You may have heard that stress management is difficult – that stress is nearly impossible to control.
Managing stress is not a matter of flicking a switch and forgetting it, but neither is it impossible. You need just two keys:
- One key is to weave stress management techniques into life just as you would weave in weight management techniques.
- A second key is to keep it simple. Reject complicated plans that are themselves stressors. Select simple stress management techniques instead.
Making stress management techniques a regular practice will rapidly build habits that will greatly reduce stress in your life.
Stress management techniques must be grounded in a basic understanding of stress.
- Stress is your body’s response to any demands made on it.
- Detrimental stress is called “distress”.
- Beneficial stress is called “eustress”.
You have at your disposal many stress management techniques. Here are three simple ones to get you started.
Relaxation – simple stress management technique #1
Parents and teachers often use a part of this stress management technique on young children. They call it “time out” and place children in a corner or a secluded part of the room. They hope the children will overcome the distress that occasioned the “time out” before they rejoin the group. The missing factor, though, is relaxation. Provide an amusing story or picture book.
This simple stress management technique combines brief time away from the stressor with relaxing activity or rest. Entertaining reading material is especially useful, as it helps release the beneficial chemicals of eustress.
Hint to physicians: Fill your waiting room with smile-evoking literature.
Exercise – simple stress management technique #2
Physical exercise is another easy stress management technique. You don’t have to go to a gym to use this technique. Simply go for a walk. If you can’t leave your work that long, take time to stand up and stretch your muscles. Find a window and focus your eyes on distant objects. Five minutes each hour of this stress management technique will make you more productive and efficient.
Deep breathing – simple stress management technique #3
Deep breathing often provides immediate relief. Reducing your heart rate, this simple stress management technique replaces anxiety with a sense of peace. Couple it with soft, soothing music to increase its effectiveness.
You will find many more stress management techniques on this web site. Browse the varied categories to find those that are particularly helpful to you.