You’re sitting in your office, tending to your normal workload, when your employer enters. Frowning, she asks why you have not finished the project she gave you yesterday. You begin to explain, but you aren’t quick enough to stop a flood of stress throughout your body. You may unconsciously manage that stress even though you don’t think of it as stress management. On the positive side, you may go for a quick walk or take a short coffee break. Negatively, you might engage in harmful management such as abusing substances or yelling at others.
Stress is all-too-common today, but unmanaged stress can lead to family problems, work productivity issues, or serious health concerns. That is why people are increasingly seeking solutions. For some, the solution will be a stress management class.
Stress Management Class Overview
A stress management class offers a group approach, helping participants identify and handle their stress. Under the guidance of a professional, the group learns stress management techniques such as breathing from the diaphragm, visual imagery, or progressive muscle relaxation. Emphasis is placed on coping patterns and creating lifestyle changes that will help you de-stress.
For you, the right stress management class may already exist. Try these possibilities.
Employer-Sponsored Stress Management Class
Some larger companies expect employees to participate in stress management class even if they don’t think they have time. Employers recognize that job productivity will likely improve with small modifications in the way workers handle stress. The bottom line will benefit as much as employees’ health.
Studies of employer-sponsored stress management classes show a marked improvement in symptoms after as little as 8 weeks of class. Employees who begin stress management class with feelings of being overwhelmed at work come away with ways to make stress more manageable.
Health-Care-sponsored Stress Management Class
If your employer does not offer a stress management class, talk to your doctor. He or she will be able to guide you to a stress management class in a clinic or hospital. These classes are often led by registered nurses or clinical psychiatrists. They provide opportunity for learning technique in the setting of a support group.
Faith-Based Stress Management Class
If you are involved in a church, synagogue, or other religious organization, you may feel more comfortable in a faith-based stress management class. These classes usually look to their religious teachings to provide techniques for handling stress. They will emphasize prayer and reliance on God rather than self.
A faith-based stress management class is, according to a growing body of research, the most helpful.
Despite the many books on stress management techniques, the CDs, DVDs and videos, many people have the greatest success in a stress management class.