Health for Life - De-stressing
More Healthy Ways of Coping with Stress
Journey of Hearts
A Healing Place in CyberSpaceTM
There are many different ways of coping with Stress... 

..the problem is that some may be healthier than others.  
Anger is frequently a way of dealing with stress, but is is not a constructive one, and depending upon who the anger is beng targeted, it may have devastating consequences. 
Stress is becoming more of a part of daily life. The demands of work, of home, or spouses, of parents and children all take a toll as do the pressures to "keep up with the Jones" -- making more to support a life-style we have be taught to adopt or aspire to achieve. The impact of long-term stress can have major consequences upon work, health and family life. 

So much of what I see in an out patient setting is stress or depression related. People feeling panic and anxiety attacks mimicking heart problems becauese of the stress they are having with their boss or co-workers, or spouse. Others who are depressed and experiencing intestinal disturbances or insomnia because they are in jobs or situations that they do not like.  
One of the best books that I found recently which deals with this topic is Stopping: How to Be Still When You Have to Keep Going by Dr. David Kundtz. 

We welcome your suggestions and other stress-reduction techniques that have worked for others going through the grief process. Please e-mail us with your ways of dealing with stress. 
Ways to Cope with Stress 

1. Write - whether poetry or songs, letters to friends (to send or not), or a daily journal.  I especially recommend journaling to those suffering from depression. 

2. Draw, Paint, Sketch, Doodle.   

3. Listen to music from meaningful artists that help reduce your stress. There is so much expressive music from classical to the blues to contemporary to country western. Music has a healing power of its own. It can lift the spirit when down, or make a happier person more depressed.  

4. Play an instrument, or start playing one. Pull out the guitar, harmonica, clarinet, recorder and start to make music. If you don't have a musical instrument, then sing. Music is good for the soul.  

5. Exercise - walking, running, tennis, hiking, water aerobics, swimming, horse back riding, bicyling. As Nike puts it: "Just Do It!"  

6. Talk with others, share your feelings with friends.  

7. Do something kind to someone. You will realize that you can make a difference.  

8. Watch the stars, planets or moon at night. Take an astronomy course.  

9. Rent a favorite movie--sad so you can cry, happy so you can laugh.  

10. Pamper yourself -- bubble baths, wrap in a favorite afghan or quilt, drink hot chocolate.  

11. Watch home movies or videos. Look at old photographs.  

12. Spend time reading--books, articles, poems. Many good books are listed here, as well as stress reduction articles and inspirational stories.  

13. Work in a garden, start a flower garden.   

14. Sew something, quilt something, create something.  

15. Work on pottery or other crafts. Visit your local craft store..look for the courses offered. Check out the local Junior College...take the pottery course, or woodmaking course you always wanted.  

16. Hug something a teddy bear, a pet, a friend.   

17. Participate in a ceremony--religious, sweat lodge, candlelight dinner with friends and family. Create your own ritual for releasing stress.  

18. Watch the sun rise, the sun set. Look for shapes, figures, objects in the the clouds overhead.  

19. Get a massage.  

20. Dance, dance, dance.  

21. Scream in the car, the shower, the woods, into the wind on top of a mountain.  

22. Sing--in the car, in the shower, at home, at church, with friends. Join a Community Chorus.  

23. Join a Computer support group.   

24. Enjoy a big red apple.  

25. Take slow deep breaths, count to 10, concentrate on your breathing, the movement of your chest wall, let go of stress.  

26.Find a safe, quite place to think, to remember, to process, to meditate to be alone with your thoughts and allow the healing to take place in the silence.  

Last updated February 7, 1998
Several of these suggestions come from "Finding Ways to Let Grief Out," Renewing Life, copyrighted 1991 by Ingrid Dilley, Carol Troestler and Josiah Dilley, with modifications and additions from my own experience with patients and friends. All material, unless otherwise specified, is copyrighted 1997 by Journey of Hearts A Healing Place in CyberSpace. We invite you to share the information of this site with others who may benefit, but ask that you share from the heart only and not for profit.