Stress Reduction Tips & Strategies
Estimated watch time: 5 mins 01 secs
There are ways you can learn to manage stress. You will start by identifying stress triggers and those signals you get from your mind and body. From there, you can learn how you want to manage your stress. This guide covers some of the coping strategies you can use when you recognize stress and resources you can rely on.
- Who Is at Risk For Stress?
- How Common Is Stress?
- 9 Common Myths About Stress
- Physical Effects of Stress
- 10 Stress Management Techniques
Stress Management Part 2
In this lesson we will be going over Stress Reduction Strategies.
- Once you identify your stress triggers (the events, situations, people and problems that you experience as stressful),
- and identify the signals in your body and mind that alert you to stress (like fatigue, irritability, headaches, eating or drinking more),
- you can decide how you want to manage the stress. (Go back to the video about Why Stress Management is Important if you need help identifying your triggers and reactions to stress).
Combat the stress with one or more of the following strategies.
- Change the situation.
Problem–solving by prioritizing, delegating and focusing are all ways to address problem situations at home or at work.
Recognizing that a situation is creating stress allows you to decide whether there is a problem to be solved and how to go about solving it.
For example, you notice that working full time and having sole responsibility for managing the household and the kids is creating stress. Can you delegate some of those tasks or prioritize them differently?
Or, you feel overwhelmed when you get to work. Can you set your priorities for tomorrow’s work before you leave so you don’t feel overwhelmed the next day?
Improve your focus by leaving issues at home behind when you get to work. Leave work issues behind when you go home so you can focus on what you need to do at home.
Seeing a stressful situation as a problem to be solved and taking steps to solve that problem is a stress reducer.
Clear, assertive communication is an important stress management tool. Should you talk to your boss or your partner about a situation that is creating stress for you? Doing so in a calm, clear manner is assertive, not aggressive. It’s also taking action to change a situation instead of being a passive participant. Passivity increases stress.
- Change your reaction.
Negative self-talk, like, There’s no way I can get this done, increases stress. Change it to positive self-talk, This will be a challenge, but I’ll try my best to get it done, to make stressful situations feel more manageable.
Catastrophizing (making a situation much worse in your mind than it really is) and perfectionism (I’m never going to be able to get this right) create stress. Questioning catastrophic predictions, setting appropriate expectations and being realistic about your abilities, reduce stress.
Optimism is the ability to see the positive in a situation. Optimism is a stress buffer. It can be cultivated, like changing negative self-talk, with practice. Notice that you see the glass as half-empty (I’m not making enough money) and try to see how it could be half-full (I’m paying all my bills).
Personal values, and the extent to which our behavior is consistent with those values, affect how we experience stress. The more your actions are consistent with your values, the less stressed you feel. When you identify behavior at odds with your values, changing it to be more in line with your values lowers stress.
Relaxation strategies are useful in the moment of stress. A brief time out can help you cope better.
- Go for a short walk or do some stretching or yoga.
- Walk away and count to 10 when you’re angry.
- Take a few minutes to close your eyes and breathe slowly, meditate or take a break from what you’re doing.
- General strategies to optimize your ability to manage stress.
A healthy lifestyle enables you to cope with everything better. There’s another video about healthy lifestyles.
These are a few lifestyle points to keep in mind when it comes to stress.
Social support is your most important resource for managing stress. These are the people you can share with, depend on if you need something and for whom you will do the same. Make time and space for them.
Time management means intentionally managing the time you spend in various activities. Change your routines to adapt to a stressful environment by making time for healthy activities. Fitting in a 20-minute walk may even improve your productivity at work or at home. So will limiting multitasking.
Sleep, exercise, diet and spiritual practices are all important in reducing stress. They also tend to be the first things you cut back on when you are experiencing stress. Try to safeguard them all. They give you the physical and cognitive resources you need to face challenges.
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