Importance of Stress Management

It is almost impossible to avoid the stresses of daily life. As a working adult, you need to meet work targets, pay bills and fulfil family responsibilities. Your daily tasks and deadlines are never-ending and it always appears that you do not have enough hours in a day to complete your tasks. Ultimately all of these demands gradually build up and exceed your personal and social resources.

Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. A small amount of stress can help you to stay focus and motivate you to excel in your career.

However, if you frequently find yourself feeling worn out and overwhelmed, you need to take control of your emotions and thoughts. No matter how stressful your life may be, there are always ways to overcome the pressure and regain control of your life.

Importance of Stress Management

If your stress level is too high and causes a negative impact on your well-being, you need to take control in order to be healthier, both mentally and physically. The ultimate goal is stress management is to have a balanced life, with enough time for work and personal life and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet the challenges. 

Try some of the following recommended self-help tips to help you cope with your stress.

Identify the Sources of Stress in Your Daily Life

The source of stress can be either internal or external.  Stress may not be necessarily caused by negative events such as a divorce or failure at work. It can also be contributed by positive events such as a job promotion, getting married or going to college. 

Such external factors appear to put higher demand or bigger responsibility and may appear overwhelming to you.

Internal factors are due to your personal self-generated thoughts such as unrealistic self-expectations or low self-esteem.  Certain stresses are exacerbated by your own behaviour such as over worry or procrastination on work deadlines rather than the actual job demand itself.

To identify your true sources of stress, first 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 your common stress problems. Write down how you feel, how you react to the situation and what you would normally do to make yourself feel better.

You should be able to see a trend and identify the true sources of your stress.  Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining stress, your stress level will remain out of your control.

Click to watch a video on Tips to manage everyday stress by Australian Psychology Society

Change Your Unhealthy Stress Management Strategy to a Healthier One

Your stress journal should have helped you identify how you react to stress and how you react to it. Many people adopt unhealthy habits to cope with stress but which only give temporary relief.

These unhealthy habits will not only worsen your mental condition but also your physical condition in the long term.

Examples of unhealthy habits to cope with stress:

  • Smoking / Alcohol / Drugs
  • Unhealthy eating habits such as junk food
  • Sleeping too little or sleeping too much
  • Blaming or resenting other people
  • Avoiding family or friends’ activities or functions

Instead, try to take up healthy activities to relieve stress such as:

  • Doing exercise or sporting activities with friends
  • Yoga / Pilates / Meditation classes
  • Volunteering to help the less fortunate
  • Adopt a healthier meal plan
  • Connecting with family and friends to celebrate fun events
  • Make time for self-relaxation such as listening to music, facial or massage
  • Get enough rest or sleep

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