Friday, September 22, 2023

How Do You Manage Stress In Your Life

Get A Hug From A Loved One

How to Manage Stress – 5 Tips on How to Reduce Stress in Your Life

Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.

When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.

Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.

So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.

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.

Managing The Stressors In Your Life

While it would be impractical to eliminate all stress , it is important to be able to minimize stressors in your life and deal with the stress that you do experiencewhats known as stress management.

An important first step is to begin thinking of stress as something that you can and should learn to manage, just as you’d take any other problem head-on. For now, here are some targeted resources for managing the stress from specific stressors:

  • Top Causes of Stress: Are you stressed by the same things that are stressors to most people? Here are some of the top causes of stress .
  • Job Stress and How It Affects You: Certain job factors are significant stressors to most people. How does your job measure up and how can you manage the stress?
  • Relationship Stress: The Toll of Conflict: Conflict in a relationship is one of the heavier stressors people face in that conflict takes a bigger toll on us that most of the other stressors we face in life. Find out why, and what you can do to minimize the stress.
  • Managing the Stress of a Busy Life: Even a fun, busy life can be a stressor if it leaves you with too little time to take care of yourself. Here is why a busy life can be a stressor, and how you can manage this type of stress.

Recommended Reading: Does Stress Cause Memory Loss

Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management

While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

Build Strong Positive Relationships With People Who Make You Feel Goodand Avoid Those Who Dont


Research suggests that stress builds up over time, through multiple small interactions with others. By themselves, few single incidents are intrinsically stressful. However, put them together, and the story is very different.

It is hard to avoid these micro-stressors, because they are too frequent and too pervasive. However, there are ways to address them, and the most important is to focus on your relationships with others. Research suggests that the two most important things you can do are to build strong relationships and connections with people who make you feel good, and avoid those who dont.

There is more about this in our page on Micro-Stressors.

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Practical Ways To Handle Stress

Stress is inevitable. It walks in and out of our lives on a regular basis. And it can easily walk all over us unless we take action. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to minimize and cope with stress. Here are 10 ideas for handling stress without causing more strain and hassle.

1. Figure out where the stress is coming from.

Oftentimes, when were stressed, it seems like a big mess with stressors appearing from every angle. We start to feel like were playing a game of dodge ball, ducking and darting so we dont get smacked by a barrage of balls. We take a defensive position, and not a good one at that.

Instead of feeling like youre flailing day to day, identify what youre actually stressed about. Is it a specific project at work, an upcoming exam, a dispute with your boss, a heap of laundry, a fight with your family?

2. Consider what you can controland work on that.

While you cant control what your boss does, what your in-laws say or the sour state of the economy, you can control how you react, how you accomplish work, how you spend your time and what you spend your money on.

The worst thing for stress is trying to take control over uncontrollable things. Because when you inevitably fail since its beyond your control you only get more stressed out and feel helpless. So after youve thought through whats stressing you out, identify the stressors that you can control, and determine the best ways to take action.

How Not To Answer How Do You Handle Stress

Stress? Never experienced it.

As we said, an interviewer wants to hire someone they know will be reliable when things get tough but playing the emotionless robot card isnt going to win you any points.

Besides, everyone experiences stress, so saying you dont just means youre lying and nobody wants to hire a liar.

Stress just motivates me to work harder.

While this might seem like the right answer, its not. Hiring someone who is convinced they need to solve every problem themselves means they might not realize at some point that their problem is too big to handle alone.

A lone wolf employee might end up waiting too long to bring in additional help resulting in a problem that could have been solved much earlier and cheaper blowing up into something much bigger and much more expensive.

I remove myself from the situation, take time to look at it from all angles, and then attack whatever is causing me stress in the most efficient way.

Another sounds like it should be rightbut its not! answer.

In this case, youre telling the hiring manager that when things get toughyou leave. And yes, we know you said you come back after youve formulated your plan of attack, but stillwe cant get past the part where you walk away for an unknown amount of time.

Dude, I dont know about you, but I like to unwind by grabbing a beer and just feeling the mellow wash over me after work.

All were going to say istheres a thing called oversharing.

