What Is Stress Management A Definition
Put simply, stress management is:
set of techniques and programs intended to help people deal more effectively with stress in their lives by analysing the specific stressors and taking positive actions to minimize their effects
Popular examples of stress management include meditation, yoga, and exercise. Well explore these in detail, with a range of different approaches to ensure that theres something that works for everyone.
First, lets set one thing straight: were not aiming towards being stress-free all of the time. Thats unrealistic. After all, its an unavoidable human response that we all experience from time to timeand its not all bad either.
However, we can all benefit from identifying our stress and managing it better. Before we dive any deeper into managing stress, lets cover a quick 101 on stress itself.
Take Control Of Your Stress With These 10 Tips
1. Use reframing: This is a mental activity that involves looking at a stressor or negative situation and explaining it in a positive or neutral way. Many times, when something bad happens to us, we get emotionally wrapped up in the negative. But, this is a bit dishonest as its usually not the whole picture. Theres usually another vantage point.
- Strength tip: Use your strengths of judgment and hope to look at any negative situation in a fresh way. You might tap into hope to see how there are benefits to the stressor. You might deploy critical thinking to examine the situation from multiple, detailed angles. This will help you see pros and cons, positives and negatives.
2. Improve your planning: Stress management research by Robert Epstein has made it clear that stress can be managed through planning. Start making your daily checklists, dust off your planners, and take action by organizing your weekly activities.
- Strength tip: The essential strength you use when planning is prudence. You can learn to thinking prudently. Use your prudence to take stock each morning on the work tasks youd like to accomplish, the household tasks you must get done, and the fun activities you want to do.
4. Affirm your values: Research studies have shown that those who think about their highest values before a stressful event actually experience less stress and show a substantial decrease in the stress hormone, cortisol, compared to control groups.
What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.
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Not Sure What To Do Next
If you or someone you know are finding it difficult to manage mental health issues, try healthdirects Symptom Checker and get advice on when to seek professional help.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .
Impacts Of Stress On Your Life
Stress can have a big impact on our lives even when we dont realize that its happening. There are many short and long-term impacts of stress. Some of these are fatigue, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension/aches, headaches, sleep problems, loss of sex drive, and memory difficulties. Left untreated chronic stress can lead to serious medical conditions. These diseases are such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and gastrointestinal problems.
Understanding the impacts of stress on your life is important. It is in order to avoid being overwhelmed by it. Once you understand how stress is impacting your life, you can begin to develop strategies for reducing it. Then you can live a more fulfilling life.
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Be More Realistic About Your Capabilities
It is helpful to remember that most people underestimate how long it will take to do something, and overestimate how much they can do. This means that they end up taking on too much, and then failing to deliver.
Develop the simple habit of doubling your time estimates for any task.
You are then far more likely to under-promise and over-deliver. This will make everyoneincluding youmuch happier than the other way round .
Recognize And Eliminate Stress Signals
You have identified the triggers and also the source of the persistent stress in your life. Understand that stress can happen for various reasons. You do not feel it only for a particular thing. There are several signals that are related to stress like headache, panic attack, nausea, fatigue, and irritability, etc.
Stress is also called a silent killer because it slowly and gradually penetrates inside the mind and body and results in several medical problems like chest pain, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Recognize the physical symptoms early on if you are looking for ways to control stress.
Now eliminate or at least try to reduce the triggers by adopting stress management techniques.
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The Importance Of Managing Stress
If youre living with high levels of stress, youre putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. It may seem like theres nothing you can do about stress. The bills wont stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think.
Effective stress management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and funand the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all. Thats why its important to experiment and find out what works best for you. The following stress management tips can help you do that.
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Causes Of Workplace Stress
The most and least stressful job report for 2018, conducted by CareerCast revealed that the top most stressful jobs of the year were Enlisted Military Personnel, Firefighters, Airline Pilots, and Police Officers. The least stressful jobs were Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, hair stylist, audiologist, and University professor .
