Resources to manage stress

Stress plays an important role in protecting you from harm, but it can also lead to problematic health outcomes. Learn more about the “fight or flight” response and how the way you think about stress can improve your performance.

Stress overview [PDF]
This 2-page handout from the Defense Health Agency describes stress and its effects, with details to help you reframe your thinking about stress and an 8-step process to reduce stress by solving problems. (Note: This PDF downloads automatically; it can’t be viewed online.)

Combat and Operational Stress Control (COSC)
The Real Warriors website hosts this section on the stress that results from “performing challenging military duties that push your mind and body to the limit.” Resources include links to help Service Members and families reduce negative stress reactions and get help when they need it.

Stress facts and assessment
While deployed, you need to be “on guard” most of the time for the sake of your safety and the safety of others. Learn the facts about stress, and take the stress assessment—from

Relaxation techniques for health: An introduction
Learn how different relaxation techniques can be used to improve health, from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

Soldier combat stress reaction: A pocket guide [PDF]
This U.S. Army brochure discusses how warriors react to combat stress—and what loved ones should know and might do to help. 

Preventing and managing stress: Tips for disaster responders [PDF]
This SAMHSA booklet for disaster response workers describes how to cope with the stress of emergency situations. Disaster responders face crisis situations similar to those faced by Service Members in combat conditions.

Moving Forward: Overcoming life’s challenges
A DoD and Veterans Affairs initiative, “Moving Forward,” offers an online course for overcoming life’s challenges.

A guide to managing stress in crisis response professions [PDF]
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created this guide for crisis responders to discuss the stress cycle, managing stress, promoting a positive workplace, and self-care.

Psychological first aid for first responders [PDF]
This brochure from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers tips and strategies for emergency and disaster response workers to manage intense emotions and promote a safe, calm environment. mobile apps
DHA offers apps to help you manage stress, including Breathe2Relax, T2 Mood Tracker, and Tactical Breather. Visit this page for links to download these free apps, available for both iPhone and Android.

See also HPRC’s “Where do you serve?” section for your branch of service for additional policy and other branch-specific information. See our home page for links to each service branch.

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