What is Stress Management?
Stress is the physical and emotional tension caused by our response to several factors whether actual or imagined like:
- Relationship demands
- Long office hours/ workplace stress
- Medical problems
- Money (It is always less no matter how much you have)
- Kids : diet, homework, finding time for them etc.
- Trying to be a perfectionist
Stress management focuses on handling stress the right way rather than attempting to eliminate it entirely. You come across stress on a daily basis, but dealing with it the right way will make life much more simpler. The first step towards effective stress management is positive thinking.
Dealing with Stress
Positive thinking tips - Some factors are under our control and some are not. Here are a few tips to deal with factors that can be controlled.
- Be realistic and easy on yourself before setting schedules and goals. Its easy to get disappointed if you are not able to stick to the schedule. Break big tasks into smaller tasks which can be easily achieved.
- Concentrate on the task at hand. Stop thinking about how many tasks are yet to be done. Focus on the present.
- Ensure a clutter free home. Assign a day in a week, preferably weekend mornings to sort, file and discard letters,publications,notices and the like. Keep a proper place assigned for books,toys,clothes etc. Ask kids to help out by keeping their rooms neat and tidy. Reward them with something reasonable like their favorite snacks, videos or spending time with them doing what they enjoy. A clutter free home saves unnecessary time spent on finding things, thereby reducing stress.
- If you are working, use domestic help to do the initial meal preparation like cutting vegetables,fruits etc. and the basic things so that you can prepare meals easily after coming home from work. If appointing domestic help is not feasible, chop vegetables and fruits for the next day in advance and refrigerate. Promote healthy eating habits. When you come back, you can save time on meal preparation. Saving time here enables you to retire early and have more hours of sleep.
- Love yourself. Treat your body well. Eat well. Sleep well. Live well.
- Listen to your favorite music. It helps a lot to calm frayed nerves.
- Play with pets.
- Read good books and motivational stories.
- Make new friends, maintain contact with old friends. Friends listen and sometimes you just need somebody who listens.They also provide valuable advice when you need it.
- Laugh often.Change your desktop wallpaper to something humorous. Watch comedy programmes on tv.
- Help someone in need. You will get immense satisfaction after helping someone.
- Practise relaxation techniques
For factors beyond our control here are a few tips:
- You cannot control the behavior of others, but you can control your reaction to their behavior. If you are having issues with a difficult boss, in-laws, someone in your area, remember you have to be calm and confident in your approach to such people. Do not react to their comments and be an easy target for additional attacks. Practice this and you will be able to ignore such comments in due course. Once you start ignoring, such people will stop verbal attacks as it won’t have any effect on you.
- You cannot control certain situations like natural disasters, rush hour traffic, unexpected guests, illnesses.They will take place when they have to.There is no point worrying about such situations. Instead when such thoughts trouble you, do something which motivates you, like reading motivational stories,listening to music,talking to someone who encourages you etc.
- Stop worrying about the future.You must think of the future when it comes to savings. But live in present moment. Reduce the number of ‘What Ifs’ to zero.
- Look at the bigger picture.You may not have as many cars as your neighbor, but then there are many in this world who don’t even have food to eat.
- Avoid company of selfish and negative people. They transmit negativity.
A few self-motivational quotes for effective stress management
- I cried my heart out because I did not have shoes till I saw a man without any feet.
- People often say Motivation doesn’t last.Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
- ‘Stressed’ spelt backwards is ‘Desserts’.
- When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us. – Helen Keller
In addition, adequate physical exercise and yoga will help you in your stress management initiatives.