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Stress Management Strategies

Posted on the 10 February 2012 by Combi31 @combi31

Stress Management Strategies

Stress Management utilises a number of different and varied techniques to help control and minimise stress.

This in turn helps prevent stress causing damage to your well being be it physical, or mental.

The process begins by identifying the main causes of stress in your life and your reaction to it.

Using several techniques the stress is either minimised or the reaction to it is reduced.

It should be noted that stress cannot be completely removed from your life – indeed a little stress is a good thing – but applied stress management techniques can effectively control that stress.

First begin by identifying what causes you to be stressed for example work commitments, relationships, illness or injury or the loss of a loved one.

How does stress affect your wellbeing – are there physical symptoms such as tension headaches, chest pain, back pain, blood pressure higher, digestive problems or regularly catch colds or flu.

Once you have identified that you suffer from stress it is important to measure your stress levels using a variety of techniques and possibly keeping a stress journal.

Relaxation and breathing techniques can help greatly reduce the effects of stress by naturally reducing the body’s fight or flight response.

These techniques can help reduce tension and promote relaxation. They can decrease blood pressure and lower the heart rate.

There are a variety of different techniques that can be applied including meditation, complementary therapies and hypnotherapy.

Using these techniques can change your mood for the better, and in doing so help you to control your stress, reduce its effects and help you cope with stressful situations in a different way.

When looking at the areas that cause stress it is important to identify how you spend your time – looking at each activity.

It could be that you could benefit from using time management techniques, which can help you prioritise tasks, identify tasks that can be delegated, and identify which tasks you constantly put off (procrastinate over).

This activity can also help identify if you are spending any time on yourself as many people who suffer from stress do not allow themselves time to do activities that allow them time doing things that they enjoy doing such as hobbies.

Many people who suffer from stress sacrifice their ‘ME’ time and this can contribute the effects on their wellbeing.

Stress can be reduced by implementing a healthier lifestyle – looking at nutrition and exercise.

Looking at your diet you can note if you are always rushing meals, skipping meals, eating convenience foods rather than a balanced diet.

Some types of foods can aggravate the effects of stress (many of them the convenience foods) and others can help reduce the effects. It is also noted that drinking plenty of water can reduce stress.

Exercise can be a great way of reducing stress, but should not be done within 3 hours of going to bed.

Many people suffering from stress have reported problems sleeping.

This can cause the symptoms of stress to increase.

It is important to develop a sleep routine that ensures that you are getting enough quality sleep.

It may be that you should become aware of any stimulants that you are taking, ensure that if you do take naps that these are taken carefully and finally if worry does keep you awake find a successful way of dealing with the worry so that you can get the rest that you need.

The way that a situation is perceived can be integral on the level of stress experienced.

Questions to consider should include – just how important is the stress situation, what is the worst case scenario, what are the chances of the worst case scenario happening, are you making assumptions, what are your expectations?

Many sufferers from stress often use particular phrases that can add to the stress of the situation and increasing the negative perception.

It is therefore important to look carefully at self-talk and encourage stress resistant thinking.

The workplace is a common area for stressful situations be it the amount of tasks and little time to do them often leading to long hours, the relationships with co-workers and angry customers.

Some of the techniques discussed earlier can help reduce stress in the workplace and help create methods of reducing the likelihood of stress – such as time management.

Other techniques such as listening to calming music can also help promote a more relaxing environment in which to work.

Learning how to deal with people assertively and without losing your temper can make relationships with fellow staff and customers easier.

This technique can also be used out with the working environment.

Finally, it is important to have a strong support system in place, to know what support is available, to identify a support circle and most importantly to make use of these support systems.

Stress Management is not limited to these areas but working with them can help reduce stress and give you more control over how it can affect you, mentally or physically.

It cannot eliminate stress entirely but it can significantly reduce it and how you perceive it.

Author: Martine H McFarlane

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