If you are feeling extra stress and anxiety, you’re not alone.
Instead of reaching for tobacco, try these tips to deal with stress in ways that your body (and your mind) will thank you for!
- Take a break. Take a breather from a stressful situation — even if it is just for a few minutes. Do something that you find relaxing, like playing a game or talking with a friend. If you need to, step away from the situation by taking a walk or doing another activity.
- Breathe deeply. Take a few slow‚ deep breaths. For an extra benefit, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. You will feel your body relax.
- Move your body. When your body is active‚ it sends out natural chemicals that improve your mood and reduce your stress. Even a short walk every day or dancing around your room to your favorite song can help you to reduce your stress and improve your health.
- Visualize. Close your eyes and imagine you are in a place where you feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. It can be a real place or one you make up. Picture it as clearly as you can. Let yourself enjoy being there for a few minutes.
- Scan for tension. Our bodies hold on to stress and anxiety. Scan through your body and look for places where you are tight. These are areas you should target for stress relief. Some simple things you can do to reduce stress include stretching or exercising. Even a few minutes of rubbing your own shoulders, neck, and head can release lots of tension.
- Talk to someone. Talking with a friend or family member about your life is a great way to help reduce stress. Also consider connecting with an online community group or faith-based organization where you can engage with like-minded people.
- Focus on the here and now. A lot of people get stressed out thinking about the future. Try focusing just on what is happening now — not on what you might have to deal with in the future.
- Take care of yourself. Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, and get enough sleep. Try to avoid having too much caffeine or alcohol.
- Face the problem. Stop and think about what makes you stressed. Is there something you could be doing to fix the problem? Is there something you need to let go of? It can be helpful to talk with others about what is happening and if there are ways to make it better.
If you’re trying to quit tobacco, find even more practical tips here >>
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish. For other stresses and mental health support, reach Colorado Crisis Services at 844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255. Learn more at ColoradoCrisisServices.org.