Stress Management

It’s almost impossible to avoid stress in your daily life. You’re bound to meet your work targets, pay bills and fulfill family responsibilities. Your daily tasks and deadlines are never-ending and you can never have enough hours in a day to complete your tasks. Ultimately these demands build up and exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.

Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A small amount of stress can help you perform under pressure, help you to stay focus and motivate you to excel in your work. If you frequently find yourself feeling worn out and overwhelmed, do take control of your lifestyle, emotions, thoughts and actions. No matter how stressful your life is, there is always ways to overcome the pressure and regain control.

Importance of Stress Management

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If your stress level is too high and cause negative impacts to your well-being, you need to take control of your stress level in order to be mentally and psychically healthy. The ultimate goal in stress management is to have a balanced life. A balanced life consists of sufficient time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun –and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

How effective stress management is will depend on individuals on the method works best for them.

Identify the Sources of Stress in Your Daily Life

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Identify what causes stress from an external or internal perspective. In addition, stress may not necessarily cause by negative events such as divorce or failure to close business deal. Stress can also be contributed by positive events such as job promotion, getting married or going to college. These positive events place high demands or bigger responsibility on you. The events mentioned earlier are mainly external factors.

Internal factors may be due to your personal thoughts which are self-generated such as unrealistic expectations / perfectionism, low self-esteem or being pessimistic about life.

Certain stress factors are also caused by your own behaviour such as worrying too much on work deadlines which may be due to your own procrastination, rather than the actual job demands.

To identify your true sources of stress, you’ll need to understand your habits, attitudes and excuses.

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life or as a part of your personality?
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Create a stress journal and analyse the common problems of your stress. Note down on what do you feel, how do you react and what do you normally do to make yourself feel better if you face certain scenario. You can see a trend from here on the sources of stress.

Your stress level will be outside of your control until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it.

Change Your Unhealthy Stress Management Strategies to a Healthy One

Your stress journal can help you identify how you react to stress and how you cope with it. Many people have unhealthy habits to cope with stress and make them feel better in the short term. Coping stress with unhealthy habits will not only impact your mental condition but also your physical condition in the long term.

image credit: Stock Unlimited

Examples of unhealthy habits to cope with stress:

  • Smoking / Alcohol / Drugs
  • Unhealthy eating habits such as junk food
  • Procrastination
  • Sleeping too little or sleeping too much
  • Release stress on others
  • Avoid your family, friends, activities or events

image credit: Stock Unlimited

Examples of healthy routines/activities to manage stress:

  • Exercise / Sports / Gym
  • Yoga / Pilates / Meditation classes
  • Volunteering
  • Healthy meal plan
  • Connecting to family and friends
  • Make fun and relaxation time such as listening to music, massage therapy etc
  • Get enough rest / sleep

Coming up next on Teleme’s blog: Practice the 4 A’s of Stress Management.


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