My Go-To Stress Management Techniques

Stress (both mental and physical) put our sympathetic nervous system into a state of high alert. Otherwise known as fight or flight. Our bodies are not meant to function in a fight or flight response over prolonged periods of time. Some of us may be really good at not feeling the effects of perceived stress and others (like myself) need an arsenal of tools to help them manage stress.

I say manage because so often the language around reducing or getting rid of stress puts even more stress on us to get rid of it when that may not be physically possible. I believe we can both learn to reduce and avoid external stressors but in the meantime we may need to look at management techniques in the short term.

Our body’s immune system is taxed when stressed.

Many health care professionals consider chronic stress a significant risk factor for illnesses such as cancer and heart attacks.

In 2014, after my MS diagnosis, and after reading When The Body Says No I knew that some prolonged stress I had been dealing with in my life from a toxic relationship to overworking had played a part in my health deteriorating. So as part of my healing journey, learning to manage stress and simply learning how to chill out more was one of my priorities in overhauling how I took care of myself. My immune system is now so much stronger than before. I believe it’s a combination of optimizing all the building blocks of my health but I know stress management has helped immensely with my healing.

Since I’ve already shared 10 ways to decrease stress on the blog I thought I’d share a few more go-to methods that I have found amazing in managing my stress.

I turned to these “techniques” when feeling anxious, frustrated, stressed or a little out of control.

Stress Management Techniques


I’m sharing this one again because it has been one of my favourite ways to find new perspectives around situations that seem out of my control. When presented with perceived stress I will write down in my journal all the negative aspects around a situation or what I think are negative. It allows me to get them out on paper and not have them just running around my brain over and over again. I also believe acknowledging that things aren’t always rosy allows me to find more acceptance around what is and what I may not be able to change. Then on the other page, I will write down all the positives around the situation. It helps me reframe, find the good and then realize that the situation I’m in is not all bad and that I can choose to focus on what’s working and celebrate the good.

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This beautiful ancient Chinese practice has been instrumental in my healing journey. I will usually turn to a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner to shine a light on a potential imbalance in my body even before seeing a GP. While I may go to see them for specific reasons such as healing my digestion or hormone imbalances, not a session goes by that they don’t use needles on specific stress points to help me ease the stress. I then love being left in the cozy spa-like room with the needles in my body to then have what I call a delicious acupuncture nap. It’s sure to help regulate your cortisol spikes and calm your brain.

Talk Therapy

While I don’t always choose talk therapy as my first modality for stress management, it has had amazing effects in my life. Talking to a third party, trained practitioner alleviates the support you may seek from friends or family who may not be able to support you the way that you need.

Diffusing Essential Oils

I’ve talked about this before but I wanted to revisit it from an easy to turn to tool. I try to turn on our bedroom diffuser about 30 mins before bed or sometimes as I crawl into bed. It has had amazing effects on my ability to de-stress from the day and calm down before bedtime. Last blog I shared a few diffuser blends you can put together yourself but these pre-made blends by dōTERRA are so simple to use. No mixing involved just pick up the pre-made blend, add 1 – 2 drops in your diffuser and press play.

I like Serenity or Peace for relaxation in the evening or if you need an energizing blend to start the day off on the right foot so stress can’t touch you, I love using Cheer or Elevation.

Learn more about why I love dōTERRA essential oils. I’ve been a customer and business owner with dōTERRA since 2014 (customer) and 2016 (business owner) and choose these oils because of the purity, potency, transparency and heart of this beautiful company.


Hypnosis and hypnotherapy is relatively new for me. My favourite resource is through Grace Smith. I’ve even had her on the Alpha Female Podcast. Her website is called Grace Space Hynopsis and her app is one of the best resources I turned to on my cell phone to reduce overwhelm. Grace describes Hypnotherapy as meditation with a goal.

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You can choose hypnotherapy sessions based on how you want to feel, length of time, whether you’d like to close your eyes or keep them open and if you’d like background noise to Grace’s voice. It’s an amazing resource and I mix these into my morning and evening routines. If I’m feeling low in the self-esteem department I’ll choose a hypnopsis on feeling worthy. If I’m feeling stressed about finances I’ll choose a hypnosis on Abundance. I love the variety and Grace’s soothing voice.

Deep Breathing

The study published by Stanford Medicine found that a cluster of neurons reside in the brain and are linked with our respiratory system. So it’s no wonder that such a simple suggestion to take slow, deep breaths allows our central nervous system to come back into a state of rest and relaxation. It’s such a simple technique. One that doesn’t require paying a practitioner or more than a few seconds to do. I have a post-it note on my computer that simply says Breathe. It’s one of the most important things I can do for myself when feeling overwhelmed.

Epsom Salt Baths

If you’ve been hanging out with me for a while on social media or the blog you’ll know I’m obsessed with Epsom salt baths. I try to have 2 – 3 a week to signal to my body it’s time to wind down for the day and chill out. I’ll even have one early in the morning if I’m on day one of my bleed (menstrual cycle) as it’s one of the most relaxing things that I find helps my entire body relax.

My favourite epsom salt & essential oil mixes are:

  • Ginger, Marjoram & Siberian Fir – Day 1 of my menstrual cycle
  • Lavender & Frankincense – nighttime relaxation

What are other ways you like to manage your stress?

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