Mike’s Tip:

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What To Do When Youre Struggling To Manage Stress

Sometimes lifes challenges can feel like more stress than youre able to handle on your own. When you feel like this, it can be incredibly helpful to talk with a licensed therapist. Even when you have a support system that you can connect with, there are times when its helpful to talk with someone experienced in treating people struggling with things like stress and anxiety.

A licensed therapist can help you as you navigate through challenging times. They can assist you in learning coping strategies that you can apply in your life. While many businesses and professionals have closed their doors right now due to safer-at-home orders, online therapists like those at BetterHelp are still available to help you cope with the stress that youre facing.

Set Reasonable Expectations In Your Daily Life

How to manage stress

Being busy is sometimes inevitable, but regularly taking on more than you can manage can cause unwanted and unwelcome stress. Tell yourself that it’s okay to say no to activities at your child’s school or to extra projects at work you are not obligated to accept every request made of you. Additionally, don’t take on more financial responsibilities such as a new car or a bigger house if you think they’ll be a stretch. Being realistic about your finances is an important strategy for managing stress.

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Free Members Guide 101 Ways To Less Stress



  • Stress Videos

  • Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation

    Progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing all the muscles in your body, group by group. To practice, you can start with a few deep breaths.

    Then, practice tightening and relaxing each muscle group, starting with your forehead and moving down to your toes.

    With practice, you’ll learn to recognize tension and tightness in your muscles and you’ll be able to relax more easily. Each time you practice, however, you should experience a feeling of relaxation sweeping through your body.

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    Healthy Ways To Handle Lifes Stressors

    When stress becomes unmanageable, try these evidence-based tools to tackle it in healthy ways.

    Healthy ways to handle lifes stressors.

    Stressful experiences are a normal part of life, and the is a survival mechanism that primes us to respond to threats. Some stress is positive: Imagine standing in front of a crowd to give a speech and hitting it out of the park. Stressful? Certainly. But also challenging and satisfying.

    But when a stressor is negative and cant be fought off or avoided such as layoffs at work or a loved ones medical crisis or when the experience of stress becomes , our biological responses to stress can impair our physical and mental health.

    Fortunately, there are many evidence-based tools to help combat the negative effects of stress in healthy ways. They recommend that you:

    Can Stress Be Positive

    17 Highly Effective Stress Relievers

    Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It can make you more alert and help you perform better in certain situations.2 However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived.

    Excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to illness such as heart disease3 and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.4

    Read Also: What Are The Symptoms Of Stress And Anxiety

    Give Yourself A Break To Relax And Recharge

    Daily stressors can creep up on you before you realize it, so treat yourself to at least one relaxing activity every day. Listening to music, meditating, writing in a journal, or enjoying a soothing bubble bath are all great ways to relax and relieve stress. “Meditation allows us to clear our minds and be able to see things in a more realistic perspective,” notes Kubiak. Taking time for yourself is important for both preventing and managing stress.

    The Perception Of Stress

    While we know that stress is associated with health problems, plenty of people with high-stress lives are thriving. How is that possible? In 2012, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison published a seminal study looking at how 28,000 people perceived stress in their lives. People in the study answered these two questions:

  • During the past 12 months, would you say that you experienced:
  • A lot of stress
  • A moderate amount of stress
  • Relatively little stress
  • Almost no stress at all
  • How much effect has stress had on your health?
  • A lot
  • Hardly any
  • None
  • The researchers looked at death rates in the study group over nine years. The results are startling. The study found that having a lot of stress in your life was not linked with premature death. But having a lot of stress in your life and believing it was taking a toll on your health increased risk of premature death by 43 percent.

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    Path To Improved Well Being

    Stress can cause health problems or make existing problems worse. Talk to your family doctor if you think your symptoms could be caused by stress. Its important to make sure they arent caused by other health problems.

    Learn to recognize when youre feeling stressed. Early warning signs of stress include tension in your shoulders and neck or clenching your hands into fists. Try to avoid the event or situation that leads to your stress. If thats impossible, change how you react to stress.

