Continuing… ‘Acing the Art of Stress Management, Part 2’– How can you ensure complete success in managing chronic stress?
The first part of our current series on acing the art of stress management, we talked about three important guidelines:
First, you have to become familiar with the actual stressors that are causing you feel chronically stressed on a daily basis. This can be accomplished through regular journaling.
Second, you have to identify the negative beliefs and values that you may have. These beliefs and values may be stopping you from successfully managing your stress. This can be done through consistent self-analysis.
Third, you also have to accept the fact that not everything can be done in one day or one week. Stress management is actually a lifelong endeavor which will help create better beliefs, behaviors and thought patterns.
Today’s discussion will center on some additional guidelines which you can also use to improve your handling of stress management. You can find a few more essential guidelines below:
1.Try One or Try Them All – The fact of the matter is that there is no “perfect formula” for fight stress. I personally believe that stress dissipates more quickly through deep tissue massage because I really feel relaxed and happy after a good massage. But that’s just me; deep tissue massage may not be as effective for you.
This is why it’s so important for people to seek out different methods of stress management.
- Do not limit yourself to only 1 or 2 techniques.
- If something doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean that you do not have the capacity to manage your stress.
- It just means that you haven’t found the right combination of techniques to bring you to your desired level of relaxation and happiness.
2. Assemble Your Army, One by One – Managing stress is literally a battle against bad habits and a myriad of stressors. What do you need to succeed in any battle?
Your personal anti-stress army, of course!
- This personal army of yours will be composed of different relaxation techniques and behavioral modifications which you will learn as you progress with your stress management efforts.
- The techniques which you will be using must fit the genetics of your lifestyle and way of life. If a technique just doesn’t fit your lifestyle, it won’t work. Learn to adjust and discard techniques that do not conform to what you feel is the right way to remedy stress in your life.
3. Keep Practicing! – Like I’ve said before, stress management is essentially a collection of different skills that will enable you to effectively combat stress before it makes you permanently sick.
If you want full mastery of a specific skill, you must be willing to practice it until it becomes second nature.
This guideline may seem easy in comparison to my other reminders but in reality, it’s one of the most challenging to carry out.
Why? Because old habits die hard. For example, it can be very difficult for a person to listen more during an argument because the old habit was to outdo the other person in a screaming match.
Apart from learning new skills, effective stress management will also require you to change your attitudes and behaviors toward your stressors. In the previous blog post, I recommended that you start writing on a stress management journal.
Your stress management journal is more than just a laundry list of things to do.
- It’s actually a special picture of how you think and behave in response to different situations.
- You need a source of special insight if you want to discover your true self and reinvent it so you won’t be so stressed anymore.
4. Don’t Forget “Me” Time – In order to carry out your plans to conquer stress, you have to create space in your daily schedule for stress management. Now, I know that many stressed individuals feel that there isn’t enough time in a whole day for everything that needs to be done.
- However, I would like to point out that the statement “I wish there were 2 more hours in my day” is more of a state of mind than reality.
- The reality is that 12-18 hours of waking time is sufficient for most groups of tasks. There’s also enough time for relaxation within this time-frame.
If you cannot fit everything that you need to do within this amount of time that simply means that you have poor time management skills.
Evaluate how much time you spend on your different activities and try to create more balance within your day.