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Managing stress

2-minute read

Man in stress who needs help.

What is stress?

Stress is a healthy response to challenging or dangerous situations.

Everyone encounters stressful situations at times, and learning about managing stress can involve different strategies.

Monitoring stress

The first step is to identify your triggers, or what makes you feel stressed. Notice the warning signs that you are becoming stressed; these may include muscle tension, being irritable or tired.

Changing the stressor

Some stressors can be changed while others may be beyond your control. For example if work is causing your stress you may be able to make changes to your work hours or job duties.

Postpone major life changes such as moving house if you are already stressed.

Exercising

Regular exercise can relieve tension, relax the mind and reduce anxiety.

Relaxing

Deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation exercises, yoga and meditation are some techniques that can relax the body and reduce stress.

Spending time with family for friends

Being with people you find uplifting, resolving personal conflicts, and talking about your feelings can help.

Looking after your health

Maintain a healthy diet, ensure you get enough sleep and avoid using drugs and alcohol to cope.

Do things you enjoy.

If you feel unable to manage your stress alone or with support from loved ones, seek help from a counsellor or health professional.

Not sure what to do next?

If you or someone you know are finding it difficult to manage mental health issues, try healthdirect’s symptom checker and get advice on when to seek professional help.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: September 2017

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