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Ways to Manage Stress

Breathe tools

There is NO foolproof way to manage stress. A method that works for one person will not necessarily work for another. Also, a method that works one day may not work as well the next. That’s why it’s useful to have several methods in your toolbox:

  • Laugh.
    It makes your diaphragm move and increases the happiness hormones (endorphins).
  • Sing.
    This activates your diaphragm, which relaxes your body. Singing will have the same effect as taking
    deep breaths.
  • Say a prayer or repeat a mantra out loud.
    For the same reasons as singing.
  • Help someone.
    Because when you do good for someone in your circle, it sends positive messages to your brain and tells it that you are not in danger.
  • Change your thoughts.
    This will allow you to take a break from stress.
  • Take care of an animal, pet it.
    Because this releases the love hormone (oxytocin), that reduces the stress hormone. This also sends the message to your brain that you are not in danger.
  • Deep Breathing
    When you inflate your belly, it stimulates the diaphragm… this triggers the parasympathetic system, and your body relaxes (releases oxytocin).
  • Surround yourself with people.
    We feel better when we interact with other people. This releases oxytocin which reduces the stress hormone (cortisol).
  • Move.
    Sport helps discharge the energy to react to stressful situations that your body builds up.
  • Yoga.
    This is a mix of meditation and expenditure of energy, so it relaxes your body.
  • Mindfulness meditation.
    Concentrating in the present moment allows you to stretch your diaphragm and thus feel calmer.
  • Listen to music.
    Your brain, breathing and heart synchronize themselves with the music and this calms the body.
  • Scream.
    This activates the diaphragm and expends the energy accumulated by the body.
  • Look for social support.
    Talking with a friend or an adult about what stresses you will help you to see clearly and to feel less alone.


Stéphanie Henderson, travailleuse sociale et conseillère en promotion de la santé et du bien-être des jeunes. June 2021

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