While some jobs are undoubtedly more stressful than others, all workplaces are prone to stress of some degree.
The below diagram, obtained from the WSH Institute displays the various factors that can lead to workplace stress, along with the organization and individuals role in dealing with these hazards.
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Practicing Exercise Or Yoga
This is one of the strategies to overcome stress. Exercise releases good neurotransmitters called endorphins. It helps to reduce feelings of depression, stress, and pain. Yoga is a great way to continue your workout without putting added pressure on muscles that youve overworked at the gym. It can be a refreshing break from traditional workouts. It still provides many of the same benefits that come from physical activity. In addition, it can help you manage stress and relax when you need it most.
Schedule Time For Yourself
Many times we get so caught up in work and other activities that we can lose track of time. Forget about taking care of ourselves. And when we dont take the time to relax and ease our minds from the stressors in life, we add even more stress onto ourselves because we feel like we arent able to take care of what needs attention in our lives. The best thing for this problem is just to schedule a specific time every day to take care of yourself and do whatever makes you feel good.
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Ways To Stop Stressing About Things You Cant Control
Theres a brutal truth about life that some people refuse to acceptyou have no control over many of the things that happen to you.
People who resist this truth fall into two categoriescontrol freaks or worry warts. Control freaks believe if they can gain enough control over others, and the situations they find themselves in, they can somehow prevent bad things from happening.
Worry warts, on the other hand, fret about everything from natural disasters to deadly diseases. Its as if they believe thinking hard enough about all the potential worst case scenarios will somehow keep them safe.
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But neither of these strategies can prevent a catastrophe. Instead, worry warts and control freaks put their time and energy into the wrong places. And ultimately, those strategies backfire and create even more stress.
Here are six ways to stop stressing about the things you cant control:
1. Determine what you can control.
In reality, there are many things in life you have zero control over. You cant force your spouse to change, you cant prevent a storm from happening, and you cant control how other people feel.
Sometimes, all you can control is your effort and your attitude. When you put your energy into the things you can control, youll be much more effective.
2. Identify your fears.
Are you predicting a catastrophic outcome? Do you doubt your ability to cope with an undesirable outcome?
3. Concentrate on your influence.
How To Manage And Reduce Stress
Here, we would like to start, by giving you an introduction to what stress is, what the signs of stress are, what simple steps you can take when feeling stressed and provide practical advice for preventing it, to show why we are passionate about moving towards a less stressed nation.
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The Effects Of Stress On Your Body
Stress can be normal, especially that it is already part of our daily lives. When you experience stress, a part of your brain, specifically the hypothalamus reacts, allowing the release of stress hormones. Stress hormones are the same hormones that make you sense the fight or flight response of your body.
When you are threatened, stressed, or having an intense emotion, you will feel that your heart is beating fast, as your heart rate increases. Your breath also becomes faster, your muscles start to shake, and for some, it leads to uncontrollable shedding of tears.
Chronic stress can affect your body, both in terms of your physical health and mental health. If left untreated or unmanaged, it may result in consistent irritability, anxiety disorder, depression or major depressive disorder, insomnia, headache, back pain, shoulder pain, diarrhea, constipation, stomachache, and nausea and vomiting.
For some, stress is diverted to overeating, substance abuse , as well as social withdrawal. It can even lead to certain illnesses and serious health conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, heartburn or acid reflux, erectile dysfunction for males, and irregular, heavier, or more painful menstruation for females.
Whats Causing Your Stress The Common Culprits
My recent research shows the most common cause of stress is the feeling that there isnt enough time to get it all done, said Dr. Heidi Hanna, an integrative neuroscientist and executive director for the American Institute of Stress. People have more demand on their time and energy than they have capacity, and constant connection to technology aggravates the situation.
Research shows the most common cause of stress is the feeling that there isnt enough time to get it all done.
