Simply put stress is a response to life situations. Many things can cause us stress, but there is a distinction between good stress and bad stress.
- Good stress happens around demanding situations we feel in control of. Good stress can help us become motivated and productive, but if we feel we are under too much stress we can choose to stop experiencing the stress. Therefore we feel in control of what is going on in our lives
- Bad stress is when the stress is outside our control; we do not want it, would not choose it, and cannot walk away from it.
- Stress management is about learning how to deal with bad stress, by taking charge of your thoughts, your feelings, your schedule, your environment and the way you deal with problems.
Here are some ideas on how to manage stress
- Identify the sources of stress in your life – accept responsibility for the role you play yourself in creating and maintaining it
- Look at how you are currently coping with stress – are your strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unhelpful
- Learn how to say ‘no’
- Avoid people who stress you out
- Learn skills to improve relationships- express your feelings instead of bottling them up, learn to compromise, manage your time better
- Stop setting your self up for failure by demanding perfection – it’s ok to be ‘good enough’
- Focus on the positive
- Accept the things you cannot change
- Make time for fun and relaxation
- Watch what you eat and drink
- Set aside a time to relax and learn to let go of tension and anxiety – meditation and mindfulness based stress reduction are very useful ways of learn to manage stress