Stress Management Techniques for Everyday Use

Stress management techniques can be divided into three categories: short-term or immediate, long-term or planned activities, and permanent steps or changes.

The long-term planning activities should reduce the amount of stress you have relating to time restraints. Most of us develop stress because we try to cram too much into any time frame.

Stress management techniques include time management techniques.

You may have come across various books written to help busy individuals schedule various activities based on prioritizing. Remember Alan Lakein's How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life?

You may have used it, as I did, to prioritize tasks and schedule them after assigning each to one of three categories. It was a great way to reduce stress resulting from having too many tasks seeming to be important for the time available.

The exercise of assigning importance to tasks is an effective way of finding out that many seemingly vital tasks could actually be put off, or eliminated completely.

Time management is often a source of stress - especially every time you get to the end of a day and realize you haven't accomplished anything.

I used to beat myself up over having days like that. But beating myself up was never a good way to reduce stress.

The best way to manage stress is to avoid it completely, whenever possible.

But there are many situations where it's completely unavoidable.

For immediate relief of stress in specific situations, there are specific stress management techniques.

If you work for someone as an employee, stressful situations abound. Levels of stress obviously depend on your relationship with your boss or supervisor.

So it might make sense to show more respect than you feel is due.

Keep in mind that you might not know everything about the boss's situation or his knowledge of the job and its requirements.

If accomplishing a list of assigned tasks or problems to be solved seems unreasonable for the time allowed, respectfully ask for guidance while indicating that the supervisor's expertise would be very helpful.

In entering into dialogue with your supervisor you may also find that it makes perfect sense to request more time for the completion of the job.

An optimistic attitude is a great stress management technique.

If you believe that the problems can be solved and that you can discover how to solve them you are 80-90% of the way there. You eliminate most of the stress just by staying optimistic.

Another mindset which is also a great stress management technique is being able to stay in the present moment.

Fretting over factors you can't control takes you out of the present moment.

So does thinking about past or future. Anything which has already happened is history - so worrying about past mistakes is not only a waste of time, it also takes you out of the present moment.

Thinking or worrying about what might or might not happen in the future is likewise a stress producing mind activity.

I've known and heard of a lot of hard-working people who are stressed to the extreme by their jobs.

A lot of alternative healthcare providers advise their patients to get out of such toxic situations. Even if a drastic reduction in pay or benefits results, you will always find great benefit in leaving a job which is unavoidably stressful.

If leaving is simply not possible for you, find ways to steel your mind against stress.

Maybe you can use your favorite type of music to alleviate stress.

For me classical music always works wonders. But I'm a trained musician - so passages of pieces I've listened to for years are etched into my mind, and I can do a mental playback any time.

Do you hear your favorite songs in your head? You can use that ability as an excellent stress management technique.

Some use crossword puzzles, or number puzzles. Occupying your mind with a non-essential task can be an effective stress management technique.

Take breaks whenever you can, and move around - assuming you have a desk job.

If you have an outdoor, physical job - such as construction, take off the toolbelt and relax while sitting quietly and drinking pure water. Savor the water and its coolness.

Other possibilities include your favorite form of meditation during breaks - or even very briefly between tasks while at your desk and computer.

Having a meaningful phrase or statement by someone such as Eckhart Tolle written on a small card can relieve a mountain of stress.

If you've never heard of Tolle, check out my page devoted to his teachings.

Tolle's teachings provide great stress management techniques for permanently reducing stress - or even eliminating it completely.

A lot of what it takes to manage stress and even eliminate it from your psyche has to do with attitude. Attitude is everything. You've probably heard that short phrase before - hopefully often.

Sometimes, though, hearing something frequently makes it into something commonplace - and it loses its effect.

In the case of this little phrase, adopting it as a credo can make a huge difference.

I think I first heard it formalized by Charles Swindoll, a well-known Christian preacher, speaker and writer who was very active during the '70s, 80's, and '90's.

I'd heard about attitude by itself very frequently when I was a high school student.

I, along with many other youngsters who were fortunate enough to have the late Benton Miinor as their band director at El Cajon Valley High School, Pasadena High School, El Capitan High School, or Cal State Fullerton, heard about attitude often, and had it wonderfully demonstrated by a talented and successful musician.

If you were a student musician and had someone such as Benton Minor, or Lawrence Christianson, or Daniel Lewis, or any number of other fine dedicated band, orchestra, or choir directors as part of your background, you know how important attitude is.

A negative attitude is one that creates stress. A strongly positive one reduces or eliminates stress.

Occasionally we misunderstand strong approaches or attitudes presented in instructional situations, and react negatively.

We can still benefit after the fact if we realize the intent of the teacher.

Eckhart Tolle tells us to make the present moment our friend, regardless of the form the present moment takes. Doing so eliminates stress.

Whenever the present moment indicates the need to perform in a way which seems contrary to my own desires or contrary to my own nature, I can eliminate or at least reduce stress by relaxing and allowing resources below the surface to come into play.

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