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.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: January 2019


Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

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

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

Cognitive behavioural therapy | Professional help | ReachOut Australia

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy used to address different kinds of mental health issues.

Read more on ReachOut.com 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

Cognitive behaviour therapy for chronic pain | Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation

Read more on Cerebral Palsy Alliance website

Treatment Options

The evidence-based treatments listed below have been found to be effective for eating disorders

Read more on NEDC - National Eating Disorders Collaboration website

Treatments for Anxiety Disorders - Black Dog Institute

Left untreated, anxiety can last for a long time. There are a range of effective treatments for anxiety, and you can get better.

Read more on Black Dog Institute website

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a modified version of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) designed to treat borderline personality disorder (BP...

Read more on SANE Australia website

5 ways to help you relax and relieve stress

Quitting can be really stressful, especially in the first few weeks. How will you get your me-time when you quit?

Read more on Quit Victoria website

Feeling better without medication - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Research concludes that strong painkillers and medication often used to treat stress, anxiety and insomnia, generally shouldn’t be used for very long.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation 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