Beating stress

Listen to Emily talking about the importance of managing her stress levels and the techniques she uses.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


I want to talk about beating stress today. You know, life here in Hong Kong is very stressful so I think today's topic is very useful for everyone because we can do something about it, just to cope with the stress. So maybe you have some change(s) in your life, maybe big change and small change, but instead of being afraid, I think you should have a positive attitude and think of change as a normal part of life. 

And I think maybe here in Hong Kong, the family (families) are crowded into a very small housing space, so maybe you would sometimes argue with your family and I think try (trying) to resolve the disagreement with people is very important because then you can build strong relationships and keep commitments you have made. For example, sometimes maybe you are feeling alone and you want to make some comfort and I think you can ask the people you trust for help is very important because if you have a bunch of friends, they can listen to you, then you can release some stress through talking to them. 

And do you know that actually I find a very funny thing that if you want to reduce some stress, you can reduce this by the word S-T-R-E-S-S, that's 'stress'. How about, let's begin with the 'S'. Well, I think 'S' is that you can have the 'scheduling', for example you don't have to (shouldn't) schedule too many things in your day and if you feel you are too busy, you can cut out an activity or two. 

And how about the 'T' word? The 'T' word is 'treat your body well', because experts say that exercise can reduce stress and also if you eat healthy food, then your brain and your body get the nourishment they need. 

And the word is 'R' … the next word is 'R' – 'R' is very important, it says 'relax'. You can do an activity you enjoy or that relaxes you, maybe you can read a good book or learn a new hobby and spend time with your pet or even you can visiting (visit) a spa and that could make a very good difference. And for me, I like to play piano when I feel stressed and sometimes I may just watch some movie (movies) that make me laughs (laugh) a lot. 

And the next word is 'E' – 'E' is about expectations, and I think be (being) realistic about yourself is to (be) true to yourself and others. So you can just do your best and don't try to be perfect and don't expect others to be too … because that will release and reduce a lot of stress for you and the people around you. 

And the next word is 'S' – 'S' is, stands for 'sleep' and I really, really love to sleep, to be honest. That's my hobby, I think, because sleep … if you get a good night's sleep, then it will keep your mind and your body in shape. And experts say if you sleep more than seven hours, you will actually get tired, so don't sleep too much in the day, just sleep it when you feel enough. 

And the last word is 'S' again. I always do this action, the 'S' word is 'smile' – if you smile and have confidence, your attitude and your thoughts influence the way you see things. And if you are a negative person, you can actually learn to think in a more positive way because that makes you feel more comfortable when you are coping with the stress. Finally I think we should take action and applies (apply) these tips to your life (our lives), so everyone can beat stress.

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Worksheet85.02 KB

Language level

B2 English level (upper intermediate)

Submitted by meknini on Tue, 12/07/2022 - 05:03


I am an introvert thus being surrounded by talkative colleagues at workplace could be quite energy draining and most times stressful if small chats turn into hurtful gossips. So, to unwind, I would just switch my mind off work and empty my mind of everything that happened earlier. The thing that works for me is doing something totally opposite of what I do at work. Usually, I would entertain myself by just doing nothing! This is best for me as I am at my best when I am alone which is the most appropriate time for me to figure out what is going on. A few good verbal reinforcements help too to calm me down and put me in the right mindset before returning to work the next day.

Submitted by Viktoriia Besedina on Mon, 13/06/2022 - 08:04


I listen music, watch films, do exercises to reduce the stress. I also like to sleep. I believe that walking can help to cope with stress, it's true and it helps me, but when I am under the stress I don't want to walk, and for me it's blessing if if I have things to do outside the home.

Submitted by alsuuuuu on Mon, 25/04/2022 - 12:32


First, i try not to think in stress, i always say: stress is a decision. Sure, you have problems, they are real, but you decide if they affect you. sometimes i have a lot of work to do and time is not enough, then i get up from the chair and a prepare a cup of colombian coffee, for me it resolves all my problems.

Submitted by Moussa GUEMDANI on Mon, 11/04/2022 - 05:57


To beat stress, I usually practice sports, like running or playing volleyball. Sometimes I watch movies or series. I rarely go to sleep when I fell stressed out.

Submitted by delgado1984 on Mon, 10/01/2022 - 22:51


I do not think stress is a natural part of our lives, at all. The world is a beautiful place to live, especially if you were born in a place where you don't have to deal with misery every day. We should say thank you for that. So, in my opinion, stress is a mere creation of capitalism. As a result of this illusional sensation and the disorder we feel, we are easily controlled and drained of our motivations.

