Dr. Michelle Vandegriend
Registered Psychologist
Professional Counselling Services

Helpful Tips to Address Emotional Stress

Helpful Tips to Address Emotional Stress

  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Visualize yourself in a relaxing place, perhaps a vacation you have taken.
  • Incorporate progressive muscle relaxation into your daily routine.
  • Track physical responses to stress.
  • Take note of any negative/critical automatic thoughts you may have throughout the day and challenge yourself to shift them into a healthier alternative.
  • Create a list of your favorite inspirational messages.
  • Find a way to include a daily exercise that is right for you. Examples might be: walking, running, yoga, cycling, stretching, swimming, skating, basketball, volleyball, golf, badminton, tennis, skiing, martial arts, crossfit - just to name a few.
  • Make any necessary changes to diet/nutrition - read the ingredient list of what you may be eating and drinking.
  • Regulate caffeine and sugar intake.
  • Ensure you are getting a sufficient amount of sleep and quality each night.
  • Take note of any medications you may be taking and their side-effects.
  • Practice mindfulness. In his book, "Coming to our Senses", Jon Kabat-Zinn describes mindfulness as "moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a specific way, that is in the present moment, and as non-reactively, as non-judgmentally, and as openheartedly as possible."
  • Find someone you trust to talk with about particular situations or experiences.
  • Establish a healthier self-talk - challenge yourself to write down five good things about yourself or about your day and try to add five more each day for one week.
  • Take "the thirty-day challenge" and every morning before you start your day reflect on one goal for the day, one act of kindness, and one thing you would like to learn.
  • If you find worrisome thoughts dominating most of your day, schedule in "worry time" - allocate fifteen to twenty minutes of your day to writing down all the things you are concerned about.
  • Develop a personal list of coping skills you can draw from as a reminder throughout the year.
  • Listen to relaxing or "upbeat" music.
  • Learn clinical hypnotherapy for relaxation.
  • Turn to spiritual resources.
  • Practice meditation.
  • Focus on one current task rather than multiple tasks all at once.
  • Connect with a healthy social network.
  • Assess the degree of balance in your life between support and challenge. For example, do you feel supported and encouraged by family, friends, co-workers, etc. as well as positively challenged in day-to-day physical and/or mental activities?
  • Use a day timer/calendar/reminder system for important appointments or events.
  • Focus on solutions or a step-by-step plan of action rather then getting stuck on the problem.
  • Take "mini-stress relief" breaks through out the day by going for a short walk, getting a drink of water, or stretching.
  • Learn a new skill or hobby.
  • Evaluate personal triggers for stress and keep them to a minimum.
  • Write in a logbook or journal changes, aspects in life that have become better, or experiences that have given you a sense of hope.
  • Laugh.
  • Identify something you appreciate everyday.
  • Experiment with your creative side. For example: photography, painting, sculpting, woodworking, or drawing.
  • Turn off technology and tune in to nature.

Contact me directly at

Ph: 780.619.0626

Suite #107 Inglewood Plaza
24 Inglewood Drive
St. Albert, Alberta T8N 6K4

Certified Gottman Therapist