As reasons for stress and anxiety mount, we could likely all do with a little expansion of our stress management toolkits. (Sometimes meditation and CBD supplements just aren’t enough.) To help us grow our abilities to mediate cortisol-spiking events, psychological astrologer Jennifer Freed, PhD, recommends we take notes on how other members of the zodiac deal with stress.
Below, Dr. Freed gives each sign credit for where they shine in stress management while pointing out how the rest of us can learn from these varied strengths.
How stress management style varies by sign (and what we can learn from each), according to a psychological astrologer
“Aries is the most courageous and physically protective of all the signs,” says Dr. Freed. “Also, the Aries I know can do things like run in front of a car or something to stop it from hitting a child. They can lift things off of people when buildings or things have fallen. They’re very physically courageous.”
From this sign, Dr. Freed says we can all learn how to be bold in protecting the vulnerable. “We can also learn that the strong and able body is always going to help us in any kind of crisis or emergency, so we should keep our bodies very physically strong and dependable,” she says.
This member of the zodiac is essentially the eye of a storm. “Taurus has the ability at its best to remain calm and centered in the face of any kind of emergency or stress,” says Dr. Freed. “They can be very resolute, grounded, and patient.’
What we can all learn from them, Dr. Freed explains, is that getting worked up rarely benefits anyone. “It’s never helpful to get as upset as the person who’s next to us in any kind of stress,” she says.
“Gemini is known to be able to talk their way out of a difficult situation,” Dr. Freed explains. “Their extraordinary gift for conversation can be very helpful when people are pressed up against the wall and need some solutions that aren’t so heavy.”
The non-Gemini takeaway? “Sometimes words can be our best ally in de-escalating an upsetting situation,” says Dr. Freed.
This sign’s superpower is particularly helpful when dealing with relationships stress. “Cancer is extraordinarily good at sensing somebody’s vulnerability, and tending to or nurturing that vulnerability,” says Dr. Freed. “They can see behind the posturing or defenses to what’s really going on.”
What we can all learn from this is that sometimes when things are very stressful, “there’s an inner child that just wants to be held.”
“Leo’s are exceptionally good at bringing laughter and joy into potentially stressful situations,” says Dr. Freed. “They know how to be like the court jester, or be the entertainment that takes people’s mind off of negative and persistent thinking.”
According to Dr. Freed, we should all lean in to levity like Leos. “Just like free children are ‘in the moment,’ we can learn from Leo that even in stress we can find the humor and the joy that will make it better,” she says.
Virgos are great analysts and strategists, which can serve them well in times of trouble. “They’re thoughtful, reflective, contemplative,” says Dr. Freed. “So, when there’s a stressful situation, they can problem solve very well.”
What we can all learn from them is to take a few deep breaths in tough times. “Slow down, pinpoint the pain, and address it very concretely,” says Dr. Freed.
“Libra is the expert at harmonizing and balancing and seeking justice,” says Dr. Freed. “So, in a stressful situation, they’re natural mediators; they help us see both points of view or possibilities from all angles.”
What we can learn from them, then, is temperance. “Not to take one side, but to always see what’s possible from all sides,” says the doc.
Scorpio is fearless emotionally, which can really help them out in stressful situations. “They can go to the deepest, darkest depths and handle it,” says Dr. Freed. “They’re like the emotional bomb squad, they can find out where the real issue is on a deep level and bring it to light.”
We should look to Scorpios for inspiration on how to be more emotionally courageous and approach difficult moments in life with equanimity, advises Dr. Freed.
Members of this zodiac sign can find meaning in any situation, no matter how bad. “So, for example, COVID-19; Sagittarius can point out how even though this is an awful crisis, there is an inherent meaning to all of us finding a common enemy and defeating it together,” says Dr. Freed.
What we can learn from Sagittarius is that black and white thinking has got to go. “There is no bad or good in life, just lessons,” she explains.
Capricorn, it seems, is almost immune to stress. Why? Because they’re problem-solvers. “Capricorn is the most highly responsible sign, so they will always step up to take responsibility for finding a way out of the stress,” says Dr. Freed. “They will be extraordinarily structured in their plan.”
Our takeaway should be to learn to think of stress as temporary while also looking for long-term solutions to eradicate it from our lives.
“Aquarius will find unusual, original, and sometimes shocking relief to stress,” says Dr. Freed.
We should be inspired by this approach to look for our own outside-of-the-box approaches. “We can also learn from Aquarius to get a bigger picture in which what seems to be stressful might have a benefit nobody has realized yet,” she says.
Counterintuitively, this member of the zodiac can actually have a soothing effect on others in time of stress. “Pisces is the most highly-sensitive sign, and they know how to have the most compassion and empathy,” says Dr. Freed. “So when they’re stressed, they can make people feel very comforted by just their emotional resonance.”
What we should borrow from Pisces is acknowledgement that everyone wants to be “safe, seen, and celebrated, even in time of darkness,” she says.
Dr. Freed also advises on how best to specifically deal with the things that stress you out most—pandemic aside—according to your sign. Plus, activate the mind-body connection by using these somatic exercises to stretch the stress out.