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5 ways to cope with stress

5 ways to cope with stress

by Abby Terlecki abby terlecki
Live Healthy | Tips

Not all stress is created equal, but one thing is for sure—stress can destroy our health and weaken wellness. It can break our spirit and cripple happiness. Whether you're buckling under work-related pressures or overwhelmed by financial burdens, the effects of stress can become debilitating.

You may not be able to control your circumstances or settle the disarray, but you can find peace in the chaos. Learn how to master and cope with stress with the following response techniques and relaxation solutions.


Although you can't escape your troubles or problems, you can escape to a place of emotional refuge. Designate a space or room in your home to be your sanctuary, where you can purge negativity and rejuvenate with positive energies. This is the place to surrender and let go.

Install a studio style sunroom to serve as your relaxation retreat or even just reserve a room corner for yoga practice and meditation. Houzz offers photos of yoga rooms to inspire the design of your tranquil space. Start your day in your sunroom to find inner strength for the challenges ahead. Or, resort to your yoga corner in the evening to free your mind and heart in Savasana.


Eating well is typically one of the first things to go during mental exhaustion and when time is limited. But a time of distress is when you should fill your body with nutrients, and not drive-through indulgences. Dedicate a time during the week to cook a healthy and satisfying meal. Instagram accounts @hungryhappens@sammybfit or websites such as offer healthy meal ideas that are affordable and easy to make.

Think of cooking as therapy. The entire experience of creating a delicious meal, from shopping for ingredients to savoring each bite, is an experience devoted to nothing but nourishing yourself (and perhaps loved ones as well). At the height of a stressful moment, channel your energy into your forthcoming cooking extravaganza. This is between you and your kitchen.

Social Rehabilitation

Life's too short to share yourself with people who bring no meaning to your life, or who bring you down. With whom your surround yourself has significant importance, and you ultimately have the power to allow people, friends, family, and co-workers to have (or not have) an influence on your well-being. 

Evaluate your social environments. How does each person serve a purpose in your life? Do you serve a purpose for these people as well? Are your closest friends and family your biggest advocates? Do they support, uplift and enhance your life?

Don't be afraid to downsize your social circles and invest more in fewer, yet more meaningful relationships. Eliminating toxic relationships will liberate your soul. It is said that we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with!

Prioritization & Organization

Mind Body Green identifies eliminating "energy drains" as the number one healthy habit for finding peace. Inner peace is like a spiritual savings account, says Dr. F. Emelia Sam and Mind Body Green contributor. Every energy drain that doesn't get done or resolved depletes this reserve.

Has a bill gone unpaid? Is the laundry piling up? Haven't yet started to plan your sister's bridal shower? Missed a work deadline? List and organize all your tasks and responsibilities, then prioritize. As you shorten your to-do list, whether it's to create a budget or tackle a work project, you'll eliminate physical, mental and emotional clutter, and replace that clutter with peace of mind.

Gratitude Journal

Optimism isn't easy. It's for people with mental toughness and the courage to live optimistically. Sure, refusing positive thinking is easier. Jumping to the worst case scenario, cynicism and anger can become habitual, stress-inducing thought processes.

Commit to positivity. Treat your mind, body, heart and soul with love and compassion. For every negative thought, replace it with a positive one. Write it down if you have to, and then reread it over and over again. Anxious? Calm down by acknowledging beauty around you. Focus on love in your life, friendship, laughter. No matter what type of stress you're enduring, remember someone else has been there, done that—and survived. You can too.