Everyone experiences stress from time to time – that physiological reaction your body has to certain events. Stress can motivate you to make positive changes in your life, or provide “extra push” for an exam or work project. But too much stress can make you feel like life is out of balance. This can have negative consequences for both your physical and mental health.
Dealing with stress in the moment
Take some deep breaths, which can relax the body and calm you down.
Exercise! Go for a walk or run.
Hang out with friends to keep your mind off of things for a while.
Reducing stress overall
- Identify what’s causing your stress. If you ignore the problem, it could just get worse. Once you know what the problem is, there are a number of ways you can de-stress.
- Watch what you’re thinking. Is your cup half full or half empty? A healthy dose of optimism can help you make the best out of stressful circumstances.
- Setting realistic goals and managing your time and expectations may help to reduce or manage stress.
- Have multiple paths to achieve your goals. There is never one path to achieving your goals. It is important not to put all your eggs in one basket. Everything might not always play out how you thought it would, but you might end up happy with the results.
- Avoid harmful behaviors. Smoking, alcohol and caffeine may be a tempting means of managing your stress. Try to avoid using these substances as a coping mechanism. In the long run they may make you more stressed out and can be harmful to the body.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.
Many articles in this section were adapted from WeRNative.org, a website for Native Youth by Native Youth