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Sat, 08/01/2022 - 23:04


When I`m in stress, I`m so nervous, crying and eat a lot of sweet candies :/ and I go to the shop to spend money, after that again I`m in stress because that is stressful for my wallet... I should be more calm and don`t worry about many things, its not good for my health.

Submitted by danny0509 on Sat, 27/11/2021 - 12:47


First, i try not to think in stress, i always say: stress is a decision. Sure, you have problems, they are real, but you decide if they affect you. sometimes i have a lot of work to do and time is not enough, then i get up from the chair and a prepare a cup of colombian coffee, for me it resolves all my problems.

Submitted by Su Wadi Kyaw on Tue, 02/11/2021 - 04:47


When I have stress, I always do something relaxing like watching my favorite movies or playing games. I do everything that make me relax.

Submitted by Lan Vo on Fri, 22/10/2021 - 08:23


when you have a stress, i think you should spent many time for yourself to think the reason what make you stress. Then, set up the schedule for activities in the day. Step by step, you'll control your emotions and change your thinking, you have to encourage yourself and think positively, share your problems with your friends, family, it'll help you comfort.

Submitted by Zamira on Fri, 01/10/2021 - 18:12


In order to beat he stress, I try not to go out or speak with always anxious people. I prefer not to see horror films, to sleep enough, to eat healthy food, to do exercise.

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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sun, 30/05/2021 - 14:49

Just watching a telly works well, too. :)
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sat, 29/05/2021 - 14:50

I go out just for a distraction.

Submitted by Moody on Mon, 14/09/2020 - 14:02

To beat stress you should know from deep inside that when you have a stressful time ,this time will be gone whether after short period of time or long period of time. And also you can do some activities you like for instance hanging out with your friends,watch TV, playing any kind of sport especially tough ones to allow the stress get out from your body
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Fri, 28/08/2020 - 13:48

Regardless of stress, I sleep too much... ;)

Submitted by reneeredmond1 on Wed, 15/07/2020 - 12:44

The audio link to this stress exercise is no longer working. Can someone help? Thank you!

Hello reneeredmond1,

I'm afraid our audio content is not working due to a technical problem. We are working to resolve it as quickly as we can, and apologize for the inconvenience.

Please check again in a few hours or tomorrow.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sat, 23/05/2020 - 11:16

To beat or manage my stress I engages myself in the following: - Having a plan. - Exercising and eating balance diet. - Having leisure time. - Goal-oriented. - Having resting time. - Being optimistic.
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Submitted by Smiley1 on Sun, 19/04/2020 - 08:31

I take a good sleep, then I'm back!

Submitted by cittàutopica on Tue, 18/02/2020 - 20:19

What do I do to beat stress? I try doing things which I like: I read books, or I watch movies or I go to shopping. It's true that physical exercise helps people to be in good shape and improves the state of mind; therefore I hang out at the gym.

Submitted by lifelearner on Wed, 05/02/2020 - 16:31

Unfortunately , stress is a part of our daily life , sometimes stress can give us motivaion to be better if you chose to face it and grow out of it , on the other hand however , long term stress can be very harmful and detrimental to your health so you should try to distract yourself from it by things like , exercise, yoga,meditation, and seeking support form family and friends. For me , believe that most things that made stressful are relationships , family and money issues, work stress, and traffic jams and noise in my city, sometimes I can face them and other times I have to cope with or distract myself from them..

Submitted by WangDone on Sat, 28/09/2019 - 07:37

I find that I always being too much stressful, that may come from study, work, and relationship with others. And I just leave my work, I'm trying to do some things that I really like, and I think I would be happy if I do that, but it's not useful. as it saying that some stress can be a power to make you better unless you chose to be afraid.
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Submitted by kamicounciler on Sat, 07/09/2019 - 19:08

i usually try to think of different ways of solving the problem when i get stressed.i try to consider all things and have a complete view of the situation.this helps me probably find a way that i did not notice.also i may think of calling a friend and asking for help.but the best thing to cope with stress is the power of imagining of what you want,if one can do that and focus on that image in his mind can come that thing to truth and in some way forget the stress.

