Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Strategies to reduce stress

2-minute read

  • Exercise: Regular exercise can relieve tension, relax the mind and reduce anxiety.
  • Time management: Developing regular routines and planning ahead can reduce the chaos that can lead to stress.
  • Spend time with family or friends: Being with people you find uplifting, resolving personal conflicts, and talking about your feelings can help.
  • Look after your health: Maintain a healthy diet, ensure you get enough sleep and avoid using drugs and alcohol to cope.
  • Do things you enjoy
  • Change your thinking: Sometimes stress is more about our perceptions or attitudes towards a situation rather than the situation itself. Unrealistic expectations of yourself or others can lead to stress. If you have a tendency towards negative thinking, it can help to write down these thoughts, try to come up with a more realistic view and focus on the positive.
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT): This involves working with a therapist to change your thinking patterns.

When to seek help

If stress is affecting your work, school, home life or relationships, and you feel you can’t manage it alone or with support from a loved one, seek help from a doctor who may refer you to a psychologist.

  • Suicide Call Back Service (for anyone thinking about suicide) – call 1300 659 467.
  • Lifeline (for anyone having a personal crisis) – call 13 11 14 or chat online.
  • The Australian Psychological Society has a ‘Find a Psychologist’ service, which can be used to locate a psychologist in your local area – call 1800 333 497.

Last reviewed: February 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

What is CBT | CRUfAD

CONTACT US OUR LOCATION CRUfAD What is CBT Why choose ADC How do I get started Book an assessment For Clinicians What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? WHAT IS CBT? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a method of treatment for psychological disorders that takes a practical, task-based approach to solving problems

Read more on CRUfAD – Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression website

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy CBT | myVMC

Information about cognitive-behaviour therapy. Phsychological cognitive behavioural therapy consultation news

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

What is CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) | THIS WAY UP

What Is CBT? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a method of treatment for psychological disorders, that takes a practical, task-based approach to solving problems

Read more on This Way Up website

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Quitting Smoking | myVMC

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a promising psychological intervention for people who want to quit smoking because changing and restructuring thought processes, combined with new learning behaviours, is essential for people who want to effectively quit smoking and maintain cessation.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Coping with Stress Course

All people experience stress from time to time. However, excessive or chronic stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Learning skills to manage your stress more effectively can be beneficial when you are overwhelmed by stress. Excessive stress occurs when you perceive that you do not have the resources to cope with the demands in your life.

Read more on This Way Up website

Types of support in pregnancy - COPE

there are effective ways to alleviate stress, if you are finding it difficult to fall pregnant. Below are some types of support that may assist you if you need to seek support or treatment at this earliest pre-pregnancy stage in the perinatal journey.

Read more on COPE - Centre of Perinatal Excellence website

Effective treatment of PTSD following a traumatic birth - COPE

Treatment of PTSD following a traumatic birth can involve a range of effective approaches - whether the event was recent or occurred a long time ago.

Read more on COPE - Centre of Perinatal Excellence website

Cognitive behaviour therapy - Better Health Channel

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can help you change unhelpful or unhealthy habits of thinking, feeling and behaving.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Generalised anxiety disorder

Most people feel anxious and worried from time to time when faced with certain situations. For example, it is common to feel tense or worried before exams, speaking in public or going for a job interview. At times, a certain level of anxiety can help people feel alert and focused.

Read more on beyondblue website

Online Prevention - BluePages

Online prevention programs using cognitive behaviour therapy may help prevent and reduce symptoms of depression.

Read more on e-hub Web Services - Australian National University (ANU) website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo