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Strategies to reduce stress

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  • 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.

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Last reviewed: January 2019

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