Stress management techniques: What they are and how to use them
If you are a part of modern life (and you are one basically) you are constantly exposed to stress.
It’s everywhere – personal life, work space, various unexpected situations and series of events, etc.
Depending on your personality, attitude and general views of life, you can be more or less vulnerable to stress. Regardless of your type though, the fact that stress is present for every person cannot be neglected and you should be ready and able to deal with it as best as possible.
Like any other difficulty, stress is somewhat measurable and can be managed to some extent (surely, there may be times that you won’t be able counter it with any plans, because you are a human not a cyborg).
Here are a few tricks to keep in mind as proven stress management techniques that will help you get through harsh times.
Eliminating the stress factor
This is the best thing you can do by far, although in most cases, this is easier said than done. The stress factor could be anything – a person or an object or a story – and eliminating it may just be a little over your limits.
Whenever it is possible though, you should do it ASAP, without any hesitation. If the cause of stress is keeping you anxious 24/7 and doesn’t allow to lead a normal life, then probably you will be much better off without it, however unrealistic this might sound to you at start. Just try to apply logic and constructive thinking. You are a project manager, you know what that means better than anybody else.
Whenever you can’t eliminate the stress factor though, you should do whatever you can to at least minimize the impact. Here are a few ways:
Simple things go a long way
Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to get through hardships caused by stress. Depending on the situation and the person, a lot of things can come in handy. Basically, there are a few general tips to counter stress that work for everybody 9 out of 10 times.
- Going for a walk (alone) – A simple fifteen minute walk in a park or on the beach can be your best friend.
- Getting together with friends – Friends and family are your best resource of positive energy. Sometimes it’s better not to talk about problems that bother you, but be in a friendly atmosphere that will just cheer you up and wind you with a ton of positive energy.
- Positivity and optimism will always help you see everything in a better light and help notice not only the dark sides, but also the bright ones -)
- Having a good laugh – If friends and family can’t be there for you for some reason (for example you are abroad) laughter is your next best choice for stress relief. Watch a favorite comedy show or read a bunch of funny stories. There are hundreds of ways to amuse yourself, just pick the style you love most.
- DON’T lock yourself out – One of the things you don’t want to do is shutting yourself away from people and being by yourself for too long. Being left alone with your negative thoughts can quickly turn stress into depression, which is a more serious and difficult issue to deal with.
- Whatever happens, think positively – Anything can happen, it’s just how life works, but whatever it is, you shouldn’t be wasting your days thinking about it over and over. It’s not worth it, trust me.
Physical activity, gym and your favorite sports are all great ways to tackle stress. Dealing with stress mainly involves getting rid of negative emotions and dumping all that negative energy somewhere safely, so that you can be free from it at last.
Carrying it with you will do more harm than good. People tend to get itchy and aggressive whenever they are exposed to stress, even when they don’t really mean to. So get to that puck, tennis court, running shoes or boxing bag and start kicking away all the negativity from within.
Do you have a hobby?
Do you have something that you love doing when you have free time? Well if not, it’s time to find yourself a hobby. I personally find this one of the best stress relievers of all time. Not only you can enjoy whatever it is you love doing (fishing, gaming, building paper airplanes of card houses and what not), you will also find immense satisfaction when you are done and have your mind completely off from problems that caused stress, giving your brain some time to relax and just stop thinking for a while.
As you probably understood, there is no one right answer for everybody regarding stress management. Different people think differently and stand up to various issues in their own way. Just find the best way that works for you and do what you got to do.
Life is so much fun. It’s not worth wasting it over stuff that isn’t going to bring joy to you, your friends, family or colleagues. Let that go -)
“It’s not stress that kills us. It’s our reaction to it” – Hans Selye
Pavel is a doctor who happens to have an MBA degree and a strong passion for writing. "I am a do-it-all kind of person: When I am not writing, I am busy curing people, when I am not curing people, I tend to kill WCG competitions. Life is fun, and full of wonders: Do what you enjoy most, even if it’s everything at once."