  • Let go. Dont worry about things you cant control, such as the weather.
  • Dont sweat the small stuff. Solve the little problems. This can help you gain a feeling of control.
  • Be ready. Prepare to the best of your ability for events you know may be stressful, such as a job interview.
  • Chin up. Try to look at change as a positive challenge, not as a threat.
  • Work it out. Resolve conflicts with other people.
  • Talk it out. Discuss whats bothering you with a trusted friend, family member, or counselor.
  • Keep it real. Set realistic goals at home and at work. Avoid overscheduling.
  • Have some fun. Participate in something you dont find stressful, such as sports, social events, or hobbies.
  • Just say no. Stay away from drugs and alcohol. They can actually increase your stress levels.
  • Giving Your Mind A Rest

    Ways you can manage stress in your life | Understanding Stress | Life Coach Jasmin Waldmann

    For people dealing with high levels of stress, it can be hard to fathom how a few moments of meditation will help. After meditation, the stressors are still there youre still getting divorced, caring for an aging parent, struggling with the demands of a high-stress job. How can a few moments of deep thought possibly help your life?

    It may help to think about how muscles get stronger. Unrelenting exercise simply tears down a muscle and leads to injury. Smart exercisers know the value of a day of rest thats when your muscles regenerate and come back stronger than before.

    Now think about your mind as an emotional muscle. Unrelenting stress without a break will not make it stronger. Your emotions, your brain and your body need moments of recovery to get stronger from stress.

    Its about stress and recovery. Just like you build a physical muscle, just like you build biceps, you have to take the same approach to life stressors, says Jack Groppel, co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, which offers a course called The Power of Positive Stress.

    Think of meditation like high-intensity interval training for the brain. During H.I.I.T., you go as hard as you can, then you give yourself a few minutes of recovery before returning to the exercise. This cycle is repeated multiple times and has been shown to be more effective for building strength than long, slow bouts of exercise.

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    Embrace The Adrenaline And Treat It As Positive

    Fortunately, there is evidence that some level of stress is actually helpful, and can improve performanceprovided you believe that this is the case.

    Elite athletes, for example, often believe that adrenaline, one of the main stress hormones, is helpful in improving performance. It is, after all, the flight or fight hormone, so you can harness it to help you to fight. Changing your mindset to embrace adrenaline can be a good start to changing how you view stress, especially if you have taken steps to reduce and avoid it more generally.

    More on Stress Management:

    Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress

    There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.

    And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .

    So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.

    Read Also: How To Make Your Mom Less Stressed

    Develop Techniques That Will Help You To Feel In Control Of Your Life

    There is plenty of research that suggests that the single factor that causes most stress is feeling out of control.

    One way that you can help yourself to avoid stress is to develop techniques to help you solve problems and make decisions more easily.

    For example, one problem-solving technique involves writing down the problem and coming up with as many possible solutions as you can. Decide on the good and bad points of each one and select the best solution. Write down each step that you need to take as part of the solution: what will be done, how will it be done, when will it be done, who is involved and where will it take place.

    There is more about this and other techniques in our series of pages on Problem-Solving and Decision-Making.

    Ways To Manage Stress In College

    Mindset: An Effective Stress Management Tool

    Being a student is fun and challenging. At the same time, it is often quite stressful. Here are some ideas for dealing with the stresses so that you have more room for the fun!

    1. Manage yourself. Most people talk about managing time in order to have more of what life has to offer, but its only in managing ourselves that we really see a difference in our lives and are able to handle any stress life throws at us. Manage yourself and other things will fall into place.

    2. Control your environment by controlling who and what is surrounding you. Life is like a teacup. Theres only so much stuff that will fit into it. If you fill your cup with the wrong things and the wrong people, you wont have time for the right things and right people. The wrong things and people bring stress. The right people and things bring joy and contentment. Choose who and what gets your time and attention.

    3. Be good to yourself. Acknowledge yourself for the good you do! Be gentle with yourself when things dont go as you might have wanted them to. There are just some things that you cant control no matter how much you want to. Love yourself for who you are right now at this very moment.

    4. Reward yourself. Leisure activities are otherwise known as recreational activities. When you do things that bring you joy, you are re-creating your spirit. Nurturing your spirit is a great way to help you reduce stress.Take time to do things that reward you, every day.

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