10 Ways to Build Resilience to Stress

April 03, 2023

Resilience to stress is essential for maintaining physical and mental health. When we’re under stress, our body responds with “fight/flight/freeze,” leading to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and other physical and psychological responses. 

Responses occurring too often or becoming too intense can lead to serious health issues. Fortunately, there are several creative ways that we can build resilience to stress.

Here are 10 ideas that you can use to help manage your stress levels:

1. Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a practice in which you focus on the present moment by bringing awareness to your thoughts and feelings without judgment or attachment. 

Scholarly research has shown that regular mindfulness practice reduces stress levels by decreasing activity in the amygdala—the part of the brain associated with fear and anxiety.

2. Talk It Out

Research has shown that talking about your problems with a trusted friend or family member can effectively manage stress. 

It helps provide perspective on difficult situations and allows you to work through emotions in a safe environment. 

3. Work With a Coach

By learning to identify sources of stress and developing strategies to cope, we’re better able to maintain balance in our lives. 

When we can cope with stressful situations, we can better focus our energies on the things that bring us joy and satisfaction. 

We become more resilient and better able to handle life’s challenges without feeling overwhelmed or distressed. 

4. Get Creative!

Expressing yourself creatively through activities like drawing, painting, writing, playing music, or crafting can effectively reduce stress. It’s also great for boosting self-esteem and creativity! 

5. Take Regular Breaks

Frequent breaks throughout the day help reduce fatigue and burnout.

Even if it’s just 10 minutes here and there, taking breaks gives you time to rest your mind and recharge your energy to better handle stressful situations. We recommend stepping away from your desk, and ideally, your phone and other screens to go for a walk, stretch, or read a chapter of a book.

6. Spend Time Outdoors

Nature has many calming effects that make us more relaxed. 

Research has shown that taking a walk outside or just spending time sitting in nature can help clear your mind while also boosting your mood! 

7. Get Organized

Being organized helps reduce overwhelming feelings when faced with stressful tasks by giving you control over what needs to be done instead of feeling like things are out of control.

Making lists or breaking down big tasks into smaller ones makes them more manageable so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done at once!  

8. Practice Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises have been scientifically proven to reduce anxious thoughts and physiological arousal during distress.

These exercises focus on slow inhalations followed by slow exhalations, which helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which then reduces activation in areas associated with fear while calming the body overall! 

9. Find Time to Unwind 

Leisure activities like reading books, listening to music, watching movies and TV shows, and playing board games, or cooking, give us something enjoyable to do while helping us take our minds off whatever is causing us to feel stressed.

While we don’t want to avoid our stressors, we also need to recognize that we can’t allow ourselves to obsess over anxieties. Allowing ourselves to enjoy leisure time and relaxing activities is a healthy option as long as we’re mindful not to over-indulge.

10. Find Purposeful Activities

Participating in meaningful activities such as volunteering or engaging in hobbies that bring joy gives us something positive to focus on instead of feeling overwhelmed by negative thoughts related to stressful situations.

This helps redirect our attention away from challenging circumstances while providing purposeful outlets for our energy! 

Start Building Resilience Today

In addition, managing stress can help reduce or prevent chronic illness by decreasing inflammation in the body, which is linked to conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and depression. 

Learning how to manage stress can help us live healthier and happier lives.

Building resilience against stress takes time, but these 10 ideas provide great starting points for learning how best to manage our emotional states during times of distress. 

With consistent effort towards developing healthier coping mechanisms such as those listed above, we will be able to increase our resilience against stressful situations, so we stay healthy both mentally and physically! Here’s how to get started.