Welcome to What is stress management about?
We all know that part of being human is having to deal with stressful situations from time to time.
Stress is just our body’s way of responding to changes in our life that we aren’t fond of because it seems more than we can handle at the time or it’s something you don’t like to do or it’s something you don’t know how to do which is a big creator of stress.
I have experienced my share of stress over the years. Between raising 5 kids and working full-time while my husband was in Afghanistan. It was very stressful especially when the kids started having trouble dealing with a lot of worry because of their father being overseas in a war.
This stress is just part of normal everyday life. We all react to situations differently and therefore have different stress tolerances to different things and different levels.
Stress can be like a double-edged sword.
Stress can motivate us to do better, go faster, and get things done. When it’s too much it can paralyze and prevent us from functioning altogether and if kept in the same situation for a long period of time can be damaging to the mind.
If stress has been going on in your daily life for some time, perhaps it’s time to seek some help.
Your goal should not be to eliminate all stress, we should aim to reduce unnecessary stress and learn how to manage stress effectively and in a healthy way.
Table of Contents
What Is Stress?
We get stressed when trying to take on more than we can handle.
When we feel stressed, the body thinks we are in danger. It makes hormones that cause our heart to beat faster, we breathe faster and experience a short energy burst.
This reaction is referred to as the fight-or-flight response.
Some stress is normal, essential, and even useful. Stress can be of benefit if you need to work hard or react quickly. A great example would be the pressure you feel to win that race or meet that deadline at work.
It is when stress occurs too often or lasts too long that it can cause some undesirable effects.
Too much stress has been linked to headaches, upset stomach, back pain, and insomnia. Stress can also weaken your immune system making it more difficult for you to fight off disease.
Stress can also play a major role in developing heart disease or stroke.
Stress can worsen existing health problems as well as make you moody, tense and depressed. Because of this, your relationships may suffer or your performance at work or school may significantly decline.
We all relate to stress differently and can handle different levels of stress.
Identify What Causes You Stress
Stress can be caused by any number of things and what may cause me stress may not cause stress for you. It can be quite a challenge to learn to recognize the stressors in your life.
Sometimes we can think it’s one thing when it is actually something else.
What do I mean?
Well maybe you think your job is the source of your stress but upon further investigation, you discover it is actually your procrastination that causes you stress as the deadline is fast approaching.
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where the demands are high but we have little control and few choices, we are very likely to experience stress in these circumstances.
We often feel stressed when we don’t feel equipped, or we may be judged harshly by others, or where there is a high chance of failure and the consequences are high or unpredictable.
Many people find the source of their stress could be:
- financial issues
- health problems
- busy schedules
A Stress Journal
Starting a stress journal is a great tool that can help you identify regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them.
Every time you feel stressed keep track of it in your journal.
Over time you will begin to identify patterns and common themes.
Here are some of the things you should write in your stress journal:
- what caused your stress (if unsure, what’s your best guess)
- how did you feel (physically and emotionally)
- how did you act in response
- what did you do to make yourself feel better
How Do You Currently Cope With Stress?
It is important we take note of the things we do to cope with stress.
Are we sabotaging our health in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the stressful feelings we are experiencing?
Many people do respond to stress in harmful ways.
Unhealthy Ways Of Coping With Stress
These methods may reduce stress temporarily but cause more problems in the long run:
- drinking too much
- overeating or undereating
- spending hours in front of the TV or computer
- withdrawing from friends, family, and favorite activities
- taking pills or drugs to relax
- sleeping too much
- filling up your day with meaningless tasks attempting to avoid problems
- taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)
If you recognize any of these methods in your own life don’t worry, you can learn healthier ways to manage the stress in your life.
Learn Healthier Ways To Manage Stress
Yes, there are several healthy ways to manage stress, but they all require change.
When it comes right down to it you can either change the situation or change your reaction.
In order to decide which method to use think of the 4 As – avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
We all respond uniquely to stress and so there is no one size fits all solution.
