What Are Stress Management Skills And Techniques
Stress is something that affects all of us and can manifest in many different ways. Physically, stress often manifests as headaches, muscle tension, exhaustion and tiredness, stomach aches, lack of appetite, and inexplicable weight gain. Mentally, stress can manifest as nightmares, poor mood, self-criticism, anxiety and depression, agitation, and feelings of hopelessness .
Even though stress is a part of our daily lives, that doesnt mean we should just accept that it will always be there. Stress is exhausting for our mental and physical health and is one of the root causes of many diseases . It keeps our body in survival mode, setting us into a permanent fight or flight state, chronically increasing our blood pressure, disrupting our digestion, and weakening our immune system .
There are many ways stress comes into our lives both personally and professionally. Stress can come up in your personal life through traumatic events, personal and relationship conflicts, life changes, health problems, physical or emotional pain, and financial problems. Professionally, stress can come from work overload, overwhelming responsibilities, conflicts with your boss or coworkers, and working towards unattainable goals. Even though it can come from different sources, the effects of stress on our minds and bodies can bleed into every aspect of our lives.
Stress is a pretty big part of our existence and it doesnt seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. So what can we do about it?
Different Stress Management Techniques & Strategies
These tips are thing we can all benefit from doing more of. The techniques are categorized into three groups:
Explore the below options and find what combination works best for keeping your stress levels under control.
Action-oriented approaches allow you to take action and change the stressful situation.
As Nelson & Hurrell said:
Stress is inevitable, distress is not
1. Be assertive
Clear and effective communication is the key to being assertive. When were assertive, we can ask for what we want or need, and also explain what is bothering us. The key is doing this in a fair and firm manner while still having empathy for others. Once you identify what you need to communicate, you can stand up for yourself and be proactive in altering the stressful situation.
You can read more about how to be assertive here.
2. Reduce the noise
Switching off all the technology, screen time, and constant stimuli can help us slow down. How often do you go offline? It is worth changing, for your own sake.
3. Manage your time
If we let them, our days will consume us. Before we know it, the months have become overwhelmingly busy. When we prioritize and organize our tasks, we create a less stressful and more enjoyable life.
Stress Management In The Workplace
Whether it be extended hours, near impossible deadlines, demanding colleagues or unappreciative bosses, workplace stress is something many people are familiar with.
According to the World Health Organizations definition, occupational or work-related psychosocial stress is the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope.
But the effects of workplace stress arent simply isolated to the workplace they spill over into our personal relationships, our home lives, and our overall productivity.
Duke University found that workplace stress was responsible for over 70% of workplace accidents, 50% of absenteeism, and over $300 billion in associated costs .
These figures require action.
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Various Skills Or Techniques To Handle Stress
In the process of stress management, it is our skill to find the source from where the stress begins in order to prevent the stress from occurring at the outset, we should follow some strategies. But the strategies of stress management varies from person to person based on the individuals stressors. There are various stress management techniques that can implement to handle the stress effectively. Some approaches address stress physically and psychologically and help to develop the skill of resilience.
Some useful stress management techniques include:
Focus On The Big Picture
When you’re stressed out, it can help to take a moment to consider the big picture. How much will this particular situation affect your life in the long run?
Like gratitude, taking a few moments to consider the big picture and your overall goals is an important item to add to your to-do list. It can provide some stress relief to focus on the important issues at stake, rather than smaller issues.
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Stress Management Techniques For Instant Relief
Its useful to think of stress as having both a short-term and long-term impact. In the short-term, a stressful event or tense situation can leave you feeling short of breath, anxious, and uncomfortable. In the long-term, stress can gradually hurt your mental health and lower your quality of life.
These stress management techniques can be called upon immediately for short-term relief whether youre at work, at home, or somewhere in between.
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 .
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Medical Treatment And Help
Treatment: Some types of stress are serious and required medical attention. Dont ignore them in hopes that they will go away. They wont. Visit a doctor and take appropriate medications.
Help: If you are feeling overwhelmed or lost, seek out help. Theres no shame in admitting that you need help. Several support groups help people overcome stress. Join one and learn how to reduce stress.
Psychologist: Mental stress is daunting and takes a turn for the worse very soon. Feelings of depression tend to lead to suicide. Consult a psychologist and share your problems. They are there to help you reduce your stress and help you breathe a little easier.
Here is a video on Stress Management
Stress Management Wrap Up!
Stress can either affect you positively or negatively, so make sure that it doesnt affect you adversely. If it does, take preventive measures rather than ignoring it.
Culminating stress can be a burden to both your body and mind. Take care of yourself and live life, stress-free!
According to Daniel Jay Millman, an American author and lecturer in the personal development field-
Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is. The only problem in your life is your minds resistance to life as it unfolds.
So, incorporating the power of acceptance and understanding different possible perceptions in any particular situation will always empower you in controlling your resistances to different situations in your life.
Foster Or Adopt A Pet
Companionship doesnt have to come from your own species. If you already have a pet, take some time to play with them, take a walk, or cuddle. All of these interactions can help reduce stress. If you do not have a pet, but live in a situation where a pet would be welcome, consider fostering or adopting a pet. The financial costs of a furry friend may only add more stress – if this is the case, consider volunteering at a local shelter and playing with pups who are also living in social isolation. Theyll be so happy to see you, and youll feel your stress melt away instantly!
