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Would you like to discover how to succeed in managing chronic stress for good? Here is ‘Acing the Art of Stress Management, Part 1’.
Stress management is an active and continuous process of controlling the way you react to common stressors present in everyday life.
The main objective of stress management is to progressively revamp your thought patterns and lifestyle so you will no longer suffer from chronic, toxic stress on a daily basis.
Like other major endeavors, stress management is not without its own set of challenges. That’s why it’s important that you adequately prepare yourself for this important commitment because if you don’t, you’re going to end up being disappointed with the results.
How can you consistently succeed in stress management?
Here are some expert tips that will help demolish the obstacles to successful stress management:
1. Record Your Stressors – Each person has his own unique set of stressors. Stressors can be any of the following: situations, actions, events, general circumstances, objects, people, tasks, chores and work-related obligations.
To make things more organized, I would advise you to create a stress management journal.
What does a stress management journal look like?
One part of your journal should be separated and devoted specifically for recording stressors. Each page should have three columns with the following headings: time/date, stressor, stress level (1-10).
Evaluating your stress level is of paramount importance. When a stressor is rated a “1”, it means that you are only mildly annoyed for a brief period of time.
When you rate an item as a “10” that means that you experience not only mental signs of stress but also physical signs of stress such as a racing heart rate, cold hands and feet, etc.
Is it challenging to maintain a stress management journal?
Bear in mind that a stress management journal should not be difficult to maintain. If recording and journaling stresses you out, it’s possible that you are simply overdoing it.
You do not have to record every little stressor that comes your way – you only have to record the ones that you remember at the end of the day.
Some people can write on their journals every few hours; the majority of people cannot. Write only when it’s convenient for you but you have to write on your stress management journal every day.
2. Acknowledge Your Personal Beliefs & Values –
The battle against stress would be much easier if you came to terms with your personal beliefs and value system.
If you want to overcome negative beliefs and old values that don’t support your current goals, you have to identify them first. Below are some common beliefs and values that can directly impair your ability to manage stress:
- “I have more important things to do than manage stress”
- “Stress management won’t bring food to the table, my work does”
iii. “I have no time left for this sort of thing”
- “I’d rather sleep than try to manage stress”
- “I’m a hopeless case!”
- “I’m not very good at learning new things”
vii. “How will I know if this will work?”
viii. “Stress management is just not ‘my thing’”
- “I think it’s tedious and boring”
- “I don’t have the energy to think about it”
3. Take the First Baby Steps –
Stress management isn’t just a vague concept – it’s a whole set of special skills that will allow you to evade or moderate the stress response so you will be healthier, happier and more productive.
How long will it take before you master stress management?
Stress management has spawned a whole industry of mentors and coaches because it’s not something that can be learned overnight.
With these facts in mind, it logically follows that if you want to learn how to manage stress, you have to muster the courage to take the first few baby steps to achieve your goals.
Managing chronic stress doesn’t require a lot of time.
- You can accomplish a lot of things within a 20-30 minute time-frame. If 20 minutes sounds overwhelming, try limiting your stress management sessions to 10-15 minutes.
- 10-15 minutes should give you enough time to think about the stressors you encountered for that day and how you reacted to the stressors. Self-analysis is your most important tool in managing stress.
- You have to be honest with yourself though. You must avoid justifying habitual, negative responses to stressors as this will impede personal breakthroughs.
- You must make it a point to identify harmful thoughts and behaviors so you can modify them. Behavioral modification, in order to be successful, must be gradual and you must be consistent in enforcing new behavior and rewarding yourself when you succeed in doing so.