Stress Management Tips
Almost everyone experiences stress from time to time and while a small amount of stress can motivate us, too much or prolonged stress can be damaging to both our physical and mental health.
Stress typically begins as pressure – from ourselves or others – and if we are unable to cope with this pressure, we feel stressed. The effects of stress will differ from person to person, but if left untreated it can lead to illness.
There are many things in life that can cause stress, including work, relationships, family issues and financial problems. For some, stress causes them to adopt unhealthy coping methods such as smoking or drinking – and while this may feel like a quick fix, these habits are harming your health and ultimately the stress itself still isn’t being addressed. On this page we will look at stress in more detail, including stress symptoms and what you can do to manage stress.
Causes of stress
Causes of stress will depend on the individual – so what may cause stress for one person may not be stressful for another. Having said this, most stressful situations are associated with change or a lack of control. Even if the change is a positive one, it can still feel stressful.
Some common stressful events include:
- getting married
- moving house
- having a baby
- serious illness
As well as events like these, stress can also be caused by long-term circumstances, such as:
- being unemployed
- having financial issues
- relationship difficulties
- caring for a disabled family member/friend
- problems at work.
Keys to Managing Stress
- Notice that you are stressed as early as possible
- Identify who or what is stressing you
- Learn to be appropriately assertive and say “No” to yourself and others
- Develop realistic goals
- Change the negatives if you can, and change your attitude about them if you can’t
- Learn not to panic or over-react when things don’t go well
- Take time out to relax daily and exercise at least 3 times a week
- Eat and sleep well, and limit alcohol and tobacco use
- Take care of academic, medical or other personal problems as soon as you notice them
If you find that you are feeling irritable, tired most of the time, unable to concentrate, or experiencing restlessness and sleep disturbances, you may want to seek professional help for stress management. Relaxation techniques are often helpful, and a professional can assist you in exploring more adaptive stress management methods. Contact the Counseling Center at 348-3863 for an appointment. You may also want to learn more about stress by viewing the Mind/Body Health Interactive available here.
*Results may vary from person to person.