Stress Management Tips & Techniques

Everyone is affected by stress one way or another. This information and stress management relaxation techniques should help you better understand stress and hopefully reduce the impact stress has on your life.

Stress Managements Tips: What Stress Is Not

Stress is not a sign of failure or proof of shortcomings on your part.

Where Stress Comes From

Your lifestyle and/or your attitude toward your lifestyle can induce stress. But don’t stress out over this! It’s partly society’s fault.

Nobody can be great at everything, including you. Once you learn to accept this, you take the first step toward managing your stress.

Here is a very simplified graph of how your body reacts to stress levels. As stress increases (red line), your body reacts accordingly by increasing the level of adrenaline. This is what some people call “positive stress.” It does have its advantages, increased awareness, increased focus, and more but…

stress intensity versus time - stress management relaxation exerciseThen comes a certain point where the adrenaline cannot keep increasing with your stress level. This is where you need to manage your stress levels.If nothing is done and your body (and mind) stay under high stress levels for extended periods of time, it could lead to depression or emotional and/or physical breakdown.

Managing Your Stress

In order to manage your stress level, you should keep these stress management tips in mind:

When stress is affecting you, sometimes all you need is a simple stress relaxation exercise. Here is an easy one that you can use anywhere. It is based on a particular emotion that is causing stress, but you can easily adjust it to fit another emotion.

Stress Relaxation Exercise to Get Rid of Anger

When you feel like throwing your fist at someone (or something), use a small (non-breakable) object that is lying around (e.g., an eraser, a small rock, a stress ball, a paperclip, etc.).

Squeeze the object in your hand as hard as you can. Let your anger “crush” that small object for as long as you need to express your anger. When the intensity of the feeling starts to decrease, release your fingers and gently return the object where it belongs.

Stress Relaxation Exercise to Reduce Worries

Go to a room where you can be alone for a few minutes. Perhaps you can go to your bedroom, your office or simply use a bathroom stall.

Close your eyes and imagine a large group of co-workers or your extended family, which ever brings you the most worries. Imagine that you are in a small space with all your co-workers (or family). The space is really crowded.

There are certain similarities between our worries and people that surround us. Perhaps you can associate work with your boss, your love life with a co-worker of the opposite sex, your bills with someone from the accounting department, etc. Assign each one of your worries to someone in the room. Imagine that they are verbally complaining about the exact thing that worries you.

One by one, start to let these people go, starting with the smaller, not so important worries. They will leave with that specific worry that has been bothering you. In the end, you should be left with the biggest worries. Acknowledge their presence, and let them go.

Breathe in and breathe out for a few seconds.

Stress Relaxation Exercise for Other Feelings

If jealousy, sadness or other feelings are causing stress in your life, a great way to help reduce stress is to go for a walk.

You will have to mentally force yourself to think about other things, but there are so many beautiful living creatures in your neighborhood that it will get easier with each step.

Here are a few things you can try to spot while you walk:

  • flowers
  • birds
  • waterways such as creeks, rivers, lakes
  • children playing
  • beautiful scenery
  • white snow
  • wind moving the leaves
  • beautifully shaped clouds
  • ants working together

It’s important to keep looking out for these little things instead of just reliving a past event or reinforcing the feeling that is stressing you out.

More Ways to Reduce Stress

Learn how to deal with stress by reading these stress management articles: