How Reducing Stress Can Improve Your Health

Chronic stress puts you at risk for many health problems, such as heart disease and depression. Knowing how to manage stress is important for staying mentally and physically healthy.

Man lying on couch drinking tea.

Have you been feeling extra stress lately? If yes, you’re not alone. According to the American Psychiatric Association, more than one in four Americans report that they anticipate experiencing more stress in 2023, up from one in five in the previous year.1

What is Stress?

Stress is the mental and physical reaction that you experience as you encounter challenges in life. During stress response, your blood pressure rises, heart rate increases, breathing quickens and muscles tighten. Feeling stress is normal and natural, and it can even be positive if it motivates you or helps you avoid dangerHowever, stress can become a problem when it’s chronic and your mind and body don’t get relief or relaxation.

How Can Chronic Stress Impact Health?

Long-term, continued activation of your stress response can cause damage to your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic stress puts you at risk for many health problems, including: 

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Digestive problems

  • Headaches

  • Heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke

  • Memory and concentration impairment

  • Muscle tension and pain

  • Sleep problems

  • Weight gain


That’s why it’s crucial to understand how to manage stress in a healthy way.

10 Tips for Managing Stress


It’s important keep your emotional compass headed in a positive direction and practice healthy habits that help you cope with stress. Check out these 10 stress management strategies and make positive changes that can help you stress less and find peace of mind.

  1. Eat a healthy diet. Magnesium-rich foods, such as avocadoes, bananas and dark chocolate, are known to help relax the body and reduce stress.  
  2. Get regular exercise. It doesn’t have to be strenuous; walking is one of the most effective exercises for reducing stress.

  3. Catch your Zzzzs. Adults should sleep at least seven hours a night.

  4. Keep a daily routine. Knowing what to expect can help you feel more in control.

  5. Keep a journal. Gratitude journaling is a great mood booster!

  6. Spend quality time with friends and family and build meaningful relationships.

  7. Take time for hobbies and activities you enjoy. 

  8. Limit time watching the news and looking at social media. Studies show a strong link between frequent social media use and risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

  9. Spend time outside. Vitamin D is essential for mental health

  10. Seek counselling or therapy if you’re struggling and need help finding stress coping strategies that work for you.  

Final Thoughts

Stress is an inevitable part of life, and many stressors are out of your control. However, you do have some control over how you respond to stress. If you handle stress in a positive way, you may find that challenging times lead to positive personal growth and discovery. 

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1American Psychiatric Association, Americans Anticipate Higher Stress at the Start of 2023 and Grade Their Mental Health Worse,, December 2022

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