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Fifteen Simple Strategies for Kicking Stress

Creating a stress survival plan will help you calm down when anxiety strikes. We spoke to three experts to help you design yours.

10. Divert and Distract: Find a simple activity, like listening to your favorite band, and use it as a distraction when you start to feel frazzled. In this case, you could have a playlist ready and pull it up when stress piles on.

11. Schedule “Worry Time”: “Give yourself a designated time to stress about a particular thing, to get it out of the way, and learn to control it,” suggests Chapman. One way to spend worry time is to write out extremely detailed accounts of what you’re freaking out about. Read what you’ve written aloud, visualizing the situation until you feel like you have control over it.

12. Implement Thought-Stopping and Substitution: When you catch yourself having unwanted thoughts, yell something sharp, loud, and jarring, like “stop” or “cut it out,” to snap yourself out of that thought. “You don’t have to do it loudly or for very long,” assures David Posen, M.D., author of The Little Book of Stress Relief. And obviously, it’s a better idea to do this when you’re alone. The next part is “thought substitution:” Purposely direct your attention to something pleasant.

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