Daily strategies to lower your stress

Man washes fruit and vegetables in sink

Many people deal with stress every day. Although mild natural stress can have benefits, such as boosting brainpower, short-term immunity and the ability to complete a task,¹ some stress can take its toll on your health.

Daily stress can make you feel depressed or irritable. It can impact your physical health, too, with headaches, upset stomach or muscle pain.¹ Stress can be even harder to handle when you’re already dealing with something else—like a physical illness or seasonal affective disorder.

Over time, high stress can contribute to obesity, high blood pressure,² heart disease and bowel or immune problems.³

But you don’t need to stress about stress! With the right lifestyle changes, you can manage everyday worries—and work toward achieving your best health, too.

Get active outside

Adults who engage in physical exercise—even just a little—have been shown to perceive lower levels of stress in their lives.⁴ And that exercise doesn’t have to be intense! Even a 30-minute walk or a game of catch with family can provide benefits. Some studies have also found that people who exercise outside feel more energy,⁴ and that even being around green plants can improve your mood.⁵

Lean on your loved ones

You may have friends or family who can listen to problems, give rides to the store or lend a hand with meals and chores. No matter who you turn to, studies show that social support is essential for maintaining or physical and mental well-being.⁵

Eat the right foods

Foods like fatty fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, probiotic foods like pickles or yogurt, leafy greens and almonds can help manage cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition to being good for your body, some of these foods have shown to help lower anxiety!⁴

Improve your sleep routine

Stress messes with our sleep but establishing a routine can make bedtime easier. You’ve probably heard that adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep each night,⁶ but there are more keys to good sleep. Going to bed around the same time each night helps your body establish a routine. Reducing your smartphone and TV use before bed, and practicing deep breathing, may also help you fall asleep faster.⁴

Get some extra help

While everyone experiences stress, some people have a higher stress response due to genetics or difficult life experiences like a dangerous job.

Whatever the reason, there’s no harm in admitting when you need help. If you don’t already have a therapist or doctor, visit CenterWell Senior Primary Care® to find a doctor near you.

If your doctor prescribes a medication to help, you can also fill your Rx with CenterWell Pharmacy®.


  1. Good Stress: What are the Benefits?”, Health.com, last accessed April 2, 2024.
  2. Stress Symptoms: Effects on Your Body and Behavior,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed April 2, 2024.
  3. Stress Effects on the Body,” American Psychological Association, last accessed April 2, 2024. 4
  4. 4 Natural Stress Remedies for Right Now,” AARP, last accessed April 2, 2024.
  5. 11 Healthy Ways to Handle Life’s Stressors,” American Psychological Association, last accessed April 2, 2024.
  6. Coping with Stress,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed April 2, 2024.
  7. Chronic Stress Puts Your Health at Risk,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed April 2, 2024.


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