July 11, 2018

Something we all probably know too well: It's stressful out there in the world. And stress, unfortunatly, is actually on the up and up.

According to the American Psychological Association's (APA) latest annual Stress in America survey—which polled more than 3,000 U.S. adults in August 2017—3 out of 4 Americans reported experiencing at least one stress symptom in the past month. Some of the specifics: "45 percent reported lying awake at night, 36 percent reported feeling nervous or anxious, 35 percent reported irritability or anger, and 34 percent reported fatigue due to stress," the APA reports.

In a recent survey, 3 out of 4 Americans reported experiencing at least one stress symptom in the past month.

We won't get into alllllll the issues that had people stressed (because stress is literally contagious) but the top three most common causes of stress: the future of our nation, money, and work.

The good news in all this: As we experience more stress, we're turning to more stress-management techniques.

"More than half of Americans (53 percent) exercise or take part in physical activity to cope with stress, a significant increase compared to each of the past three years," the APA found. Yoga and meditation, specifically, are on the rise as tools to cope with stress.

But we wanted to know: How does the Shine community cope with stress? We asked—and Shine members came through. Here, we share 17 of our favorite responses, packed with tactics you can use in today's stressful times.

1. Take 15

"I try to give myself no less than 15 minutes a day distraction free. Weekly, I take a walk without my phone to just take in the scenery."
- Niki A.

2. Cry It Out

"I cope with stress, honestly, by crying it out. Once I have that moment, I take a few deep breaths and try to refocus myself. My boyfriend also helps to calm me down, too. Just yesterday, after I had my moment, we played a game of Trouble to make me feel better before we went to bed."
- Britany P.

3. Find Some Balance

"For me, it's all about balance—taking the time to rest or eating that piece of cake when you want to! But remembering how good you feel when you move your mood by moving your body. I used to have unhealthy ways of coping with stress, and it took trying different things and a lot of time to learn what works best for me."
- Alexa

4. Just Sing

"I like to sing a song I know in my head or if I can out loud! That helps me so much."
- Tasha Ann

5. Challenge Your Expectations

"A lot of the times if I'm stressed, it's because I have so much to do and I left it to the last minute because of my anxiety. Coping with stress means realizing I can't do everything, but I CAN do what I can. Trying to take things one step at a time and learning how to say no to people are other ways I learned to be proactive when it comes to stress."
- Samantha

6. Magical Showers

"I usually watch stand-up comedy specials, clean, talk it out with my best friend, or take a soothing and magical shower. If I'm highly stressed, I go to my room and and do some deep breaths."
- Valencia S.

7. Pay It Forward

"I do two acts of kindness because someone may have it worse than you."
- Ericka

8. Set Relax Reminders

"I have a jar I filled with slips of paper of relaxing activities that take between 5-30 mins. I try to do one a day. I also made little notecards of some relaxing activities I can do if I'm away from home (ex. read, watch breathing GIFs, listen to a song, stand at the lake, etc) that I keep in my purse at all times."
- Kenz

9. Flush It Away

"Prayer, and I write down my worries on a piece of paper and flush them down the toliet."
- LeeAnn S.

10. Find Your Power

"I cope with stress by hitting the gym. What began as a way to escape the house for a few hours when I was in a stressful and abusive relationship several years ago has turned into a real passion. In five years, I've gone from being a mostly sedentary couch potato to training to compete in my first powerlifting meet this year. Gaining strength has boosted my confidence and my ability to cope with stress in healthier ways! Plus, I'm never gonna take crap from anybody again."
- Adrienne

11. Haikus FTW

"I start my day by running outdoors every morning, and I end my day by writing poetry before bed."
- Stephanie M.

12. Practice Acceptance

"When I'm stressed, I usually use DBT (Dialetical Behavioral Therapy) radical acceptance skills. For instance, when someone is running late and I also need to be somewhere (I live in a one car family), reminding myself that this is reality and I have to accept that—but that acceptance doesn't mean that I have to condone the other person's behavior or that I don't care—really helps."
- Kelsey D.

13. Jog Your Memory

"If my mind is all over the place, going for a high impact walk or jog helps me to jog my memory on the things that are a priority and helps me to prioritize those things better when I come back from outdoors."
- Daia C.

14. Get Crafty

"Mindfulness activities like crafts (I like stamping, embossing, hand lettering)."
- Erin

15. Smell It Out

"Diffusing essential oils!"
- Destiny S.

16. Sweat It Away

"Even workouts after a long day of teaching are my stress relief. It's doing something good for myself while I sweat away the rest of whatever I faced in the classroom." - Bradd G.

17. Put It In Perspective

"Ask myself if the decision or action will matter in 5 years—and if it doesn't, then I calm the F down."
- Lisa D.

We want to know: How do you manage your stress? Tell us on the Twitter machine.


Read next: 16 Tried-and-True Ways Shine Members Cope With Tough Feels