Stress Management Tips & Resources

Everyone handles stress differently. What might be too much stress for some, might not affect others. Too much stress can cause physical and emotional conditions. If you believe you are experiencing chronic stress, contact a behavioral health professional to help you with a plan to address prolonged symptoms of stress. One option is to find help through a StarkMHAR Provider »

Below are some tips or suggestions you might consider as you assess your situation, discover a healthy work/life balance and understand how stress is affecting you.

Go For A Mindfulness Walk

Enjoy Petros Lake Park on a Mindfulness Walk. Experience a zen sand garden, stacking stones, a labyrinth & more along this 1 mile path.

Deep Breaths: Try Meditation

It’s become increasingly common for mindfulness meditation to be combined with psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy. This development makes good sense, since both meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy share the common goal of helping people gain perspective on irrational, maladaptive, and self-defeating thoughts.
Some types of meditation primarily involve concentration—repeating a phrase or focusing on the sensation of breathing, allowing the parade of thoughts that inevitably arise to come and go. Concentration meditation techniques, as well as other activities such as tai chi or yoga, can induce the well-known relaxation response, which is very valuable in reducing the body’s response to stress.

Source: Benefits of Mindfulness

Create: Consider Coloring

Like meditation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment. Concentrating on coloring an image may facilitate the replacement of negative thoughts and images with pleasant ones.
Source: The Therapeutic Science of Adult Coloring Books

When we focus on coloring, it blocks our brains from focusing on our troubles. Because it’s a centering activity, the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is involved with our fear response, actually gets a little bit of a rest. It ultimately has a calming effect over time.
Source: Coloring Books Help Adults Relax Too

Play: Fidget Toys at Work

Researchers at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering are studying a group of 40 workers who use various “fidget widgets” to improve focus, ease anxiety, and boost creative thinking.
Source: How Fidgeting at Work Can Promote Creative Thinking

One oft-cited study found that doodling also seems to boost memory; its author hypothesized that doodling might help keep people from daydreaming during a boring task. It’s possible that stress toys could, in a similar way, keep people’s minds from wandering.
Source: Stress Toys: Mindless With a Purpose?

Eat and Drink: Healthy Foods

For a healthy diet, eat with mental health in mind, too. You’ve probably heard the expression, “you are what you eat,” but what exactly does that mean? Put simply, food is fuel, and the kinds of foods and drinks you consume determine the types of nutrients in your system and impact how well your mind and body are able to function. Source: For tips on what to drink and eat

Studies and research are showing diet may be as important to mental health as it is to physical health. While the role of diet and nutrition in our physical health is undeniable, the influence of dietary factors on mental health has been less considered. That may be starting to change.
Source: Diet May Be As Important To Mental Health As It Is To Physical Health

When most people think of boosting their brain power, they think of learning something new or engaging in a thought-provoking debate. As it turns out, one of the best ways to improve your mental health is through your gut. Like your brain, the gut has its own nervous system, which sends information to the brain via the vagus nerve. This helps explain why you might feel queasy when you’re nervous or stressed. Just as the brain impacts the gut, what we put in our gut can impact the functioning of the brain.
Source: Here are five foods to help the mind work at its best

Exercise: Your Mind and Body

Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for the body. But exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better.
Source: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Rough day at the office? Take a walk or head to the gym for a quick workout. One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. Source: For 13 mental health benefits of exercise

More Stress Management Resources

Stress Overview

Stress is a natural part of life. The expressions are familiar to us, “I’m stressed out,” “I’m under too much stress,” or “Work is one big stress.”

Sources of Stress & How to Cope

In today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, stress has become a fact of life. Stress can cause people to feel overwhelmed or pushed to the limit.

Support in Stress

Emotional support is an important protective factor for dealing with life’s difficulties, while loneliness has been associated with a wide variety of health problems including high blood pressure, diminished immunity, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive decline.

Managing Stress for a Healthy Family

Families are susceptible to mounting pressures from finances and work. By taking small, manageable steps to a healthier lifestyle, families can work toward meeting their goals to be psychologically and physically fit.

Coping with stress at work

Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) 

Managing Stress

Everyone experiences stress. Sometimes it can help you focus and get the task at hand done. But when stress is frequent and intense, it can strain your body and make it impossible to function.

For Family Members and Caregivers

Taking Care of Yourself: To be able to care for the people you love, you must first take care of yourself.


Tips for Managing the Holiday Blues

Many people can experience feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season.

7 Ways to Help you De-Stress

Music can be cathartic and therapeutic to a stressed-out mind. Studies show that music not only reduces stress, it also boosts your body’s immune system function, which can help your body cope with stress in the future.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Economic Stress

Whether we live in urban, suburban, or rural settings, we all face the reality of how economic changes affect us, our families, and our communities. We might be laid off, not able to find a job, or have difficulty supporting our families.

Military and Veteran Families and Children

Although most military children are healthy and resilient, and may even have positive outcomes as a result of certain deployment stressors, some groups are more at risk.

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