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Try these top tips to combat stress

Posted on: 24 April 2023

Do you find yourself feeling stressed and could use some tips to stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed?  

Whilst some stress is healthy and motivating, the pace of modern life, commitments and responsibilities to juggle, and the prevalence of social media and information overload can combine to leave us overwhelmed. The bottom line is that too much stress is bad for us and it's important to find ways of managing it.  

We’re sharing Employee Assistance Programmes provider CiC wellbeing’s 12 stressbusting tips to help you find ways to reduce stress that you may be experiencing in your daily lives. These tips include advice on eating well, breathing, me-time, how to challenge negative thinking, and much more.

7/11 breathing

This is a simple exercise that you can practise when you need some calmness. Breathe in for seven seconds and then exhale for 11 seconds. Making the ‘out’ breath last longer than the ‘in’ breath will help the body to relax as it triggers the parasympathetic nervous system.


In heated situations, it can be easy to make hasty decisions. In moments like this, take time to pause and inhale/exhale. Pause as long as necessary. 

Have me-time

Each week, give yourself time to do activities that focus on you. This includes scheduling time with friends, doing something fun, gardening and more. Having time like this will help you manage stress.


Technology can make us have an online presence 24-7, which can be draining. Give time to remove yourself electronically for periods of time. 

Take small steps

Rather than making a large goal which can be daunting, make a goal into small, incremental steps. As you complete each small step you will feel a sense of satisfaction.

Learn to say no and set boundaries

Many people find it hard to say no, especially to things they don’t agree with. Setting boundaries can be a way of making your needs and wants known clearly to other people. This includes voicing your opinion, this helps you to be assertive and avoid resentment.

Challenge negative thinking

Many of us have what Cognitive Behaviouralists refer to as Negative Automatic Thoughts (NATs) These are habitual ways of perceiving what is going on and are based on belief systems than reality. 

By understanding your thought patterns, we can be more active in replacing them with more useful thought patterns.

Allow yourself to make mistakes

Give yourself room to make mistakes. We can add more stress by having high or perfectionist standards that are impossible to maintain. 

Having leeway to make mistakes gives you freedom to try new venues and have an experimental attitude rather than being rigid. 

Express feelings 

Neglecting to express your feelings can lead to pent up feelings or acting the opposite the way you feel. Feelings can be an indicator of what is right for you. 

Strengthen relationships

Having authentic relationships is vital to our mental wellbeing. Genuine relationships will help us be happier, connected and have a sense of belonging.

Try to ensure you build stronger relationships and closer relationships with family, friends and colleagues. 

Be active and eat well

Exercise is a great stress reliever and releases endorphins. Eating well also helps provide a solid foundation for your overall wellbeing. When we eat well, we have the energy to perform tasks. 

Eliminate unhealthy coping mechanisms

We can develop unhealthy habits as a way of avoiding dealing with uncomfortable feelings. This includes drinking, overeating and zoning out. 

Having the courage to work through difficult situations can help us make informed decisions on how to move forward in different scenarios. 

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