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Police (2017). How
police can reduce and manage stress. Retrieved from

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Morin, K.  (2013). 23 scientifically-backed ways to reduce
stress right now.  Retrieved from


Arey, J. (2007). How do
I cope with stress? Retrieved from


While a few of these techniques may seem far-fetched they do
have their specific stress relieving properties and should be highly considered
for use by police officers to reduce stress.




Take up a project




Massage therapy

Chew gum





Aromatherapy (lavender has been known to have
relaxing effects)

Deliberate breathing



Progressive Relaxation

According to Kate Morin, 54% of Americans are disturbed by
the actual level of stress in their everyday lives (Morin, 2017). Although
therapy can help, most solutions, such as the examples above, are handled in
the long-term. For a more immediate fix, Morin suggests a list of the greatest
ways to reduce stress right now.

Ask for help

Maintain a sense of humor

Get regular physical exams

Participate in training offered by the department

Have a “personal stress plan”

Have a strong social support system

Avoid tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and excessive

Have a life outside of police work

Practice healthy eating habits

Exercise regularly

Get enough sleep and rest

To reduce stress, officers can:

Officers need to have a clear understanding of the signs of
stress and how to recognize them. These signs vary from person to person. When
the signs begin to manifest, this is when officers need to take time for themselves-to
rejuvenate, refocus, and repair any damage that has been done.

But without the proper channels, stress can begin to break
the human body. This is why it is very important that officers learn the right
ways to manage stress, establish their equilibrium, and recognize the signs
that someone else may need help.


There is no such thing as “off duty” for most law
enforcement officers. Unfortunately, these officers experience a higher rate of
divorce, alcoholism, and suicide. As stress stimulation increases, health and
performance actually improve. Within small amounts, stress can help heighten
our attention and muster up superhuman senses in our bodies needed to cope with
threatening situations (Arey, 2007).

Just as in any line of work, untreated stress can lead to
serious consequences. These consequences not only impact the individual
officer, but also those around him/her, such as coworkers, superiors, friends
and family, and the public. Common effects from untreated stress have led to
PTSD, divorce, serious health problems, and suicide.

Difficulties from working second jobs to make
extra income

Health problems

Financial issues

Family and relationship issues

Personal stressors include:

The inconclusive nature of police work

Having to be in control of emotions even when

The responsibility to “protect and serve”

Threats to an officer’s safety or health

Witnessing too much pain and suffering

Consistent duty changes

Frequent rotating shift work

Too much overtime

Unsatisfactory or broken equipment

Poor supervision

Stressors at work include:

Officers are exposed to several types of stress. The
National Institute of Justice states that there are work-related and personal
factors that may be the causes of stress and fatigue in police officers (Police, 2017).

One huge concern for police officers is that stress can go overlooked
by their superiors and unrecognized by the officers themselves.  Police officers are under constant stress but
will not seek help. Often they will deny the stress they are feeling as not to
seem weak or as if the job is too much for them.

We all face stress at some point in our lives. For some,
stress is a reoccurring thing. For police officers, the men and women who make
life or death decisions regularly, stress can have a major effect on their

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