Stress has such a significant impact on everyday living these days that you cannot ignore it any longer. But stress management programs can be expensive. And with increasing numbers of working adults suffering debilitating stress due to financial problems, you need all the help you can get to find an inexpensive stress reduction program… which works! Fortunately you can develop a stress management program for yourself by following some simple steps:
Step 1 – Be Honest About Your Stress Levels.
In normal levels, stress is not a bad thing. It is the body’s natural response to life’s traumas. It enables us to escape potentially harmful situations with the fight or flight response and it helps us to achieve personal bests when channeled positively. However, excessive or prolonged stress causes harmful mental and physical conditions which can be fatal if unchecked. Recognize and accept just how much stress you are under.
Step 2 – Recognize Your Symptoms Of Stress.
Stress manifests in different ways, including a dry mouth, raised blood pressure, fatigue, muscle tension, headaches, poor concentrating, memory problems, withdrawal, lack of interest in sex, difficulty sleeping and an increased reliance on comfort foods, alcohol and or cigarettes.
The more of these symptoms you have at any one time, and the longer they persist, the more stressed you are and the more you need a stress management plan.
Step 3 – Take Control.
How stressed you are depends upon how you respond to the situations you perceive as stressful. In particular, you are most likely to feel stressed whenever you feel out of control. One key way to manage your stress levels is to take positive control in areas of your life where you can get control.
For example, if you know you have an important work deadline looming, do not volunteer to organize the work social outing even though you did it for the last two years and people are expecting you to volunteer again. And before you start a piece of work, make sure that you do all the research. Let everyone who will have an input into your report know what you will need from them and WHEN you will need it.
Step 4 – Find Your Own Stress Management Techniques.
All stress management techniques work but they do not all work equally for everyone. You have to find which techniques work for you. Be honest. If the idea of exercise exhausts you, do not join a gym. But a yoga class might be perfect for you. And if you cannot get up in the mornings, do not ditch the train in favor of cycling to work. Being late every day will only cause your stress levels to go through the roof! Do not give up. Find what works for you… and do it!
Step 5 – Take a Holistic Approach.
Think holistically. You can go a long way to reducing your stress levels by taking care of your body by getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and reducing or eliminating alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes and drugs. You can also reduce stress by eating the right foods.
Step 6 – Sort Out Your Time Management.
Learn to manage your time effectively. This means learning how to not to waste your time and also how to prioritize it to make the most of what you have. This is a key life skill which will help lower your stress.
Use these steps to work out a stress management plan which will work for you. Tell your family, friends and coworkers so that they will know what to expect from you and will be able to support you. Be positive about your stress reduction plans. They are one of the healthiest and most productive ways you can take control of your life. Devising one for yourself shows that you take you health and wellbeing seriously and you may even inspire others to tackle their own stress with a personal stress management plan.
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