Chapter 2: Managing Stress
Managing stress is about making a plan to be able to cope effectively with daily pressures. The ultimate goal is to strike a balance between life, work, relationships, relaxation and fun. By doing this you are more able to deal with daily stress triggers and meet these challenges head on.
Some strategies that can help you look after your mind and body, and in turn help you to better control behaviors that result from too much stress include:
Internal causes of stress (self-generated)
- Inability to accept uncertainty
- Negative self-talk
- Unrealistic expectations
- Lack of assertiveness.
- Know your stress triggers
- Recognise early warning signs and symptoms and act on them to reduce stress
- Practise relaxation techniques or meditation
- Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet
- Exercise regularly—aim for at least 30 minutes every day
- Get enough sleep—aim for around 8 hours every night.
- Try to worry less about things you can’t control, and make plans for dealing with the things you can control
- Set small, manageable and achievable goals
- Apply problem-solving techniques—identifying the problem, clarifying its nature and map out options for dealing with it
- Choose to have a positive attitude
- Think positively about yourself and your achievements
- Take time out to visualize a calm and peaceful place
- Compete against yourself, not those around you and aim for your personal best
- Develop, keep and use your sense of humor.
- Plan and organize ahead to allow enough time to get tasks done
- Use ‘to do’ lists and set priorities to help you achieve your goals
- Be open and honest with people, rather than hiding your thoughts and feelings
- Seek guidance and support when you are feeling stressed
- Create a balanced lifestyle for yourself and allow time for recreation and relaxation
- Reward yourself when you reach your achievements and goals
- Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine and other drugs.