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[Video] 10 tips for managing stress

Fatmata Kamara
Specialist Nurse Adviser at Bupa UK
19 January 2022
Next review due January 2025

Stress can impact us all. It’s how we feel and respond when life puts us under a lot of pressure. You can deal with most types of stress by strengthening your ability to cope with stressful situations. Our new video offers 10 practical tips to help you manage and reduce the symptoms of stress.

What is stress and how does it affect you?

Some stress is normal, such as before an exam or important meeting. It’s how your body responds to pressure. When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones (chemicals), such as adrenalin. These hormones help you cope in the moment – for example, by increasing your heart rate.

But, too much stress, over a long period of time, can affect both your physical and mental health. For example, you might get headaches, muscle aches and pains. Or you may feel tired and have trouble sleeping and concentrating. So, it’s important to reduce stress where you can.

Ten ways to deal with stress

Watch the video above for these 10 effective ways to manage and reduce the symptoms of stress.

1. Get active

Regular exercise releases feel-good chemicals (endorphins) in your brain. Go for a short walk, take up a sport, or get active in other ways by starting a new hobby, such as dancing or roller-skating.

2. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness is a great way to manage the symptoms of stress. Try controlled breathing exercises and notice how you feel. Or spend time in nature and enjoy its beauty.

3. Do things you enjoy

Find time to do things that relax you. Try tapping into your creative side by doing something crafty. You could try a new hobby, or simply relax with a book.

4. Eat well

A healthy balanced diet can help to boost your mood. Include plenty of fruit and vegetables. Drink enough water too.

5. Prioritise sleep

Good quality rest can have an ‘anti-stress’ effect. Think about the small changes can you make to sleep better. For example, you may need to cut down on caffeine, or reduce your screen time.

6. Take a break

A short break from work or a busy routine can help us to recharge and gain perspective. You might find it helpful to visit a new place or make time to relax with friends.

7. Try some yoga

Yoga can promote relaxation and help relieve stress. Give it a go and see if it helps you relax and feel calm.

8. Be aware of alcohol and smoking

Drinking alcohol and smoking may seem to relax you. But they can actually make problems worse. Cut out, or cut down on smoking and drinking, if you can.

9. Be kind to yourself

Having self-compassion can do wonders for your mental health. Be kind to yourself, set realistic goals and do things that make you feel better.

10. Get support

If you’re worried about the effects of stress don’t be afraid to ask for help. Speak to someone you trust. Or make an appointment with a GP.

Click to open a PDF version of 10 tips for managing stress infographic (0.2MB).

10 tips for managing stress infographic


If you’re worried about your mental health, our direct access service aims to provide you with the advice, support and treatment you need as quickly as possible. If you’re covered by your health insurance, you’ll be able to get mental health advice and support usually without the need for a GP referral. Learn more today.

Fatmata Kamara
Fatmata Kamara
Specialist Nurse Adviser at Bupa UK

    • Stress. Mental Health Foundation. www.mentalhealth.org.uk, updated September 2021
    • How to manage stress. What is stress. www.mind.org.uk, published November 2017
    • Fight-or-flight response. Encyclopaedia Britannica. www.britannica.com, accessed January 2022
    • Exercise. Health effects of exercise. Encyclopaedia Britannica. www.britannica.com, accessed November 2021
    • Domingues RB. Modern postural yoga as a mental health promoting tool: a systematic review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2018;31:248-255. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.03.002
    • Terry ML, Leary MR. Self-compassion, self-regulation, and health. Self Identity 2011; 10(3):352–62. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2011.558404
    • How to manage stress. How can I become more resilient? Mind. www.mind.org.uk, published November 2017
    • Yoga: What you need to know. National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health. www.nih.gov, accessed December 2021

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