People develop ways to cope with stress over their lifetime from past experiences, expectations and environment. Coping mechanisms are triggered once we assess a situation to be stressful. However, not everyone copes with stress in an effective way. Therefore stress management can help to develop health, productive ways to handle stress. Most people wouldn’t admit they can’t handle stress and deny they needed stress management. Even though more than likely we could all learn a thing or two about stress management techniques.
Stress is a natural part of everyday life. Even though stress can be bad and harmful over long periods of time, it also can be positive, challenging and motivating. If we evaluate the attitude and the habits that accompany stress, then we can change our perspective and learn effective coping skills and stress management techniques.
The first objective of stress management is to identify the sources of stress in our lives. Whether it’s your house, career, job, family, money, figure out what is causing you to stress out. Now that you have figured out what is causing your stress, how do you cope with stress? Do you have bad habits that you turn to, change your attitude, make excuses? Are your coping mechanisms healthy or unhealthy? Healthy coping skills motivate you to be productive and reduce stressful situations. Unhealthy coping mechanisms are unproductive and can lead to procrastination, anxiety, and depression. Some unhealthy coping strategies include smoking, drinking, over or under eating, eating TV, withdrawal, drugs/pills, ad oversleeping. These bad habits will lead you down a road of destruction and unhappiness. To change your habits and remove stress from your life, you have to do two things: 1. Change the situation and 2. Change the reaction.
To change the situation you can avoid stressors. For many people this can be as easy as learning to say No. For others it’s learning to control your environment, avoid hot topics and avoiding people who stress you tout. Setting limitations on what you are able to do and the time to get them done. If you can’t avoid a stressor, learn to alter it instead. Be assertive in expressing your feelings. Offer a compromise. Manage your time to avoid conflicts.
To change your reaction you need to adapt or accept the stressor. Adapting to stress requires changing ones perception and thoughts about stress. Instead of thinking about the situation in a negative light or getting mad, think positively and try to find a positive perspective. Is there a bigger picture that makes the situation look like just a challenge to overcome. Accepting stress means not trying to control things that are uncontrollable. Look for a silver lining or an upside to the situation. Learn to share your feeling sand forgive when things don’t go as planned. These strategies can reduce the level of stress that occurs in your daily life.
Other helpful tools to maintain a healthy life include adapting a healthy lifestyle and making time for relaxation. Making time for fun and relaxation is very important. Make plans and put it into your schedule that way you are locked in. This will help to eliminate exhaustion and burnout caused by stress. Exercise, and diet also keep your body healthy and immune system strong. Avoiding caffeine, sugar, alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes also maintain a healthy body. Make sure you practice a daily sleep regiment of 7-8 hours to rest and restore your brain. All of these techniques combined work together as a stress management system to eliminate stress and keep a health body, mind and spirit.
Sarah Labdar, “Stress Management Techniques to Use In Your Daily Life”, Everyday Health