Submitted by parisaach on Sun, 23/06/2019 - 05:51

Actually I'm not intrested in such playing with the words. I usually get stressed before exams or sport competitions or when something improtant or unusual is going to happen. When I get stressed I'm trying to find something to distract myself. I'm trying to think about the things that I like and I remind myself that it will pass soon . I think about the future, the time when I take the exam, or when the competition finish. I stay positive, remember everything will going to be fine, and nothing happen if I fail. I also know something that really change my mood when I feel stressed.first talking with a good friend: they can totally change your mood , distract you and make you happy. second doing exercise: It really helps you to beat stress and focus on something else. and finally watching a movie: for me it really works . It helps me to forget my problem and enter the imaginary world of the movie and the actors. After all sometimes none of this methods work and you should deal with it.
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Submitted by TP on Sun, 09/06/2019 - 05:26

To be honest, I do feel everyday life tense and stressful. To relieve and reduce stress I do several things. I like meditating or doing some yoga. I sometimes go for a walk and observe nature. I enjoy watching a movie or listening to music too. I find that STRESS theory is really useful. Almost all the steps are easy except scheduling. I think I'm not a good at planning things. However, planning is so important to have a stress free life. Stress sometimes have a bright side when it comes to exams, interviews or presentations but, of course, it has to be minor and short term. Long term stress can do a huge damage to your life.

Submitted by Kavi on Sun, 09/06/2019 - 05:20

Sometimes stress give some motivation.When we feel in stress we can do our works well and we try to move next step.I think it's very good.Some people can't control their stress.Then they try do mad things.It's wrong.Try to reduce our stress and move.
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Submitted by randyjay on Sun, 09/06/2019 - 05:18

i think stress can be effective to our life negative and positive

Submitted by sabbirhossin on Thu, 04/04/2019 - 08:45

Thanks for helping the non-native English speakers to develop their language skills and boost confidence. While I was practicing with the article above, I have found two anomalies in the pronunciation of two words. The first one is with "nourishment" in the fourth paragraph and the other is with "difference" in the fifth paragraph. It sounds to me differently from what is in the script. Could you please check and let everyone know if my understanding is right?
Hello sabbirhossin, You are correct. The speaker is a non-native speaker of English and sometimes her pronunciation is not quite correct. The two words you highlight are examples of this. Most of our recordings feature native speakers of English. However, English is used all over the world and it is common for people to encounter a wide range of accents. We try to provide examples of some of these as well. Peter The LearnEnglish Team
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Submitted by Samer.Zydia on Thu, 14/03/2019 - 15:45

Our modern lifestyle makes us vulnerable to stress, whether we accept that or not. So I suffer from everyday stress, for beating stress I usually go through a long walk, walking helps a lot to rearrange and schedule my thought to define the main reason for the stress so I can cope with it well. STRESS theory is succinct and of course, it's helpful. Although it is easy to know, it is hard to apply in your daily routines. it is hard to find leisure time to relax, and sometimes you cannot fake the smile, moreover, stress is the main cause for insomnia. overall, "scheduling" is the easiest effective action to beat stress. Stress could work as a motivation in some cases, exam stress, for instance, provided that it is temporary and limited to a specific task

Submitted by Nikhil 1997 on Tue, 12/02/2019 - 17:51

stress is a bad diversion of life it may lead to make sucide by our-self.ever one will get stress but we have to make an other diversion to get out of it.when you fell stress make some peace just stay calm or do what ever you like do what makes you happy no need to feel that i strucked in some thing bad when bad comes to you fight with good.
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Submitted by surveyor88 on Fri, 08/02/2019 - 12:42

if you dont want to have stress, just think positive.And nevermind people ideas much when you say bad things about you.So if you always do your best,believe yourself(if people also dont want to believe you), if people dont want to see you valuable,stop thinking.You can also do your job wrongly and so slowly.If collegues dont wanna see that this scene, and if they also dont want to give you much in goverment to you, D O NOT G İ V E ATTENTİON T O THEM!! :))) you know yourself.You dont have to proof yourself to anyone

Submitted by Gene on Fri, 11/01/2019 - 04:11

Well to be honest, I have a stressful life now here in the country where I lived. Not because that I don't have a time for my life, but I think it's because of too much worrying and blaming the choices that I've been made in the past. It also got worsen when I experienced failures again and again. It almost affected my entire daily activities such as my sleep, diet and perception in life. Without my family may be I'm in bad shaped now, they helped me to change my way and attitude in life. I dealt with my stress by doing exercises such as jogging, push-up and sit-ups and at the same time I challenge myself to be consistent to the plan and action that I will be made.
hi Gene, Firstly you have to sit and think alone at good atmosphere place, then you have to find out your problems, and you have to take decision or settle your mind to avoid unnecessary thinks. Exercise is the best idea to grow your mind and health. These stressful life effecting your job or real life you have to take advise from psychiatrist. Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times. if you found any mistakes in my sentences, pleas note that, I am learning english and sorry for that