Everyone encounters stress occasionally. Whether due to never-ending bills, demanding schedules, work, or family responsibilities, stress may seem inescapable and uncontrollable. Stress management skills are designed to help people take control of their lives, thoughts, and emotions, and teach them healthy ways to cope with their problems.
Finding the Cause:
The first step in stress management is recognizing your stressors. While this sounds fairly easy - it’s not hard to point to major changes or a lot of work piling up - identifying the sources of chronic stress can be complicated, and most people don’t realize how their habits also contribute to stress. Maybe work piling up isn’t due as much to the actual demands of your job, but rather more so because of procrastination. You must first work on recognizing and taking responsibility for the role you play in contributing to your stress levels, in order to assume better control over them.
Strategies for Stress Management:
Once you have identified your causes of stress and are committed to working toward reducing them, focus on what you can control. Reduce your stressors, and develop consistent habits to strive from their overtaking you in the future. Instead of watching TV or responding to texts after work or before bedtime, why not take a walk or read a book instead? Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough quality sleep also will allay feelings of stress, and help you become more relaxed.
Make a conscious effort to set aside time for yourself. How you spend your “alone time” can take a variety of forms that suit you. Some people enjoy activities such as tai chi, yoga, or meditation, but you may also want to treat yourself to something simple, like taking a bath, listening to music, or watching a comedy film.
Finally, you don’t have to resolve your stress on your own. Reaching out to family members and friends may prove beneficial, provided they are able to provide positive reinforcement and support. Engaging with a qualified, trusted therapist with whom you develop a rapport in dealing with your problems or when needing a person trained and credentialed to simply to talk to is of great importance. If stress becomes chronic, seeking such a therapist is an imperative.