Stress Management for Dummies

Stress management for dummies is not all about changing your circumstances, it is about learning how to manage your reaction to them.

When you are looking for stress relief, it is sometimes hard to know which way to turn when life is coming at you a million miles per hour.

This is compounded by the fact that there is sometimes little you can do about the bills that pile in every month, or the number of hours available each day.

It may seem impossible to find balance in life, focusing on what is important while taking the time to "stop and smell the roses". Here are a few tips to help you do exactly that!


In order to relieve stress you are first going to have to find the sources of your worries.

You cannot fix or deal with issues if you have not taken the time to determine what they are. Surprisingly enough the sources of your stress may not be blatantly obvious, in fact you may need to dig around a bit to find the roots of the perceived problems.

Are you under constant stress from your work? If deadlines are constantly, approaching and you feel overwhelmed you would probably think that the job is the problem, when the fact that you procrastinated your assignment until the last possible moment can be the true issue.

Perhaps you are having issues with chaos around the house and you explain your stress as just a part of your crazy life when in truth lack of organization can be the real problem.

Work on identifying your stressors by keeping a detailed journal, this will help you pinpoint the times of greatest anxiety.

You should also work on "owning" your stress, in other words you should take responsibility for your acts and their consequences.

Now you are well on your way to understanding just what stress management for dummies is all about, it is not just about relaxation techniques and meditation, although these strategies may help also.


How do you cope with anxiety, deadlines, stress and chaos? There are healthy and unhealthy ways of managing the more unpleasant side of life. Which do you choose?

-Unhealthy Stress Strategies:

  • Alcohol

  • Nicotine

  • Eating (lack of or overeating)

  • Sleeping (too much or too little)

  • Procrastination

  • Withdrawing from life

  • Angry outbursts

  • Drugs

  • Hours spent in front of TV or computer (are you more familiar with Facebook than your family?)

-Healthy Stress Strategies:

  • Learning relaxation techniques and apply them,

  • Doing some meditation, like mindfulness, on a daily basis,

  • Delegate more to family, friends and colleagues,

  • Doing moderate physical exercises frequently,

  • Executing practical, short task lists you work with actively,

  • Maintain a dynamic perspective, with a positive outlook,

  • Talk with a person you can trust about your worries o write them down.

Stress Techniques

We know that unhealthy stress management techniques only work as a short fix and most of them can cause problems on the long run, so we will look at the more healthy options.

These are a little broader in scope and for good reason; application will depend on how you are approaching your anxiety.

There are two options to consider, you can either change yourself or change the situation and which you choose will determine what healthy approach you take.

For instance, you want to change the situation of late projects, unhappy clients and crushing deadlines. Look at this situation; is it your lack of energy, procrastination or inability to delegate that is causing the problem? If so, you can see immediately some of the things you need to do to address the issue.

On the other hand, you may have poor operating conditions and if so, you should take a step back, analyse things clearly and negotiate improvements, within a realistic evaluation of your situation.

Most of the time it should be a healthy balance of inner and outer structural changes for the better.


Are you going to come upon some pressure or hassles that are simple unavoidable and uncontrollable? You bet, everyone will deal with times in life that fit this description.

This is where the twelve-step program excels by teaching people to accept what they cannot change and moving forward anyway. During times like these remember you do not have to do it alone. Find a friend or colleague you can confide in.

Stress relief in uncontrollable situations is not fun, but with stress management for dummies techniques, you will do quite well.

Final Thoughts

Stress management for dummies is not a one-step cures it all, but a process of looking at your life and circumstances with an open mind.

Find that balance in life that allows you to accomplish significant goals while setting aside the more insignificant.

At times stress relief really is nothing more than noticing the beauty all around you or the many things you have to be thankful for, you simply have to stop long enough to see them.

Over time, stress management for dummies, the process of identifying, addressing and relaxing will become your second nature, with your main focus in the here and now!

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