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Ways to Effectively Manage Stress

published February 19, 2007

Judith Earley
( 93 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
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<<In other words, stress is the "wear and tear" we experience physically as our bodies regulate themselves to keep up with our continually changing environment. This regulation process can trigger either positive or negative feelings. When it is positive, stress can compel us to action; however, when it is negative, the outcome can be distrust, rejection, anger, depression, and the development of health problems like headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Burnout occurs when your physical or emotional strength or motivation is exhausted from dealing with stress over a long period of time. In turn, the stresses we deal with daily destroy our perceptions of what happens on the job, and job satisfaction disappears. While there is no simple solution for managing stress, here are 10 tips that can help you identify what gives meaning to your work and, thus, counteract environmental stressors.

1. Breathe Deeply.
When we are stressed, often our breathing becomes too shallow, which can cause us to feel more stress!

2. Manage Time Wisely.
The result of poor time management is often increased stress. An overcommitted, do-everything mindset can be combated by planning ahead. We need to keep our schedules reasonable and schedule stress reduction as part of each day.

3. Don't Be a Loner.
There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Sadness, boredom, and loneliness can be counteracted by interacting with others on a regular basis.

4. Talk to Someone.
Keeping things "bottled up" can increase frustration and stress. Sharing how we feel with friends, family members, teachers, clergy members, or counselors can help to shed new light on our situations and clear our heads.

5. Take a Mini Vacation.
Go away to a favorite place mentally. With our eyes closed, we can travel to places where we feel relaxed and at peace.

6. Get Comfortable.
Keep your physical environment as comfortable as possible.

7. Get Physical.
Adding physical activity to our days helps to reduce and prevent the effects of stress on our lives. When nervousness or anger infringe upon our days, we can let go of them through exercise or physical activity.

8. Have a Sense of Humor.
This includes being able to laugh at yourself. Break down and watch a funny movie.

9. Give a Little; Take a Little.
We don't always have to be right. If we always get upset when things don't go our way, we need to consider cooperation or compromise rather than confrontation.

10. Big Girls—and Boys—Do Cry.
Having a good cry during a period of stress is not necessarily a sign of weakness. It can be a healthy way to relieve anxiety and may also prevent the physical consequences of keeping things locked up inside.

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