Are you feeling overwhelmed by life and the stresses that come with it? Are your responsibilities piling up to the point where you don’t think that you can handle it anymore? Let us give you practical coping tools to get you back on the path to peace. Stress management is a wide spectrum of techniques and psychotherapies aimed at controlling a person’s level of stress, especially chronic stress, usually for the purpose of improving everyday functioning. In this context, the term ‘stress’ refers only to a stress with significant negative consequences, or distress in the terminology advocated by Hans Selye, rather than what he calls eustress, a stress whose consequences are helpful or otherwise.
Stress produces numerous physical and mental symptoms which vary according to each individual’s situational factors. These can include physical health decline as well as depression. The process of stress management is named as one of the keys to a happy and successful life in modern society. Although life provides numerous demands that can prove difficult to handle, stress management provides a number of ways to manage anxiety and maintain overall well-being.
Despite stress often being thought of as a subjective experience, levels of stress are readily measurable, using various physiological tests, similar to those used in polygraphs.
Many practical stress management techniques are available, some for use by health professionals and others, for self-help, which may help an individual reduce their levels of stress, provide positive feelings of control over one’s life and promote general well-being. Other stress reducing techniques involve adding a daily exercise routine, finding a hobby, writing your thoughts, feelings, and moods down and also speaking with a trusted one about what is bothering you. It is very important to keep in mind that not all techniques are going to work the same for everyone, that is why trying different stress managing techniques is crucial in order to find what techniques work best for you. An example of this would be, two people on a roller coaster one can be screaming grabbing on to the bar while the other could be laughing while their hands are up in the air (Nisson). This is a perfect example of how stress effects everyone differently that is why they might need a different treatment. These techniques do not require doctors approval but seeing if a doctors technique works better for you is also very important.
Evaluating the effectiveness of various stress management techniques can be difficult, as limited research currently exists. Consequently, the amount and quality of evidence for the various techniques varies widely. Some are accepted as effective treatments for use in psychotherapy, while others with less evidence favoring them are considered alternative therapies. Many professional organizations exist to promote and provide training in conventional or alternative therapies.
There are several models of stress management, each with distinctive explanations of mechanisms for controlling stress. Much more research is necessary to provide a better understanding of which mechanisms actually operate and are effective in practice.