Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Stress Management Tips and Techniques

By Cheryl Cattarin

Introduction To Stress Management Tips
Stress is a part of day to day living and adjusting to our environment. Family, friends, employment and life experiences can all affect our level of stress. Mild forms of stress can act as a motivator that propels you to complete tasks that excite you. However, if your stress level becomes too high, physical, mental / emotional problems can result. This is when stress management tips come in handy to help you to cope more effectively.

What causes Stress?
How we react to external events is what causes stress. In themselves, events are not stressful. We all differ in how we respond to the events taking place around us and it is our internal reactions, thoughts and choices that either create or alleviate stress. What one person finds stressful another does not. For example, one person may fear speaking up for themselves and worry that this may cause conflicts to arise. Another person though, may view speaking up as a way to achieve their desires and is motivated to do so.

Both positive and negative life experiences can be stressful. Major changes though contribute to higher levels of stress and require stress management tips and techniques to help you to cope at these times.

Major changes that influence our level of stress include:
  • Changing homes
  • Divorce
  • Death of a loved one
  • Losing your job
  • Changing jobs
  • Conflict in the workplace or home
  • Increased workload
  • Getting married
  • Starting a family
  • Illness
  • Financial issues / problems
  • Noise / distractions
  • Feeling let down

A combination of two or more of these stressors is more likely to raise your level of stress.

How do you know if you are stressed?
There are a number of symptoms that indicate that you may be experiencing stress. You may notice that you:
  • have mixed feelings
  • feel anxious
  • experience mood swings
  • feel irritable
  • frustrated
  • or are easily annoyed

You may notice a change in your behaviour, for example:
  • crying when you think about what is causing you stress
  • acting impulsively
  • grinding your teeth
  • increasing your level of smoking, drugs or alcohol
  • Losing interest in your environment or social interactions
  • You may notice that it is difficult to concentrate or you suffer a loss of productivity
  • You may be preoccupied or worried with thoughts / tasks to complete
  • You may feel inadequate
  • Loss of appetite or increased binge eating

Stress can also affect the body, you may notice any one of the following symptoms:
  • Increased perspiration
  • increased heart beat
  • feeling nervous
  • sleep problems
  • digestive problems
  • tense muscles
  • illness prone

It is important to be aware of the indicators of stress. In the last year, both of my beautiful parents died and then my workload increased dramatically due to changes in my work role. It wasn't until a colleague pointed out that I was behaving differently (snappy, irritable, memory fading) that I stopped and fully realised that I had experienced three major stressors in a period of twelve months, which were contributing to how I was feeling.

Whilst I "should" have been aware that I was suffering the effects of stress, I had not acknowledged it because I was trying to cope with grief and the increased workload. I am truly grateful that my colleague brought it to my attention. This is when I began to empower myself again, by using many of the techniques listed below.

The benefit of using these techniques is to increase your level of happiness and well-being. Remember you are never alone if you are suffering from stress and there is always someone who can assist you. But the first step you must take is to recognise that you are experiencing stress and then decide what you wish to do about it.

Stress Management Tips and Techniques
Here, we will cover some of the stress management tips and techniques that you can use to reduce your stress. Do not hesitate though to seek the services of a professional counselor or your doctor if symptoms persist. Ongoing stress can affect your health and well being. Learn to recognise the signs and choose to help yourselves to lessen stress.

To reduce your level of stress you can:
  • Exercise - Practice some form of exercise daily to promote optimal health and well being. This is a wonderful way of reducing the impact of stress on your physical and mental well being.
  • Change the way you think. Reinforce positive self-statements. People grow from strength rather than weakness.
  • Practice a relaxation method that incorporate the Mind Traffic Exercise. The Mind Traffic Exercise is where you have a pen and paper beside you as you relax where you can dump all of your thoughts onto the paper.
  • Learn to recognize and accept your limits. Do not judge yourself or place expectations on how you think you 'should' cope. Each one of us is unique in how we handle stress.
  • Find ways to have fun. Start a new hobby or rekindle an old one.
  • Eat a balanced diet daily.
  • Talk with friends, family, a counselor, teacher or someone you can trust about your worries/problems.
  • Develop time management skills. When you have many tasks to complete, setting priorities will help you to manage more effectively. Remember to set realistic goals.
  • Practice relaxation techniques on a daily basis.


Having worked in the Personal Development field for over twenty years, Cheryl Cattarin has taught thousands of people the skills to improve their lives. Her latest book "From Crappy to Happy" teaches how to transform throughts from negative to positive and remove self-sabotaging patterns that hinder success.

Find out more about Cheryl's work and gain valuable Personal Development Tips at http://www.fromcrappytohappy.com

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