Do you know anyone who isn't at times stressed out these days?
The pace of modern life makes stress management a necessary skill for everyone.
Many people juggle multiple responsibilities, work, home life, caregiving and relationships. Learning to identify problems and implement solutions is the key to successful stress reduction.
The first step in successful stress relief is deciding to make stress management an ongoing goal, and to monitor your stress level.
Once you start monitoring your stress level, the next step is identifying your stress triggers. When or under what situations do you experience the most stress? Some causes of stress are easy to identify, such as job pressures, relationship problems or financial difficulties. But daily hassles and demands, such as commuting, arranging child care or being over-committed at work, also can contribute to your stress level.
Positive events also can be stressful. If you got married, started a new job and bought a new house in the same year, you could have a high stress level. While negative events in general are more stressful, be sure to also assess positive changes in your life.
Once you've identified your stress triggers, you can start thinking about strategies for dealing with them. Identifying what aspect of the situation you can control is a good starting point.
For example, if you have a difficult time falling asleep because you're stressed out, the solution may be as easy as turning off the TV when the evening news is too distressing. Other times, such as high demands at work or when a loved one is ill, you may only be able to change how you react to the situation.
And don't feel like you have to figure it out all on your own. Seek help and support from family and friends. You may want to ask them what stress-relief techniques have worked well for them.
And many people benefit from daily practice of stress-reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, massage, tai chi or yoga. Many people manage stress through practicing mindfulness in meditation or being in nature.
And remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle to help manage stress — eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Having a healthy lifestyle will help you manage periods of high stress.
Stress won't disappear from your life. And stress management isn't an overnight cure. But with ongoing practice and incorporation of resiliency into your lifestyle, you can learn to manage your stress level and increase your ability to cope with life's challenges.