Stress Management

What is stress? Stress is your body's normal response to danger. Muscles tighten, blood pressure goes up, the heart races, and adrenaline is pumped. Causes can range from everyday troubles to a major loss in your life. Stress is one of the most common triggers for substance use. It's important to be able to come up with new ways to help you manage stress.

Important Points

Signs of stress can be physical or emotional and may include: headaches, tiredness, lack or interest in sex, changes in eating habits or amounts of sleep, depression, mood swings, trouble thinking clearly, feeling out of control, feeling confused, or using alcohol and other drugs more.

Stress that is not managed can lead to ulcers, allergies, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.

Managing stress will help you feel calm, peaceful, and in control.

How to Manage Stress

  • Do something you really enjoy on a regular basis.
  • Make time for yourself every day. Take a nap, read, or meditate.
  • Make exercise a part of your life. Even a few minutes a day will help.
  • Do breathing exercises to relax. Take a deep breath through the nose, let your abdomen and chest fill with air, then slowly exhale through the mouth. Repeat a few times.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine.
  • Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty or water.
  • Talk, text or write about your worries. Don't keep them bottled up.
  • Manage your time wisely. Set goals you can meet.
  • Get support!

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