Your Personal Stress-Relief Toolkit

Experiment to see what works best for you.


  • Breathe: Set aside time to take a few deep breaths. Let your body know it isn’t in fight or flight mode. Use the time to calm, recover, or prepare. Try to calm your brain as well.
  • Move Your Body: Wave your arms and legs. Get up from your chair. Take a brisk walk. Move in big or small ways. If you need to, set a timer to remind yourself to stretch or move.
  • Go Outside: Being outside, especially in green spaces, can reduce anger and fear, improve mood, lower blood pressure and muscle tension, and reduce the production of stress hormones.
  • Give Your Brain a Break from Input: Sometimes turn off the news, tv, podcast, streaming, social media, phone, etc. Choose music or silence to give your brain time to think, process, wander, and dream.
  • Sing: And maybe add some dancing.
  • Practice Positive Language and Solution Focused Thinking: Try changing, “I hate how much I complain at work” to “I am changing how I communicate at work” or “I am going to add your solution here.”
  • Tape a Mantra to Your Mirror: You can start with something simple. Then change or add to it as needed. Make it positive. Read it regularly. Use your mantra in stress-reducing exercises.
  • Positive Self-talk: You know that voice in your head? Give it some new sentences that are positive. “I can do this.” “I am brave today.” “I made a good decision based on the information I had at the time.”
  • Stop and Distract: When you are having negative, repetitive thoughts, literally say “stop” to yourself and distract your brain by introducing a new thought and sometimes a new behavior. Perhaps the new thought is your mantra, positive self- talk, or something else that you’ve practiced.
  • Power Poses: Stand for 30 seconds in one of the powerful poses. Add positive self-talk and deep breaths for an even more powerful intervention. Search Power Poses if you need pictures of the poses.
  • Visualization: Practice imagining how you look, sound, move, feel, and think when you are For example, think of a time when you were confident. What were you like? What were you doing? How did you move? etc. Really picture yourself. Practice imagining that scene to build your confidence.
  • Buy an Alarm Clock: There are many things you can do to reduce your dependence on your phone and the distractions it creates. Try one thing that will help improve your mood or reduce your stress.
  • Slow Down: Whether you are driving your car or walking to a meeting, simply slowing down can change your mind and mood. See if slowing down works for you.
  • Your Choice: What have you done in the past that works to reduce your stress?


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