8 Ways to Cope with Stress

Param Dedhia, MD, of Canyon Ranch in Tucson, recommends these eight experiences to help you feel stronger, happier and better able to manage stress.

  • Shift your thinking. Changing the way you view the world can change your life. Reflect on the limits you experience from old judgments and expectations; open your mind and embrace positivity.
     
  • Eat well. Fresh, wholesome and nutritious foods can fuel your brain, boost your mood and prevent disease. Junk food may satisfy your short-term hunger, but it will make you feel cranky and depleted in the long run.
     
  • Get enough sleep. Being tired can hurt your health and your relationships. If you aren’t getting enough shut-eye, don’t let the problem persist. Explore smart strategies at the National Sleep Foundation’s website (sleepfoundation.org) or discuss it with your doctor.
     
  • Get physically active. Study after study has shown that exercise not only makes you healthier – it makes you happier, too!
     
  • Connect with others. Social interaction is a great stress reliever. Stay in touch with friends, show up for family get-togethers, volunteer at your local library or food bank. Strengthen old bonds and build new ones.
     
  • Create joy. Feeling good gets the healthy brain chemistry going. Watch a hilarious movie, discover a new hobby – or just curl up and relax with a cup of tea and a good book.
     
  • Walk a spiritual path. Want to add depth and meaning to your life? Try meditation, prayer or contemplating small things you can do to make a positive impact in the world.
     
  • Touch somebody. The power of human touch is amazing. You can’t overdose on hugs! Explore the miracle of massage or Healing Touch therapy – or just hold someone’s hand.