Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Rethink How You Respond to Stress

Rethink How You Respond to Stress

Getting Started

Your reaction to stress may feel automatic at times. But what if the next time you felt stressed, you reacted in a way that calmed you down, helped you feel better, and renewed your energy? With practice, these healthier responses can help you in the short term and in the long term.

Here are some ideas you can try.

  • Interrupt stressful thinking.

    Give yourself something else to think about by listening to a song or a guided meditation.

  • Spend time by yourself.

    Soak in a warm bath. Read a book that inspires you.

  • Renew a feeling of control.

    Do something with mindful attention. Take time to brew a cup of tea. Feel the warmth of the mug. Hear the whistle of the kettle. Smell the fragrance of the tea. Taste the flavor.

  • Practice ways to relieve stress at times when you're not stressed.

    This can help turn it into a habit, so you can rely on it when you need it. Depending on how much time you have, here are a few suggestions. When you have:

    • 1 minute: Close your eyes, and simply focus on the in-and-out of your breathing. If it helps you to focus, count your breaths.
    • 5 minutes: Travel in your mind to a place that helps you feel calm. If you have trouble imagining a place, find a picture or a piece of art that relaxes you. Explore it by noticing as many details as you can.
    • 10 minutes: Eat a piece of fruit. Eat slowly, and savor each bite. What flavors do you taste?
    • 15 minutes: Color with crayons, or doodle. Or find other simple things you could do to relax.
    • 20 minutes: Take a walk. Go outside if you can. Take a few deep breaths. Notice what's around you, the sounds, and how the air feels.
  • Plan your new choices.

    If you're ready to start trying new ways to react when you're stressed, you might think about these questions. They can help you get started. Write down your ideas.

    • When things get stressful, how do I react now?
    • If I handled stress in a new way, how would I feel about myself?
    • What would I want my family, friends, or coworkers to notice about me?
    • What are some things I could do to cope when I feel stressed? (You could pick things from the list in the previous step. Or you may have your own ideas.)
    • When could I start adding new responses to stress into my day?

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Signs of Stress Common Coping Responses for Stress

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details