tips to cope with stress

How to Spring Out of Stress With Ofosu Jones-Quartey

Did you know April is Stress Awareness Month? 

I see it as an opportunity for us to examine how we can reduce the impacts of stress in our lives. And if you notice, I said “reduce the impacts of stress,” not “eliminate stress,” and that’s because stress is, well, inevitable. 

However, we can find healthy, simple ways to reduce the harmful effects of stress.

I'm Ofosu Jones-Quartey, one of the Balance app's Co-Heads of Meditation. In this article, I’m sharing my three go-to ways to support myself when I’m experiencing stress. These methods aren’t just personal favorites; they’re backed by science, practical, and completely free. 

What is Stress?

Stress pops up everywhere—during a disagreement with a friend, a busy day at work, a tough exam, or even while planning a big event. You might be feeling the weight of it right now. 

Simply put, stress is your body and mind reacting to tough situations. Believe it or not, it's not always a bad thing. Sometimes, stress acts like a nudge that keeps you focused, energized, and ready to tackle challenges head-on. But, more often than not, you may see stress as a negative force—one that leaves you feeling drained, anxious, and unable to cope.

However, it's crucial to learn how to handle this kind of stress. If you don't, it can start to harm your mental and physical health, leading to issues like anxiety, depression, and even heart problems.

So, how can you do that? 

3 Strategies to Help You Cope With Stress

While you might not be able to eliminate the causes of stress in your life, you can certainly support yourself by developing habits to help you cope with stress. 

Below, I’m sharing three of my go-to strategies for managing stress: laughter, spending time in nature, and practicing mindfulness or meditation. 

1. Laughter 

It’s not a joke: Laughter has numerous benefits. In fact, laughing regularly has been shown to have profound impacts on your body, affecting your brain, your mood, your immune system, personal satisfaction, and even pain perception.

Whether you are spending time with that one friend or family member who never ceases to make you chuckle, watching your favorite stand-up comic, or comfort-watching a sitcom that you know will get a giggle out of you, finding regular sources of laughter in your life can be a game-changer when it comes to managing stress. 

2. Time in Nature 

There’s no better natural remedy for stress than nature itself. Even if all you have is just 20 minutes a day to get outside, that time spent contributes to a significant reduction of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body. 

So, good news: you don’t need to plan an overnight camping trip to experience the positive effects of nature. (Only if you want to.) A simple walk in a park with a decent amount of green space or trees is enough to make a real difference in overcoming the negative effects of stress. 

3. Meditation 

As you can imagine, I’m partial to meditation as a means of reducing stress. But don’t just take my word for it! Meditation actually has the power to change your brain in positive ways. 

More specifically, spending just a few minutes each day to settle your mind and body in the present moment and offer kind and supportive thoughts towards yourself can dramatically improve your overall well-being. Not to mention, it’ll help you reduce stress. 

The best part? You can approach this however you’d like. From simply noticing the rising and settling of each breath, to offering phrases of love and compassion to yourself, to listening to soothing sounds, the possibilities are pretty much endless. 

One of my go-to meditations in the Balance app is the Loving-Kindness meditation, where I’m able to take some time to offer love and comfort to myself. I also really enjoy the Relax and Body Scan meditations when I need a quick boost. 

Support Yourself During Stressful Moments With the Balance App

Stress, in all its forms, is inevitable—but that doesn’t mean that it has to control your life or you have to suffer its impacts. With easy (and free!) strategies like pursuing laughter, spending time in nature, and meditation, you’re well on your way to increasing your well-being and strengthening your ability to navigate stress, whenever it arises.

And speaking of free ways to help you navigate stress, I encourage you to give the Balance app a try. Whether you're a beginner or have been meditating for years, Balance adapts to your progress and preferences, providing guided sessions that help reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost focus. 

Best of all, it’s completely free for your entire first year. So, consider this your invitation not just to manage stress, but to transform your relationship with it, turning daily challenges into opportunities for growth and mindfulness. 

Download the Balance app today, and take the first step towards a more peaceful and centered life. You’ve got this!

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