Stress is a state of tension from demanding circumstances that can be present in the body and mind. We all experience stress and our health depends on how we deal when it comes our way. Disturbed sleep, disordered eating, abusing alcohol and drugs, and difficulty making decisions are some health behaviors associated with negative coping strategies. When stress builds up, our bodies actually change because of heightened hormonal levels, like cortisol. Fortunately, we have a choice to control the way we think and act in any situation. When we practice using strategies that are helpful, we can bust stress right away!

Stress Busters

These are a few methods that I, myself, friends, and family have found helpful to relax and stay calm under stress:

1. Breath Awareness

Take a deep breath in while counting 1, 2, 3, 4, then exhale for 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Repeat this process a few times. Notice any changes in your mood, heart rate, and thought patterns?

Developing a meditation routine to practice daily can train our brains and bodies to take deep breaths when under stress to relax and stay calm.


2. Yoga

Move the body while becoming aware of the breath and mind.


3. Writing

Journaling and keeping a stress log can identify what stressors are causing tension and what to do about them. Simply write down the time of day, possible causes of stress, and what feelings and thoughts are going on whenever you feel especially tense. You can use these logs as a way to find patterns and determine your biggest stress factors. And then figure out ways to reduce them!


4. Be creative

Drawing, painting nails, swimming, going for a walk, chatting with a friend, and taking a dance class are a few of my personal favorite therapeutic strategies to bust stress and boost “feel good hormones” called endorphins. Do some detective work to try different activities and figure out what uplifts you. We have many options!


Health benefits youre likely to find by implementing the stress busters listed above


  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Decreased irritability and moodiness
  • Increased calmness
  • Increased ability to concentrate and focus


  • Increased serotonin levels, linked with lower levels of depression, anxiety, obesity, and headaches
  • Triggers the relaxation response, slowing the heart and breathing rates
  • Increased energy levels and sleep
  • Increased immunity to illness

How do you handle stress when it comes your way?

About The Author


Cara is a Boston University health, fitness & pilates teacher by day and Northeastern University Masters of Science Graduate student by night. Sunshine, food, dancing, and her husband, Matt, are a few of her favorite things. Cara believes in better health and wellness for everybody!

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