blue bulletin from bcidaho

Stress management

3 ways to help manage your stress

stress management

Stress isn’t always bad. It’s a normal reaction to the demands of life and it can even be helpful if you need to work hard or react quickly. But constant stress can lead to health problems. Don’t let stress negatively impact your quality of life. Follow some of these tips and stress less.

Effects of stress

  • Increased heartbeat or high blood pressure
  • Dietary changes that lead to weight gain
  • Feelings of exhaustion or a decreased immune system
  • Headaches or stiff neck or shoulders
  • Upset stomach, acid reflux or ulcers
  • Low fertility
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Worsened asthma symptoms
  • Acne

Ways to manage stress

  • Write – Journal thoughts and feelings that bother or irritate you
  • Express emotions – Cry, laugh or talk about how you are feeling
  • Do something you enjoy – Participate in a hobby, play with a pet, exercise, stretch or do aerobics
  • Focus – Meditate or try yoga or tai-chi
  • Use imagery – Imagine yourself in a setting that makes you feel calm
  • Exercise – Stretching, aerobics, weightlifting, everyday activities
  • Practice muscle relaxation – Release muscle tension

Breathing technique – 4-7-8

This exercise uses belly breathing and can be done sitting or lying down.

  1. Put on hand on your belly and the other on your chest.
  2. Take a deep, slow breath from your belly, and silently count to four as you breathe in.
  3. Hold your breath, and silently count from 1 to 7.
  4. Breathe out completely as you silently count from 1 to 8. Try to get all the air out of your lungs by the time you count to 8.
  5. Repeat these steps three to seven times, or until you feel calm.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

Want more healthy tips? Download Sharecare.

You now have access to Sharecare, an app to help you eat better, lower stress and be more active! To get the app, visit so you can create your Sharecare account, download the app and take the RealAge® Test. Do not download the Sharecare app directly from the App Store or Google Play.

Disclaimer: This wellness program is administered by Sharecare, Inc., an independent company that provides health improvement management services to Blue Cross of Idaho members. Sharecare, Inc., does not provide Blue Cross of Idaho products or services and is solely responsible for the health improvement management services it provides.


Posted: June 28, 2021

Last updated: April 28, 2022