.

Remove Yourself. At the first hint of stress, remove yourself from the situation. Of course, this isn’t always possible. You can remove yourself from the stress without removing yourself from your physical location, however. Listen to music before you make that phone call. Imagine yourself on a beach during the intermission of a tough meeting.

Know Yourself. Learn about your stress triggers. Is there a time of day or day of the week that is most stressful for you? Do certain tasks cause more anxiety? Is your daily commute the hazard? Perhaps being around a certain person causes you stress. Look for patterns and insert coping techniques into your week strategically.

Eva Rykrsmith

Eva Rykrsmith is an organizational psychology practitioner. Her passion lies in bringing a psychology perspective to the business world, with the mission of creating a high-performance environment. Follow her @EvaRykr.

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