Experiment with the different techniques to find what works best for you. Each situation may require a different response. Focus on what works for you and makes you feel calmer.
Let’s take a closer look at things you can do to help deal with stress.
Avoid Unnecessary Stress
It is unrealistic to think we can eliminate ALL stress in our lives and it certainly wouldn’t be healthy to avoid things that really do need our attention. Still, it is surprising by the number of stressors we actually can eliminate.
- Learn to say NO, it is important to know your limits and respect them. You don’t have to do everything for everybody. It is OK to say NO sometimes. I have learned firsthand that taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for disaster.
- Avoid people who stress you out. If someone is constantly causing you stress in your life it may be time to cut them out or at least severely restrict the amount of time you spend with them.
- Control your environment. If the news stresses you out then don’t watch it, if the traffic stresses you choose a different route where the traffic isn’t so congested or leave 10 minutes earlier, if the market stresses you then shop online.
- Avoid hot-button topics. If religion or politics stresses you don’t discuss them, if these topics keep coming up with certain people excuse yourself when these topics come up.
- Cut down your to-do list. Examine the chores on your list. Can you delegate some tasks and concentrate only on the tasks that require your specific attention? Determine if tasks are musts or shoulds and focus only on the musts
Alter The Situation
Sometimes we just can’t avoid a situation so we can try to alter it, this often involves changing the way we communicate or operate in our daily lives.
- Express your feelings. If someone or something is bothering you then openly and respectfully express your concerns. When we bottle up our feelings resentment builds and the situation never gets resolved.
- Be willing to compromise. Not everything will go your way. If you are asking someone to change their behavior you must also be willing to do the same. If you both bend a little it is much easier to find common ground.
- Be more assertive, take control of your own life. Face problems head-on. Tell your friend you can’t talk right now you are on your way to a meeting or work, whatever the case may be.
- Learn effective time management. Often we are stressed because we poorly manage our time and we are rushing to be on time. It is hard to stay calm and focused when we are rushed. Use a planner and manage your time.
Adapt To The Stressor
When you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. It is possible to adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control simply by changing your expectations and attitude. Our thoughts, whether negative or positive have a significant effect on our physical and emotional well-being.
Every time you think negatively your body thinks it is in a stressful situation. When you think positively your body is much more relaxed and at ease.
Try to look for the positives in every situation.
- Practice reframing problems. Try to view each stressful situation from a positive perspective. Stuck in traffic? Rather than fume about it try thinking of it as a great time to relax, regroup spend some time with yourself listening, and even singing along to some great tunes.
- Look at the big picture. Ask yourself “Will this really matter in the long run? A month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no then let it go and focus your attention elsewhere.
- Adjust your standard. Not everything has to be perfect. Perfectionism adds a ton of stress unnecessarily. Try setting more reasonable standards for yourself and learn to accept good enough.
- Focus on the positive. When things are racing out of control and getting you down, take a moment to be thankful for the great things in your life including your own positive qualities or talents. This can really help keep things in perspective.
Accept What You Can’t Change
There are some things in life that we have no control over. You can’t control things like the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. Sometimes, as difficult as it is, the best thing we can do is just accept the situation for what it is and move on.
- There are many things we can’t control in life, however, we can always control the way we react to those things.
- Look for the upside. There is an old saying that says, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When you find yourself faced with a difficult challenge look for the areas in which you can grow. Often it was our own poor choices that created this situation so the best thing we can do is reflect and learn from our mistakes.
- Sharing our feelings with a trusted friend or therapist can be very helpful. Getting things off our chest rather than holding them in can often help us move past difficult circumstances.
- Learn to forgive. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you approve of their actions, it simply means you choose to let it go and no longer be held back by negative feelings of anger or resentment. You will be in a better place to handle life’s stresses if you are not held prisoner by negative thoughts.
Make Time For Relaxation And Fun
Making the time to nurture yourself is such an important part of managing stress. By regularly taking the time for fun and relaxation you find you are much better able to cope with the normal stresses of daily life. Some things you could do are:
- go for a walk
- spend time in nature
- call a friend
- write in your journal
- take a long bath
- light scented candles
- enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee
- play with your pet
- work in your garden
- get a massage
- read a great book
- listen to music
- watch a movie
Don’t get so busy that you forget to nurture yourself.
Any of the above actions can be done either alone or with a friend or family member. We all need downtime to relax and recharge.
Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle
A very significant part of stress management is adopting a healthy lifestyle. Increasing your physical health has a profound effect on your ability to handle stress.
Get regular exercise. Schedule a minimum of 30 minutes three times a week. Personally, I need to exercise every day, I just change up the exercises for variety. When I am feeling stressed I find nothing beats a good run.
Eat healthily. When your body is well-nourished it is better able to cope with stress. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and drink plenty of water. Limit sugar and processed foods and alcohol
Reduce caffeine and sugar. They may create temporary ‘highs’ but are often followed by a crash of both mood and energy. When you reduce the sugar and caffeine you ingest you will feel more relaxed and sleep better.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. While self-medicating may seem like an easy solution it is often temporary and usually creates bigger problems in the end.
Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep restores your mind as well as your body. Stress is more difficult when you are tired because you often think irrationally.
Get help when needed. Sometimes stress really is too much for us to handle and we need to seek professional help. And That is ok because it’s a healthy approach to dealing with it. If you find stress is interfering with your daily life or is prolonged seek help. Ask your doctor for a referral or ask friends if they know a good therapist then book an appointment.
They are not all the same so if you find one which does not seem to help you, find another.
To recap What Is Stress Management About?
Simply put, stress management is about learning how best to effectively handle life’s stresses and not allowing them to build to unhealthy levels.
Finding what you want to do will help a lot with stress.
Most people find they want more time or freedom to do the things they want to do.
Don’t forget the many tools have available to us to help manage stress in our personal and professional lives.
For myself, I had a lot of stress in my life when both my son and husband were in Afghanistan together. I didn’t think I could keep going on, I continued to just live in fear and so did the kids. I couldn’t watch the TV anymore due to fear of what may come on that would send me in a deep depression.
It’s not a place I ever want to go again.
After they both returned from Afghanistan we started looking at having our own business.
Time For A Change
We set out to change our lives for the better.
It took some time to find a legit program that could teach us what we needed in order to build a successful online business but after many hours of searching and trying them out, we found the one that worked best for us.
There were several reasons why we picked this one:
- We can do it at our own pace. This was important because we both lived a very busy life.
- We didn’t need a product of our own which was good because we didn’t have one.
- We can try it out for FREE to see if it’s legit and for us. Here’s a hint… only the legit programs will let you try it for free.
- Once you try out the training and build your website, it costs very little to join and have access to so much more than just the 80 training videos.
- We really liked the training because it was laid out so perfectly, they guide you through every step to make sure you got it and then give you a little exercise to practice it and apply it to your business.
- It was the fastest way to make money in all the programs we checked out. My husband wrote a review on all the programs which you can check out in the top menu. This one still stands as the number one
- The community I believe is what really sets this one apart because they are so helpful and engaging with each other. You don’t have to wait very long (minutes) before you get an answer to your question.
Those are just a few of the things we liked however there are plenty of others as you will see soon enough. Be sure to check out the review and get the full details of what they have to offer for such a low price.
We both have our own websites where we help people to find the answers.
My website is about type 1 diabetes because I found there just was not enough information out there about it and so many were struggling to even understand it.
My husband’s website is about helping others in finding the program that will work for them and exposing the scams so others don’t fall for them. He also has a lot of free information available to help in understanding the importance of having the proper mindset when starting any business.
We now live our lives on our terms and to our surprise, it wasn’t that difficult to get there once we found the right program.
We still have stress but it’s the normal level of stress with excitement added to it. It’s also not all the time and so much easier to deal with when you are in control.
I would love to hear from you.
How have you successfully managed stress in your life?
Do you have any tips you would like to share?
Leave your answers in the comment section below.