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 managing the symptoms of stress. While Military OneSource does not provide health care services, it does offer non-medical counseling and information about available resources, such as health and wellness coaching. 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 respond to it. Many people who experience anger usually don’t know how to confront 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. You can even tune in to your body by practicing simple and quick audio mindfulness exercises with Chill Drills by Military OneSource.

The Defense Health Agency recommends tools to help manage stress:

  • Breathe2Relax is an app that teaches deep-breathing techniques to reduce stress.
  • The Military Meditation Coach Podcast provides relaxation exercises and tips for well-being.

Find these and other apps for well-being on the Military OneSource Recommended Wellness Apps page.

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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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