Address Your Stress

Section Three: Stress Management Strategies

There are many strategies that research has shown to be highly effective in managing stress.

Depending on how you deal with stress personally, you might find different techniques more effective than what someone else is using. There are several strategies to help you cope with the stresses throughout the cycle of deployment. Some common strategies include journaling about your stress, limiting worry to a specific time of day, tolerating and understanding uncertainty, postponing worry when you are busy, focusing on the present, doing a physical activity, or talking to a friend. Select the Resource tab to download the handout, Stress Busting Strategies, to learn more about stress management techniques.

Relaxation breathing can help you calm your body down by controlling your breath.

One specific stress technique is relaxation breathing. The best way to address your stress immediately is to calm your body down. Relaxation breathing will decrease the stress response and increase your sense of balance. It can be used on a regular basis and can be done anywhere. Slow your breath to bring more oxygen into your body, moving the breath from the chest to the stomach and reducing anxiety. Bring in through pursed lips and out through your nose. Let your stomach out when you breathe so that you can relax the muscles. Focus on your breath going in and out of your stomach - you can even place your hand on your stomach to feel the motion. It should take 15 to 20 minutes and can be done 2 to 3 times a day. By the end of each session, you should feel warmer and more relaxed. It will get easier and help you relax quicker with practice.