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An Overview Of Stress Management
Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.
We all experience stress in our lives. Because the vast majority of health problems are caused or influenced by stress, it’s important to understand how stress affects your body and learn effective stress management techniques to make stress work for you rather than against you.
Common Causes Of Student Stress
Another study found that much of high school students’ stress originates from school and activities, and that this chronic stress can persist into college years and lead to academic disengagement and mental health problems. Common sources of student stress include:
High school students face the intense competitiveness of taking challenging courses, amassing impressive extracurriculars, studying and acing college placement tests, and deciding important and life-changing plans for their future. At the same time, they have to navigate the social challenges inherent to the high school experience.
If college is part of a teen’s plans, once they are accepted, the stress continues as they need to make new friends, handle a more challenging workload, be without parental support in many instances, and navigate the stresses that come with more independent living. Romantic relationships always add an extra layer of potential stress.
Many students feel a sense of needing to relieve stress, but with all of the activities and responsibilities that fill a students schedule, its sometimes difficult to find the time to try new stress relievers to help dissipate that stress. These options are relatively easy, quick, and relevant to a students life and types of stress.
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Focus On Just Two To Three Stressors At A Time
You cannot deal with everything or everyone in your life that makes you feel stressed. Instead, focus on just two or three main stressors at a time.
If you use a stress diary, or a tool like our quiz Whats Stressing You Out?, it is easy to identify the most common and/or most stressful situations in your life. You can then start to work out what you can do to resolve them.
Once you have sorted your top stressors, you can then move onto lesser stressors.
Take Breaks When You Need Them
It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks will actually increase your productivity. Taking breaks has been proven to reduce stress, which in turn boosts productivity . When you take a break from your work, its important to do so mindfully. Dont let it get to the point where you need to take a break because you feel like you are going to explode with anger or burst out crying thats like taking a sip of water only when you feel like youre about to pass out from dehydration. Plan ahead and take regular breaks throughout the day not just when youre at the end of your rope.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
Get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.
Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Some studies have examined yogas effect on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety .
However, many of these studies are limited, and there are still questions about how yoga works to achieve stress reduction.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
Relaxation Techniques And Meditation
There are many ways to use structured relaxation techniques to help control stress and improve your physical and mental well-being. While some types of meditation and relaxation therapies are best learned in a class, it’s also possible to learn meditation techniques on your own. There are hundreds of different types of relaxation methods ranging from audio CDs to group martial arts and fitness classes.
The following are only examples of the types of structured programs available that can increase our capacity for relaxation:
- Yoga: There are many forms of yoga, an ancient Indian form of exercise based upon the premise that the body and breathing are connected with the mind. The practice of yoga is thought to be over 5,000 years old. One goal of yoga is to restore balance and harmony to the body and emotions through numerous postural and breathing exercises. Yoga, which means “joining” or “union” in Sanskrit, has been called the “search for the soul” and the “union between the individual and the divine.” Among the benefits of yoga are increased flexibility and capability for relaxation. No special level of conditioning is required yoga can be learned by nearly anyone. Classes, books, and videos are widely available. Those with special or chronic physical conditions will want to get clearance from their doctor before beginning.
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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.
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.
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The Management Of Stress
Managing stress is a difficult job. When we are stressed, we may be less likely to engage in healthy behavior. For example, students taking exams stay up all night, often for several nights in a row. They may skip meals and depend on junk foods.
Some people increase alcohol intake and smoke under pressure. It may indirectly affect health by reducing rates of positive health-related behaviors and increasing rates of negative behaviors.
Psychologists suggest a number of techniques to reduce the negative effect on the body. Some of the techniques are:
Identify Whats Stressing You Out
If you know whats stressing you out, youll have far greater control over the situation. You might be able to reduce the impact of the stressor, either by mitigating or eliminating it, or by proactively preparing for the stress youll likely encounter with it. While some sources of stress may be obvious others may be sneakier .
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How Can Exercise Help Manage Stress
- Exercise can be a key, central method to compensate for stressors.
- Physical exercise not only promotes overall fitness, but it helps you to manage emotional stress and tension as well.
- Exercise can also aid in relaxation and improve sleep.
- For one thing, exercise can emotionally remove one temporarily from a stressful environment or situation.
- Being fit and healthy also increases your ability to deal with stress as it arises.
Yoga For Stress Management:
Yoga is usually considered safe for many healthy people when practiced under the guidance of a trained instructor. There are various forms of yoga, some moving through the poses more quickly, almost like an aerobic workout, and other styles relaxing deeply into each pose. Hatha yoga, especially, could also be a good choice for stress management. But most people can enjoy any kind of yoga â its all about your personal preferences.
Yoga for stress management www.knowledgedustbin.com
Studies show that the foremost effective ways during which yoga targets stress are by lifting your mood , by providing increased mindfulness, and by increasing self-compassion.By simultaneously getting us into better moods, enabling us to be more focused on the current moment, and by encouraging us to provide ourselves an opportunity, yoga is a very effective stress reliever.
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