How To Stay Calm In A Stress-Filled World

Published on October 8th, 2015

Updated on January 2nd, 2024

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Stress is everywhere. If you are reading this article, chances are you are experiencing some level of stress in your life. Much of our stress is emotional and related to our families, jobs, relationships, money, and health. It also stems from ruminating about the future and not being in control of certain situations and/or events. 

Stress does not just stem from negative events and circumstances. Good things can cause stress too, like buying a house, getting a promotion, or getting married. Stress is everywhere and thus nearly impossible to rid our lives of. Patterns of unhealthy coping can lead to significant negative effects on our minds, bodies, and health. To prevent the downfalls of stress, incorporate healthy and productive ways of coping.

There is not one single way of coping that will work for everyone 100% of the time in 100% of situations. This is why developing a variety of coping skills and deciding which works best for you in certain situations is imperative.

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Through practice and use, healthy coping strategies can assist you in staying calm, gaining mental clarity, and working through stressful situations and events more efficiently. Some coping skills that are fairly easy for people to access on a daily basis include:

Symptoms of Stress

Physical: elevated heart rate; muscle pain; changes in sexual desire; hair loss; compromised immune system; sweating

Emotional: amplified fear; feelings of hopelessness; indifference and apathy; feeling lonely; experiencing sadness

Behavioral: difficulty communicating; decreased social interaction; increased irritability; crying; excessive use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine; trouble sleeping

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Meditation and Relaxation Tools

Practicing meditation and relaxation skills helps relieve stress. They give you access to tools that help when your anxiety increases. They also help your mind and body prepare for and experience less stress when anxiety-provoking situations arise.

Meditation. Focusing your mind on your breathing, a word, or a calming phrase can help you let go of stressful thoughts. 

Types Of Meditation Practices

Guided Imagery. Focusing your mind on a series of calming and comforting mental visualizations can help you relax. It also helps you stay grounded and bring your focus back to the present moment. 

Physical Relaxation Practices. Exercise is great for stress management. It releases excess energy that can turn into anxiety if not used. Common physical practices used for relaxation include yoga, Tai Chi, and stretching. Some also find Pilates to be relaxing.

Muscle Relaxation. Muscle relaxation is the process of tensing and relaxing specific muscle groups. This can be done by focusing on muscle groups, moving from your head to your toes.

Seek Support

Talking to someone you trust is a way to share thoughts and work through problems. This could mean speaking with a spouse, a friend, or a mental health professional. Seeking support in stressful times helps prevent internalizing of upsetting feelings and emotions.

Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance is about accepting things just the way they are. There are times in life when situations are unchangeable and our reality is difficult. Sometimes the best option is to accept the reality of your circumstances. This can help you understand that living life with stress or pain is possible, thus allowing you to continue being an active participant in life. 

Example: Incorporating an affirming statement such as “it is what it is” can be a helpful start to radical acceptance.


Self-care is a way to promote wellness and fight stress in areas of your significant areas of your life. Self-care is often disregarded as an important method of coping. Self-care is often one of the first things to go out the window when we start stressed, so we must consciously make it a priority. 

You may be wondering what self-care looks like. Listed below are some general self-care activities to start with. It is important for you to also explore other self-care activities that work for you. 

Physical Self-Care

Emotional/Mental Self-Care

The more you are able to practice healthy coping in stressful situations, the more easily accessible they will become. This will help your brain develop the capacity to cope with stress in a beneficial manner. If you find yourself struggling to cope with stress, seek guidance from a mental health professional.

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