Most Effective Ways to Manage Stress in your Life
Looking for ways to manage stress? When your life seems to be overwhelming your coping abilities may not be quite up to par and you will then feel pressed to the very limits of your personal breaking point.
If you learn better stress management you can alleviate the worries and side effects that accompany those unavoidable daily stressors.
Everyone must have some form of stress relief that they can depend upon when the unrelenting demands of work, family life and personal issues are all seeming to peak at the same time.
The very first step that you need to take is to become aware of the stress that is affecting you. You also need to identify and define each of these stressors.
If you take the time to really identify what the problems are you can then use some highly effective stress management techniques to achieve the relief that you need.
Stress relief is possible if you address the issues that are creating the problems in your life. Adopting a healthier lifestyle will be one of the best keys to a happier, stress-free existence.
Remember that you have to make the time in your schedule for family, relaxation and fun.
Without a balance of these important elements even normal stressors of daily living can make you feel that you are being pushed to the edge.
Creating a balance in your everyday life will require a commitment on your part. You have to allow yourself the time to ‘enjoy the moment' and learn to really live in the present instead of always worrying about the future and the past.
Adopt a program that incorporates time for exercise and personal indulgences; time for family and friends and time for pure relaxation. If you follow this simple plan you will find that you are happier, healthier and less ‘uptight'.
Challenges of Life
There are many stressors that are going to affect your life, although each of these will affect you to a different degree. For instance there are worries about bills, job duties, kids and family that are certainly not going to just disappear overnight.
Life is demanding, and in order to cope with these demands you have to discover ways to help you achieve stress relief.
A key point of managing stress effectively is when you realize that you are responsible for how you handle the daily demands that come your way. You can choose to let these daily stressors take you down or you can learn how to deal with the pressures and challenges that are part of daily life.
It is very easy to take the easy way out and blame all of your stress on your job or your teenager's rebellious attitude.
However we all know that there are often many deeper issues that build up and result in the overwhelming stress that can lead to destructive behaviors, thoughts and emotions.
As one of the various ways to manage stress, many people try to blame their personality, other people, world events or their boss for the stress in their own lives. This is not showing that you understand the basis of stress, and it certainly does not show that you are ready to change.
Accepting that you are ultimately responsible for the stress in your own life is the only way for you to begin to control and reduce your personal stress levels.
Normal versus Stressed
You have to examine those repeated excuses as well as your attitude, personality and personal habits.
It is not acceptable to keep going at full speed while your knees are buckling from the strain of the stress you are carrying on your shoulders. It is equally unacceptable to just conclude that a stressed out job and family life are ‘normal'.
Once you stop blaming outside influences and other people for the stress that you have bottled up the sooner you will be able to deal with the problems.
Ways to Manage Stress
Stress management techniques are proven methods that will help you discover what the underlying issues are and then show you how to achieve real stress relief, no matter what the problems may be.
Writing is one of the best ways to manage stress. Try writing in a daily journal and keep track of your emotions and the events that create these feelings. This will let you identify when you are feeling stressed and you can also identify what events are causing you to experience these specific reactions.
You should then make a list that shows the biggest stressors in your life. You will also be able to determine how these stressors make you feel. This is very helpful at showing you both the emotional and physical toll that results when stress controls your mind, life and body.
As you continue to track your life a journal it will make it possible to identify common patterns that create stress and you will also see your personal responses.
Look at ways to manage stress in your daily life and determine if you are utilizing healthy coping strategies or are merely allowing those unhealthy responses to take charge.
The most common ways to manage stress that people employ are ones that are generally unhealthy.
People tend to use these stress relief strategies because they feel these methods work quickly but actually these coping mechanisms can create lots of physical and emotional problems for you over time.
These are some of the unhealthier strategies and signs that people use and have when their stress levels are high:
- Eating disorders, excessive use of comfort foods
- Mood swings, like anger
- Frequent and/or heavy use of alcohol
- Withdrawing from real life via computers and television
- Relying on prescription meds
- Illegal drug use
- Constant procrastination
Instead of relying on these damaging types of stress relief methods it is best to find healthy and positive ways to manage your stress on a daily basis.
It all begins with identifying the problem and then making some changes. You can change the problem that is creating the stress, your response or both.
In order for the situation to change it will be necessary for you to either avoid, alter or change your point of view about the stressor that is responsible.
For your reaction to be changed you will need to either accept the stressor or adapt to the experience.
Healthy Avoidance of Stress Inducing Problems
Avoiding stress when possible is a key element in effective ways to manage stress.
There are many stressing factors that you can remove from your life simply by constructing some boundaries.
Do not try and be a ‘superhero'. Try not to take on more responsibility and challenges than you can handle. Do not be afraid to tell people no when you are being asked to ‘do too much'.
Avoid situations, issues, people and environments that heighten your stress levels. Why constantly listen to news shows if the topics make you uneasy? Why should you make weekly luncheon dates with family members or friends who argue with you or make you feel stressed out?
Do not accept tasks and duties that others foist onto your shoulders unless you honestly have the energy, resources, initiative, desire and time to tackle these added responsibilities.
*Remember that "NO" is not a 4 letter word.
Altering the Situation
Let people know how you really feel and be honest in your communications. Bottling up your feelings and resentments will make your stress level soar. This is not the same as procrastinating.
Compromise is a two way street and if you use this stress management technique it will frequently lead you to the answers that you need.
Do not be afraid to restructure your personal schedule in a way that lets you manage your time in a healthy manner. Good time management helps you stay focused and reduces stress and worry. Face those daily problems without trying to run and hide.
Learn to anticipate positively to problems before they happen and deal with them immediately instead of sweeping the issues ‘under the carpet' are proven ways to manage stress.
Learn to look at the positive side of any stressful problem instead of arguing or being sullen. When you change your own attitude and behavior then you can take control of the situation.
Choose your battles wisely and do not fret over every little stressor that you encounter. Life is too short to get worked up over every single stressful event that comes your way.
Physical and Psychological Impact of Stress
Did you realize that your attitude and emotions can make you ill? When you allow stress to get the best of you your body and brain unleash a powerful blast of potent chemicals.
These chemical cocktails give you the adrenaline rush for a ‘fight or flight' reaction but they also extract a physical and emotional toll that is very high.
Human stress is defined as the result of overwhelming interactive experiences that occur between individuals and their surrounding environment.
Interpretation versus Reality
Without effective ways to manage stress subjectively "overwhelming experiences" will strip away any feelings of control, self-reliance and optimism.
It is not yet certain if the stress experienced by humans is the result of external physical responses or is the result from internal interpretations of specific events.
What is known however is the fact that stress can lead to illness, fear, depression, distrust and anger.
Healthy ways to manage stress include learning to let go of negative feelings and thoughts. You can help yourself fix stress through:
- A balanced, healthy diet and regular physical exercise.
- Breathing therapy, practicing yoga, tai chi, massage therapy or alike.
- Identifying and addressing in a balanced way the most relevant stressors.
- Writing in a stress journal, having some talk therapy.
- A warm bath with aroma therapy and/or reading a good book.
- Enjoying a hobby on your own or in group settings.
- Regular exercise and long walks just observing your surroundings.
- Allowing yourself to take short pauses during the day.
- A candle-lit dinner, interaction with friends and/or family.
- Music and other leisure based activities.
Learning ways to manage stress in a positive manner is going to help you stay healthier and happier over the long run.
Naturally you will not be able to eliminate every stressor in life but you will discover that these suggestions of ways to manage stress really are simple and effective enough to use on a daily basis.
From Ways to Manage Stress to the main page about Stress Management