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Publication #FAR5010

Stress Management Techniques1

Heidi Liss Radunovich2

Figure 1. 

Ingram Publishing

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Getting stressed in traffic? Worried about your finances or loved ones? You are not alone. Stress is a daily part of life and can cause both health and emotional problems. Experts suggest that we manage our stress in order to prevent having these negative results. Here are some tips for managing stress.

First, if you are under a lot of stress, take better care of yourself than usual because you are more at risk for getting sick. Try to eat better, get enough rest, and exercise regularly. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as well as other drugs.

Second, you may want to work on relaxing your muscles. One way to do this is to use heat, such as a hot shower or bath, or even a heating pad. Exercise can both relax muscles and increase endorphins, which help improve mood. Another way to relax your muscles is to use a technique in which muscles are tensed and then relaxed. Yoga and meditation may also help with muscle relaxation, and may provide other benefits in dealing with stress.

Third, try to think about things in a different way. This might mean looking at the situation differently, distracting yourself, or even using humor. Recent research suggests that humor provides a helpful way to combat the negative effects of stress.

Finally, breathe deeply and slowly to help your body relax. This can have a calming effect and can be done anywhere, anytime, and without any tools but your own sound body and mind.

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Abel, M. H. (2002). Humor, stress, and coping strategies. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 15, 365-381.

Carpi, J. (January/February, 1996). Stress: It's worse than you think! Psychology Today. Retrieved August 28, 2006, from

Osterkamp, L., and Press, A.N. (1983). Stress? Find your balance. Lawrence, KS: Preventive Measures Inc.



This document is FAR5010, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 511. Published January 2007. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Heidi Liss Radunovich, assistant professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.