Each of us has uniquely individual stress signals: neck or shoulder pain, shallow breathing, stammering, teeth gritting, queasiness, loss of temper. (If you tend to lose your temper, here are some ways to control it.) Learn to identify yours, then say out loud, “I’m feeling stressed,” when they crop up, recommends Dr. Rosch. Recognizing your personal stress signals helps in managing stress and slows the buildup of negativity and anxiety.
Look out the window and find something natural that captures your imagination, advises Dr. Sobel. Notice the clouds rolling by or the wind in the trees. Who knew spacing out could be so beneficial to managing stress? Plus, daydreaming means you’re smart!
By now most of us know about the calming properties (and health benefits) of chamomile tea. But a steaming cup of catnip, passionflower, skullcap or kava kava also work, according to Dr. Duke. Whether you use tea bags or loose tea (one teaspoon of tea per cup of boiling water), steep for about 10 minutes to get the full benefits of the herbs. (You might even want to try cooking with tea.)