Managing Stress - The Essentials

Stress isn’t all bad. It can motivate you to change behavior and develop coping skills, especially in military life. However, constant and severe stress often causes health issues and performance problems. Military OneSource provides tips for recognizing and dealing with the symptoms of stress. While Military OneSource does not provide health care services, it does offer non-medical counseling and information about available resources. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, then press 1, or access online chat by texting 838255.

Manage your stress with these tips:

Stay in the present.

Try to be aware of what is happening in the present and focus your attention on what you are doing in any given moment. When your thoughts turn to the past and the future, try to bring them back to the here and now.

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Express your anger in constructive ways.

There's a difference between feeling angry and expressing anger. You can't always control when you're going to feel angry, but you can control how you handle it. People who have a problem with anger usually don't know how to deal with it in appropriate and constructive ways. Read our tips for finding healthy ways to express anger.

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Learn how to relax.

Knowing how to relax is an important part of staying military and family ready. It reduces stress and promotes resiliency. By taking long, slow breaths, you increase your oxygen and calm yourself down. Even a few deep breaths can relax tension throughout your body. Try different relaxation techniques and see which ones work for you. Experiment with some visualization exercises, go for a walk, listen to music or read a book.

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Seek counseling.

Military OneSource offers personal non-medical counseling services via telephone, face-to-face or through a secure live video session or online. Counseling sessions are also available through the Military and Family Life Counseling Program. Trained to work with the military community, counselors give service members and their families the level of comfort they need to benefit from a counseling relationship.

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