Modern life can be very busy and make us feel stressed. This is usually caused by triggers such as pressures at work, relationships or family. Some people thrive on a hectic lifestyle and cope well with their stresses, but others feel like they’re losing control and become more tense. Symptoms of stress include sickness, insomnia, headaches and drinking and smoking more. Here are some tips on how to combat stress and take back control: Take Deep BreathsTrying breathing techniques will help you feel more relaxed. Sit down in a comfortable position, put one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Then breathe quietly but only move your stomach and try not to move your chest much. This will help the diaphragm work more efficiently and prevent you from over breathing. ExerciseWhen you exercise, you feel calmer and happier due to the release of endorphins. Working out also helps you keep fit and prevents the risk of health problems, such as heart disease. Try and keep to a regular routine of 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week, as this will help you feel calm. Have a brisk walk most days or go to a yoga class, and you will find that you are able to sleep better as a result of this regular exercise. Take a BreakStop and take some time out a few times a day. Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual each day to plan your day without hassle. Take your lunch break away from work and do not work during lunch. Have a ten minute break away from your work every couple of hours if it’s too stressful. Also, try to make some time alone for yourself twice a week. Going for a walk in a park will help you to unwind. Try a New HobbyTaking up a hobby with no pressures or deadlines will take your mind off stress. For example, reading a book, doing sports or listening to music will help you to calm down. Even doing things you wouldn’t usually do, like having a massage a few times a year or going on a hike, could help. This alone time will help you feel refreshed, as you have done something to benefit your mind and body. Get HelpIf you feel you can’t handle stress, don’t resort to drinking or smoking. These are both very unhealthy, and can lead to “problem drinking”. Please see your doctor, as they could prescribe you some helpful medication. You could also try counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.