Stress management skills and techniques are an important resource to have in your wellness toolbox. Due to the highly stressful nature of our professional and personal lives, it’s good to know some basic principles for how to support your mental, physical, and emotional health in challenging times.
If you’re looking for some simple ways to reduce stress, we’ve rounded up seven excellent ideas that will help you restore and maintain balance and well-being.
This Article Contains
- What Are Stress Management Skills And Techniques?
- Why Is Having Stress Management Skills Important?
- 7 Stress Management Skills And Techniques For Beating Mental & Physical Exhaustion
What Are Stress Management Skills And Techniques?
Stress is something that affects all of us and can manifest in many different ways. Physically, our stress response often manifests as headaches, muscle tension, exhaustion and tiredness, stomach aches, lack of appetite, and inexplicable weight gain. Mentally, stress can manifest as nightmares, poor mood, self-criticism, anxiety and depression, agitation, and feelings of hopelessness .
Even though stress is a part of our daily lives, that doesn’t mean we should just accept that it will always be there. Having stress levels that are too high is exhausting for our mental and physical health and is one of the root causes of many diseases . It keeps our body in survival mode, setting us into a permanent fight or flight state, chronically increasing our blood pressure, disrupting our digestion, and weakening our immune system .
There are many ways stress comes into our lives – both personally and professionally. Stress can come up in your everyday life through traumatic events, personal and relationship conflicts, life changes, health problems, physical or emotional pain, and financial problems. Professionally, stress can come from work overload, overwhelming responsibilities, conflicts with your boss or coworkers, and working towards unattainable goals. Even though it can come from different sources, the effects of stress on our minds and bodies can bleed into every aspect of our lives.
Stress is a pretty big part of our existence and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. So how can we learn to manage stress better?
This is where stress management techniques come in. We might not be able to completely eradicate stress from our lives but we can learn how to relieve stress and effectively cope with it so it doesn’t overrule us.
Why Is Having Stress Management Skills Important?
Having some basic stress management skills and techniques in your wellness toolbox is going to help you more easily adapt to difficult parts of your life in a way that will maintain your mental and physical health and prevent burnout. Burnout is a state of mental, physical, or spiritual exhaustion caused by chronic stress . Having good relaxation techniques can prevent burnout by restoring and reestablishing the harmony of your nervous system so that you feel mentally and physically balanced, relaxed, and energized.
7 Stress Management Skills And Techniques For Beating Mental & Physical Exhaustion
Burnout can affect all of us at different points in our lives which is why it is so important to have some stress management skills and techniques at the ready so you can restore and rebalance yourself. These basic techniques can easily be incorporated into your life in a way that will serve as a buffer between your sense of well-being and the stress around you.
Manage Your Time Wisely
We’ve all had moments when we feel like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. This can lead to us feeling unfocused and panicky, which clouds our judgment and sense of clarity. This lack of clarity decreases productivity because it makes us feel scrambled and we often end up focusing on unimportant tasks or demands.
When we become overwhelmed by the number of tasks we need to complete, it can feel disempowering. Learning how to manage your time wisely can give you back a sense of control and security. Doing things like prioritizing your to-do list and setting time limits on your tasks can help you stay focused, relaxed, and productive.
Take Breaks When You Need Them
It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks will actually increase your productivity. Taking breaks has been proven to reduce stress, which in turn boosts productivity . When you take a break from your work, it’s important to do so mindfully. Don’t let it get to the point where you need to take a break because you feel like you are going to explode with anger or burst out crying – that’s like taking a sip of water only when you feel like you’re about to pass out from dehydration. Plan ahead and take regular breaks throughout the day – not just when you’re at the end of your rope.
Learn How To Say No
Personal boundaries are an essential part of self-love and managing stress. We sometimes feel like we need to be everything for everyone but that’s how stress sneaks in and causes burnout, rendering you useless to yourself and the people around you. Getting comfortable with saying “No” is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the people around you because it is going to preserve your energy so that when you do show up, it will be in a much more meaningful, openhearted, and powerful way.
Exercise is one of the most important relaxation techniques because it reduces stress hormones and increases endorphins which trigger your body’s relaxation response . There are endless ways to exercise and get your body moving – you don’t necessarily have to go for a jog or join a gym to get your heart pumping. If you’re someone who has never been keen on working out, there are a ton of options for you to explore that won’t feel like a chore. Going for walks in nature or around your city is a great way to get your body moving while enjoying the fresh air. There is also a wide range of dance, yoga, and other fun workouts you can get for free from YouTube. Experiment with some options and find what feels good for you.
Prioritize Essential Tasks
To-do lists are great but they can become cumbersome when they aren’t organized in a way that optimizes your time and energy. To get the most out of your to-do lists, prioritize your most essential tasks first. You might choose to separate your list into three sections – the things you must get done, the things you’d like to get done, and the things you probably won’t get done but would be a nice bonus. If things get too stressful, allow yourself to focus only on the tasks in the first category for a few days.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is one of those stress management skills and techniques that is always important to keep in your back pocket. It doesn’t require a lot of time or energy and you can do it virtually anywhere. Meditation is an important tool for combating stress because it allows you to become a witness to your thoughts rather than getting wrapped up in them. The act of mindfulness meditation allows you to sit with and observe your stress which naturally leads to the creation of a buffer between you (the observer) and the thoughts in your mind. If you aren’t familiar with meditation, it can be difficult to do this on your own but luckily, there are many guided meditations out there to help you cultivate that inner sense of calm. Again, YouTube is a great resource to look for beginner-friendly meditations.
Try A Self-Care Program For Stress Relief & Relaxation
While each of the previously mentioned ways to manage stress can help you lower your stress levels, it can be challenging to implement these changes on your own. If you’re concerned with how to plan for and carve out the time to practice stress relief methods, you might want some expert guidance in the form of a stress management program.
If this is you, our online course 30 DAYS OF SIMPLE SELF-CARE: MANAGING STRESS might be perfect for you as it provides practical support for adapting to and coping with stress when you’re unsure if you have the time or wherewithal to do so. This self-paced digital course will help you implement stress management techniques into your daily life, step by step, without feeling like another item to add to your to-do list.
The course focuses on mental health and self-care by providing you with the necessary tools to effectively handle stress through easy-to-follow deep breathing meditations, progressive muscle relaxation, self-affirmations, self-care practices, daily reflections, and journaling techniques.
30 DAYS OF SIMPLE SELF-CARE will help you concentrate on accepting what is, so you can pay attention to your body and mind without judgment or resistance and learn to support your own mental health and well-being. This self-awareness will allow you to reconnect with an inner sense of peace that you can lean on whenever your outside world becomes stressful and chaotic. The clarity that this inner well of calm brings thus has the potential to elevate your state of mind to a place where you can easily handle stress with a sense of empowerment and certainty.
The Bottom Line
Stress can sometimes feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to rule you. By incorporating some basic stress management skills and techniques in the form of boundaries, exercise, a healthy diet, (progressive muscle) relaxation, and a solid stress management plan, you can begin to feel in control of your stress and take inspired action that will improve your mental and physical health and overall wellbeing.