5 Advanced Stress Management Techniques

5 Advanced Stress Management Techniques

Stress is everywhere in modern life. Some of it is chronic, everyday stress. And some of it can be extreme, brought on by situation and choices. Today I’ll look at some advanced stress management techniques that don’t get (in my opinion) enough coverage, but can be extremely useful.

I’ve used most of these techniques in the last few months, and they have helped manage my stress levels. While I can’t say that I was relaxed and calm all the time, it did help to bring down my stress levels noticeably.

Please note that I am not a doctor or therapist. If you are suffering from elevated levels of stress, I urge you to visit your doctor and get some help with managing the condition.

Advanced Stress Management Techniques

These five techniques can help you lower your stress levels. I’ve included additional reading after each one.

1. Find Something To Listen To

I find that classical music can calm me, and that listening to music from my high school days (and singing along at the top of my voice) is a good outlet as well. These were both go-to things while in the car.

I put together Google Music play lists with both types of music, set up a classical station on Pandora, and put the local public radio station that plays classical music at the top of my car radio list.

Additional reading:

2. Make a Phone Call

My doctor ended up prescribing a low-level tranquilizer to combat my anxiety when I told her there were times when I wanted to crawl outside my skin. I didn’t like the drugs – they left me fuzzy. What I did find was that making phone calls to supportive friends was as good at lowering my anxiety as taking the pill.

I put together a list of trusted friends whom I could call at any time. While none of them were on the hook 24/7, between their various schedules there were always two free at any given time. I started making a habit of calling them any time I felt myself getting tense.

Additional reading:

3. Be Normal

Stressful situations can be all-consuming. I found that being normal from time to time not only allowed me to realize that life was going on outside of my personal hell, but also gave me a break from the situation.

I continued to work with my Girl Scouts (because most teenagers are blissfully unaware of things outside their own lives) and would call friends and ask them to talk to me about “normal” things.

4. Escape

I spent a lot of time reading romance novels while I was waiting in the hospital. I was concerned about this behavior, because I felt guilty at this use of time. My doctor assured me that since I was still able to keep up with the basics, that escaping into the pages of a book for an hour here and there was a healthy thing for me for that week. (Notice she put a time limit on it – escapism can be addictive).

Escape can provide a break from the pressure and weight of the concerns facing you. As an additional plus, getting to choose something when most of your life is wildly beyond your control can give you a sense of independence as well.

Additional Reading:
(Since most articles on escapism focus on drugs and alcohol, I didn’t feel I could include those here since I am encouraging healthy stress management)

5. Be Who You Want

One of my high school friends lost her husband to a fatal heart attack a few months back. I’ve talked to her frequently, and one thing she has brought up is that “being the widow” was adding to her stress burden. There are often days when she wants to not have to be identified as a widow or even act in a certain way she feels people expect.

There is no right way to mourn, just as there is no one right way to behave when stress hits. Go with how you feel. As long as you aren’t harming anyone or yourself, shed expectations and give yourself a break.

Additional Reading:


Five more stress management techniques: finding something to listen to; making phone calls to trusted friends; allowing normal to be part of your week; escaping into a book or television show; and being who you want to be can all help you cope with your stress.

— Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash —