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Stress management is a collection of skills, tools, and techniques that help you reduce, manage, and even counteract the negative side-effects of stress. Identifying unrelieved stress and being aware of its effect on our lives is not sufficient for reducing its harmful effects. Just as there are many sources of stress, there are many possibilities for its management. However, you need to work towards change: changing the source of stress and/or changing your reaction to it. Stress is simply the way we react physically, mentally, and emotionally to various conditions, changes, and demands in our lives. A certain amount of stress in one's life is good. Stress keeps us engaged, focus, and moving forward. However, too much stress can be awful. It is important to realize that the stress you experience is your unique response to a situation or event. For example, a change such as moving may not be stressful for you, but it could be stressful for your spouse, friend or coworker. It's actually not the stressor itself that's harmful, but rather how we respond to these stress inducing situations. Stress affects everyone differently. Some people are naturally good at stress management. Others, however, need a little help. The important thing to remember is that everyone needs to find positive ways to cope with stress inducing situations and the effects of stress. Following are some of the strategies for stress management:
Arun Bandodkar is a human resources trainer with 15 years experience. Currently he is the training manager of HRDDept. of ETA Star Group and 'Trainer and Consultant' for Dubai Institute Of Business Management.
Become aware of stressful situations and your emotional and physical reactions.
Notice your distress. Don't ignore it. Don't gloss over your problems. Determine what events distress you. What are you telling yourself about the meaning of these events? Determine how your body responds to stress. Do you become nervous or physically upset?
Recognize what you can change.
Can you change the stress inducing situations by avoiding or eliminating them completely? Can you reduce their intensity (manage them over a period of time instead of on a daily or weekly basis)? Can you shorten your exposure to stress (take a break, leave the physical premises)? Can you devote the time and energy necessary to making a change (goal setting, time management techniques, and delayed gratification strategies may be helpful
Change the environment causing your stress. One important aspect of stress management is changing your environment. If your home or office is unorganized, then this can be a source of major stress. A well organized and calm environment can help improve stress levels and productivity. Other areas that you can improve include air quality, lighting, decorations, noise, and furniture.
meals. Maintain your ideal weight. Avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants. Mix leisure with work. Take breaks and get away when you can. Get enough sleep. Be as consistent with your sleep schedule as possible.
Maintain your emotional reserves.
Develop some mutually supportive friendships/relationships. Pursue realistic goals which are meaningful to you, ratherthan goals others have for you that you do not share. Expect some frustrations, failures, and sorrows. Always be kind and gentle with yourself — be a friend to yourself.
Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress.
Managing your reaction to various situations is also an important stress management strategy. Examples include changing the way you deal with conflict, learning to stop worrying
Change your attitude and perceptions that affect your responses.
If you do not have the power to change the stress
Everyone needs to find positive ways to cope with stress inducing situations and the effects of stress.
too much, and managing your daily hassles in better ways. The stress reaction is triggered by your perception of danger...physical danger and/or emotional danger. Are you expecting to please everyone? Are you overreacting and viewing things as absolutely critical and urgent? Do you feel you must always prevail in every situation? Work at adopting more moderate views; try to see the stress as something you can cope with rather than something that overpowers you. Try to temper your excess emotions. Put the situation in perspective. Do not labor on the negative aspects and the "what if s." directly, then the next best thing is to change is your mindset and how you view the situation. Techniques that help you do this include journaling as a way to better understand your thought patterns, examining your beliefs and attitudes. Stress is about attitude. Stress alone does not cause illness. Stress is neutral until it lands on us. What we choose to do about it determines how it will affect us. Stress Management is all about helping you develop an effective stress management strategy. Recognizing your personal stress signals helps slow the buildup of negativity and anxiety. Possessing control of your reactions to situations will help keep stress under control and will aid in leading a balanced life.
Learn to moderate your physical reactions to stress.
Slow, deep breathing will bring your heart rate and respiration back to normal. Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension. Medications, when prescribed by a physician, can help in the short term in moderating your physical reactions. However, they alone are not the answer. Learning to moderate these reactions on your own is a preferable long-term solution.
Build your physical reserves.
Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week. Eat well-balanced, nutritious