There is no one in this world that can say they have never been stressed. Stress affects us all. Some of us are better at managing the negative impact that stress can have on our lives.
The one person who can control stress in your life is you. It is also up to you to be accountable for how you want to live your life.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with what is happening in your life and you want to get back on track, then these 7 stress management techniques will help to minimize the negative the impact that stress has on your life.
Table of Contents
- Why You Need These Stress Management Techniques
- 7 Effective Stress Management Techniques
- Bottom Line
Why You Need These Stress Management Techniques
Stress is a state of tension and it is a normal part of life. Some external sources that can cause stress in our lives are finances, the demands of work and relationships, being too busy, family, and major life changes.
The internal sources of stress come from within us and the pressure we put on ourselves because of our high personal standards, beliefs, values, attitude, goals, needs, and wants. Some examples of internal sources of stress can be striving for perfection in all we do or refusing to speak to an audience because of our internal fears.
If not dealt with over time, stress can have a devastating impact on your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. You can develop unhealthy ways to deal with stress, such as unhealthy eating behaviors, alcohol consumption, and sedentary habits.
The good news is that not all stress is bad for us. Being stressed in the right context can have a more positive influence on our lives. Some people say that they produce their best work when they are under pressure to deliver.
When you are able to manage stress in a positive way, this can open you up to new opportunities outside of your comfort zone. It can also be the catalyst you need to change and empower you to come up with solutions and challenges so that you can grow and move forward in your life.
These 7 stress management techniques make up a tool box of strategies and skills that you can use at any time when you are feeling stressed and want to get your life back on track. The more you use these tools, the more proactive you become in managing your stress levels. By managing your stress, you minimize the negative influence it can have on your quality of life.
7 Effective Stress Management Techniques
1. Write Down 5 Benefits of Having Your Stress Under Control
When making changes or implementing anything new in your life, it is important to identify the benefits for you. The five identified benefits become the incentives to encourage and motivate you to make the changes and take action. Once you have these five benefits written down, then ask yourself these two questions:
- What is the goal I want to achieve?
- What are the benefits I expect from achieving this goal?
Write these responses on stick-it notes and put these notes in a place where you can see them.
2. Get to Know Yourself and Give Yourself Some Slack
Spend some time getting to know you, your personality, your strengths, things you don’t like doing, and things you do like doing. The objective of this exercise is to become more self-aware so that you can quickly identify what things in life stress you out and how you can manage these activities so that they don’t have such a negative impact on your life.
When you know who you are and what is important to you, you will take action to manage the negative activities that are not serving you well.
We can be our own worst enemies, and we can be very hard on ourselves, which is not great when it comes to managing stress in our lives. Resist the urge to scold yourself for being selfish or lazy or for not “earning” it. That inner critic is totally normal, but it’s not only a fun-killer, it will intensify your feelings of stress.
Self-sabotaging thoughts, at their core, come from your subconscious mind trying to protect you from judgment, either by self or others. Simply noticing them is the first step to moving past this. Ask yourself, “Is this really true, or is this my brain speaking out of fear?”
The more self-aware you are, the more accepting you are of your strengths and what you are not so good at.
Striving for perfection in everything you do and comparing yourself to others will not be so important to you when you know who you are and are happy with you.
3. Exercise Regularly
This is a very practical strategy that works. A regular exercise routine in your life builds your physical resilience to manage stress. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
Exercise is an amazing stress reliever, and the best part is that you don’t have to engage in hardcore workout sessions to reap the benefits!
All you have to do is make an effort to incorporate some movement into your day. Whether it’s power walking, using the stairs, dancing around, or cramming some pushups into your work breaks, movement will help you better cope with high-stress levels.
4. Learn and Practice Relaxation Techniques
Research suggests that daily meditation can help you handle anxiety, depression, and a variety of other mental and physical ailments.
Meditation allows you to focus on yourself without having to worry about any of the stress of daily life. All you have to do is concentrate on your body and the world around you. Your mind is free of all worries and cares when you are in the meditation zone!
For those who are new to this practice, there are plenty of guided meditations that will help you to start your meditation journey.
Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events. You will always be facing times of stress in your life, and by relaxing and calming your mind, you give your body time to recover from these stressful events.
5. Commit to Spending Time With People Who Make You Smile
Everyone needs that someone or several people who are willing to listen and support them. The more stress we face, the more likely we will withdraw from our circle of friends and family. Stress, if we allow it, can consume our lives physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Simply talking about your problems is very therapeutic, and if your friends are good listeners, they may have some helpful advice to provide you with. Surrounding yourself with people who bring you joy, encourage, and support you, will build your spiritual and mental resilience.
Keeping a positive attitude and outlook on life is a lot easier to do when you are surrounded by people who love and support you. Laughing out loud and smiling is a great way to manage the stress levels in your life. The more you laugh in life, the better your quality of life will be.
6. Be Grateful
Keeping a daily gratitude journal is one of the most effective ways to successfully manage stress in your life. This act of writing down all the things that you are grateful for every day keeps you present and real. It gives you a more optimistic and hopeful perspective of your life right now.
To successfully manage stress in your life, optimism and hope are the two key ingredients that you need. Without them, your ability to effectively manage stress is a lot harder – in fact, impossible!
7. Commit to Taking Action
If you allow stress to creep into your life, it will take over your life – physically, mentally, and spiritually. We live in a world of constant change and disruption, so we will always be challenged by the threat of stress.
Commit to taking action to manage the impact that stress has on your life, and do something about it. You are the only one who has the power to do it.
Recommended actionable tasks to benefit immediately
There is no escape from stress. These 7 stress management techniques, however, are strategies that if you adopt and practice consistently, will enable you to live your life to the fullest — resilient and strong in mind, body, and soul.
Featured photo credit: ALIAKSEI LEPIK via unsplash.com
|HelpGuide: Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
|IOS Press: Addressing psychosocial work-related stress interventions: A systematic review
|American Family Physician: Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Benefits of Exercise, Yoga, and Meditation
|The Harvard Gazette: When science meets mindfulness
|American Psychological Association: Manage stress: Strengthen your support network
|Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives: The Effects of Laughter Therapy for the Relief of Employment-Stress in Korean Student Nurses by Assessing Psychological Stress Salivary Cortisol and Subjective Happiness
|NIH: Practicing Gratitude Ways to Improve Positivity