Stress Relieving Habits To Build Resilience

Beyond Basics: Build Upon Stress Relief Techniques You're Already Using

Now if you’ve learned some of the basics—breathing exercises, shifting your focus, saying ‘no’ when you need to—now is a great time to take things to a deeper level.  If you’ve become comfortable with using breathing exercises when you feel overwhelmed by stress, you may want to proactively deepen your practice and build resilience by developing a meditation practice.  If you’ve learned to shift your focus to the positive when feeling frustrated, you may want to examine some of your habitual thinking patterns and consciously shift your focus to cognitive restructuring and developing greater optimism.  If you’ve simplified by getting better at saying no, you might want to try creating a specific plan for tackling your tolerations.  Read on to see why changes like these are well worth the effort, and to gain other ideas to build upon your stress management strategies.  The following are some ways to go deeper with stress management to find more lasting and far-reaching results. 

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are one of my top recommendations because they work well, they can be used anywhere and at any time, and are simple to master.  They provide a quick route to relaxation, effectively enabling you to switch off your body’s stress response when you face chronic stress, thereby avoiding many negative effects that come from it.  If you like how breathing exercises work for you and would like more of this type of stress relief, the following stress relief techniques can help you to find deeper benefits along a similar vein.           


Woman meditating
ULTRA F/Photodisc/Getty Images

 Meditation involves breathing and less—you build upon your breathing exercises but you focus on clearing your mind more, and you attempt to make this a more regular practice.  Meditation has been studied somewhat extensively and has been shown to bring many important stress relief benefits, so it is worth taking things to this level if you can.  Learning to clear your mind while breathing can open up a new dimension of stress relief that affects your body and your mind to a higher degree.  The following resources can help you to get started.

More »


Doing yoga at home can be extremely relaxing.
Yoga, practiced at home, in a class, or in nature, is a highly effective way to relax and stay healthy. Izabela Habur/Vetta/Getty Images

 Yoga involves breathing exercises and can even include a meditative component, but also involves physical movement that can bring greater flexibility and general physical fitness.  You breathe deeply and steadily as you move through the poses (which can be chosen and altered to fit your needs) so you are creating a full-body experience that can bring lasting relaxation.  You can learn to practice yoga on your own, with videos or interactive programs, or in a live class, depending on your personal needs.  I recommend that you think about your goals—do you want to be physically challenged, or physically relaxed, for example?—and go from there.  The following resources can help.


Visualizing yourself surrounded by serenity can build resilience toward stress. zeljkosantrac/Getty Images

  If you are comfortable with breathing exercises and do not want a drastic change in the scope of your practice, you may want to simply add some visualizations when it is convenient.  Visualizations allow you to gently move yourself from a stressed frame of mind to a more optimistic, hopeful, confident, and proactive one.  If you are anxious about performing on a test, facing a challenging person in your life, or meeting a goal that feels slightly beyond your comfort zone, visualizing yourself successfully coping and excelling in the situation can help you to feel more confident and energized as you face these challenges in real life.  If you simply need a mental break, visualizing yourself in a relaxing environment like a waterfall or a beach scene can help you to mentally remove yourself from the stress you face as well.  It’s another layer of relaxation on top of mere breathing exercises, and it’s been effective for many.  Here are some resources to get you going.

Find More Ways To Relieve Stress

These are some ways to build upon stress relief techniques you may already be using. There are many, many more ways to relieve stress. Here are some more ideas you can put into practice.

Continue Reading