She explained that many people also fail to realize that internal stress has a tendency to make external circumstances much more difficult to deal with. For example, if youre not catching enough ZZZs, eating crummy food or living a sedentary life, your nervous system is more agitated and more likely to respond hastily to perceived stressors or threats in your environment.
With all the advances in technology, its easy to forget that were still dealing with a very primitive brain pattern that is hardwired to protect us at all costs, said Dr. Hanna. If we think we dont have enough of something whether its time, energy, money or other resources like social support the stress reaction system is activated.
Other common causes of stress, outside of not being able to get it all done, include our finances, health and relationships. These things tend to be at the forefront of our minds anyway, but are exacerbated when were facing an obstacle.
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Learning Different Ways To Control Stress Is Essential To Recovery From Depression And Keeping It Away For Good
Make a list of your primary stressors right now and a plan for how to manage them.
Learning different ways to control stress is essential to recovery from depression and keeping it away for good. Its important to make some stress safeguards a part of your daily life. These safeguards are specific ways you have found that work for you in dealing with chronic stress day in and day out.
We all have stressto varying degrees. Some of it we can avoid, but much of it is a part of life. But it is the chronic stress that is not handled correctly that is devastating to our health. Decide which of these stress safeguards you can implement regularly:
#1. Identify and manage: You must determine what is stressing you out in the first place and then learn to manage those stressors. In some ways this may be the most important step, because ongoing chronic stressors that are not managed will continue to rob you of any chance to recover.
So, what are your sources of stress? Some stresses we cannot eliminate teenage children or a stressful job that must be maintained are both sources that we must manage, not eliminate. But just acknowledging them as a stress source will be a first step in determining how to use these other suggested safeguards to manage them.
Helping Children And Youth Cope With Stress
Children and youth often struggle with how to cope with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic eventlike a natural disaster, family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents, caregivers, and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
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Accept You Cannot Change Everything
Some things are unavoidable like illness or death. Do not let it be a reason for your stress. Accept that you cannot change everything if you are looking for ways to control stress. Acceptance is the only way to manage and control it so that you can find inner peace.
Remember to look for upside in every situation and you will find that it is easier to let go of negative emotions than rallying against the forces of nature. Sometimes we make mistakes unknowingly and it can cause repercussions.
Let go of the anger and resentment. When a person learns to forgive he opens himself and accepts that mistakes will occur. Free yourself from negative energy and move on.
How Can You Help Yourself
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.37 It is therefore important that we manage our stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to our bodies and minds.
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Is There A Cure For Anger
Anger is not something you can get rid of. It is a normal, healthy emotion shared by all people everywhere. When it gets out of hand, though, anger can become destructive and lead to all sorts of personal problems.
While you cant cure anger, you can manage the intensity and effect it has upon you. Effective therapeutic strategies exist for managing anger and can help you become less reactive. You can even learn to develop more patience in the face of people and situations you cannot control.
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How Can I Manage My Stress
Stress is a part of our modern, fast-paced society. Although challenging, unfortunately no one is immune to it. While you do not have ownership over every element of stress, there are some important aspects we can easily take charge of.
1) Identify the sources of your stress and make strong choices
Stress originates from two main causes either external or internal sources.
External sources are the elements in your life you cannot prevent or change, such as the bus breaking down on your way to school. The fact these types of stressors exist in our day may be out of your individual control, you do have power over how you might respond to them, or how you let them affect you.
Try to view situations of external stress from a more positive perspective. You could fret about being late for school, or you could look at it as an opportunity to read more school material, listen to your favourite music/podcast, etc.
Internal sources on the other hand, are the choices or the decisions you make that may lead to more stress in the long run. Common sources of internal stress include procrastination, poor time management, being unprepared, setting impossible standards, or being disorganized.
Thankfully, these examples are all personal choices and therefore, we can have total control over this type of stress. The good news is, you can easily eliminate your own internal causes of stress, simply by identify them and making choices that are the most beneficial to you.
2) Problem solve
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