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Stress Management

Stressed Out? Try These Safe and Effective Techniques to Manage Stress

Everybody gets stressed out sometimes. Money, life events, friends, family, pets, work, and more can all contribute to that feeling of high-tension anxiety that some of us know all too well. Eventually a person’s stress levels will drop when the situation has been remedied and a solution figured out. This is a normal and healthy way to experience stress. When stress becomes ongoing and presents itself in unhealthy ways is when a person has a problem and needs to address it.

Headaches, stomach aches, depression, muscle tension, anxiety, drug abuse and even self-harming behaviors can all be seen in people who struggle against ongoing stress – even if they don’t realize that their stress is the reason behind these problems.

If you’re experiencing heightened levels of stress that are negatively impacting your life, consider utilizing these three methods of managing the unpleasant feelings that accompany it.

Identify What is Stressing You Out

You can’t remedy a problem until you know what the problem is. Once you address what is causing you to feel the most stress, you can create a plan of action to tackle it and minimize the aches, pains and anxiety of a persistent stressful situation.

Do you feel that you have no pinpointed cause of stress, that life in general is what has you so bothered? Try keeping a journal of your most stressful moments. Guess as to what triggered your negative feelings and write it down, even if you aren’t sure that that one thing is the culprit. Over time, you will begin to see patterns form and be able to identify what factors contribute the most to your stress.

Get on Your Feet

When life is bogging you down and you feel overwhelmed by stress, the last thing that you might want to do is get up and get active. But it is exactly what you should be doing.

Physical activity, such as exercise, helps distract us from the chaos inside of our heads by allowing us to focus on one task. If exercising isn’t something you have the time or energy to do, consider cleaning your house or car, dancing around to music, walking the dog, or simply going on a walk to the store instead of taking the car (if possible, of course). What matters is that you get moving!

Learn to Acknowledge What You Can’t Handle…

…And learn that it’s okay to say “no.”

When you’re stressed to the limit, one of the worst things that you can do is to take on additional responsibilities and obligations that aren’t absolutely essential. You might want to do everything that you can for every person in your life, but it’s important to know your limits and firmly enforce them. By taking on too much, eventually something will fall through the cracks and make you feel terrible.

Only take on tasks that you feel confident that you have the time and energy for. If you simply cannot perform the task or favor asked of you, don’t forget that you can say “no.” After all, you’re only one person.

Reduce Your Caffeine and Sugar Intake

Caffeine and sugar are important parts of many peoples’ days. Who doesn’t start their morning with a coffee, energy drink or caffeinated tea to get their engine revving? While you might feel that caffeine and sugar are helping you to navigate through your day, they could actually be doing more harm than good.

Sugar and caffeine contribute to highs and lows that can cause drastic mood changes throughout the day. By limiting or eliminating your intake of these substances, you may find yourself feeling less jittery, experiencing less anxiety, and sleeping better at night.

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all remedy for ongoing and persistent stress. These tips may work for you, but they may not. If they don’t, and neither does anything else you’ve tried, it can’t hurt to enlist the help of a professional therapist or counselor. It’s okay to need help putting your stressors into perspective sometimes.

Call Dr. Clare Albright, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist - CA License PSY11660 at (949)454-0996 at

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