6 Steps to Manage Your Stress

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Stress is part of daily life. It triggers chemical and hormonal changes in your brain and body to help you respond to the demands of work, family, and situations large and small.

You expect to feel stress when facing challenges like a death, divorce, financial worries, or job loss. But even positive events—buying a house, planning a wedding, having a baby—can trigger stress. It’s important to learn how to cope before stress takes a toll on your physical and mental health.

The Impact of Chronic Stress

When stress becomes ongoing, or chronic, hormones stay elevated and you can experience a variety of conditions from headaches to digestive troubles and weight gain. Chronic stress can also lead to insomnia, depression or and irritability. It can make it hard to concentrate and take a toll on your immune system. Stress is also linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

How You Can Manage Stress

The good news is, you can cope with stress and not let it get the better of you. Here are some tips:

  • Know your limits. Learn to say “no” sometimes. It will help with time management.
  • Get active. Take a 30-minute walk or engage in some gentle exercise every day. Exercise releases endorphins, a natural stress reliever.
  • Eat a healthy diet. If your body feels better, so will your mind.
  • Empower yourself. Meditation and breathing exercises can help you relax. Try three-minute meditation breaks or mindfulness with imagery.
  • Stay connected. Spend time with family and nurture healthy friendships.
  • Learn to relax. Look for yoga, tai chi, or reiki classes in your community.
  • Ask for help if stress is severe. A professional can provide talk therapy and teach you to use techniques like biofeedback to help reduce your stress.

Remember, stress, especially chronic stress, can affect your health. Talk your healthcare provider who can offer suggestions or put you in touch with someone who can.

author name

Hyasmine M. Charles, MD

Hyasmine M. Charles, MD, is a physician with Lancaster General Health Physicians Women’s Internal Medicine.

Education: A graduate of the Penn State University College of Medicine and the residency program at the University of Rochester, Dr. Charles completed her fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. She is board certified in internal medicine.

Schedule an Appointment Call: 717-544-0700

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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