once said that life is a series of unexpected events in which
we are not quite prepared. The resulting stress can be caused
by past, present, or future encounter(s) that we perceive as
a threat or challenge. These stressors may be either perceived
external conflicts or internal struggles.
Stress management can be viewed as a lifestyle conducive to
effective handling of anxiety. We all incorporate certain strategies
in order to deal with everyday encounters, concerns, and challenges.
We learn to deal with stress in different ways throughout life.
Many of us tend to deal with stress in the same ways we did when
we were younger. What may have been the best way to deal with
such events at an earlier stage may now be inappropriate, ineffective,
or inefficient. Being creatures of habit, we must reevaluate
our behaviors and take some effort to become more effective in
dealing with our stress. For some, this proposal may be very
stressful in itself. We tend to embrace those things that are
most familiar to us. Those old habits are comforting in many
regards. It may be some time before the product of our old ways
creates more anxiety than the idea of change in itself. It may
be at this point that new behaviors are considered and ideally
adapted. For some, this lifestyle change may take years to finally
implement into one's daily routine. Unfortunately, for many others,
these changes rarely transpire. Often, we lack sufficient self-efficacy
and don't feel confident enough to manage such lifestyle changes.
Often, we fail to even recognize a particular lifestyle change
are more effective in managing certain stresses. This is particularly
true if the derived benefit(s) are long term or uncertain; as
with the case with many wellness practices.
Our thoughts, emotions, behaviors (conscience and sub-conscience),
and environment, interact and affect our decision to make positive
lifestyle changes. To manage our emotions, as in stress management,
we attempt to manage our environment and the content of our thoughts.
Stress management techniques may incorporate time management,
assertiveness, rational problem solving, as well as various self-regulation
practices. Stress management is only one component to one's wellness
lifestyle. Other components of the wellness lifestyle may include
healthy social relations, sound dietary practices, exercise,
safety precautions, vacation, leisure, spiritual matters, social
interaction and support, as well as other elements that contribute
to the total self.
manage our environment by engaging in activities, interacting
with people, and changing the world in which we live. We manage
our thoughts and attitude by making sense of ourselves, our world,
and the interaction between ourselves and our world. Apart from
our biological tendencies, our stress response is largely learned.
However, we can prepare and retrain ourselves to manage our reaction
to stressful events.
Self-regulation techniques can be introduced by using various
forms of biofeedback training. Physiological reactions to stress
may include: peripheral vascular constriction, tachycardia, hypertension,
etc. Biofeedback training may involve monitoring these reactions
and self regulating via digital temperature, heart rate, blood
pressure, EEG activity, galvanic skin response, respiration frequency
& quota, temporal, and other EMG activity. Some self-regulation
methods include, progressive relaxation, autogenic phrases, and
guided imagery. Longer sessions may be used to train the individual
to relax more effectively and more efficiently. Quicki-minis
are ideally suited to be used throughout the day, when stress
is more of a reality. Some quicki-minis include: tense-release,
breathing techniques, shoulder roles, and various stretches.
Regular exercise is also a very effective in managing daily
stress and anxiety. Periodic work breaks incorporating physical
activity can assist in managing work related stress, particularly
with more sedentary type occupations. A healthy diet supplying
adequate nutrients while maintaining blood sugar blood sugar
levels throughout the day may also facilitate a more healthy
response to stress.
Multiple techniques can be used to help manage stress. Like
any lifestyle change, incorporating the most effective stress
management techniques into your daily routine may require time
and perseverance. Once implemented, these techniques can assist
in dealing with whatever life brings your way.