Acing the Art of Stress Management

In Part 1 we introduced three fundamental strategies to set you on a successful course of action to master Stress Management. Here is a quick refresher: First, you determine your particular stressors. What specific things are causing you to feel chronically stressed every day? You can best observe this through regular journaling. Second, you identify any negative beliefs and values that may hinder your success in mastering Stress Management. We provide a list of common impediments. You determine these through consistent self-analysis. Third, you accept the reality that major changes do not happen in a day or a week. Mastering Stress Management is actually a lifelong practice. Stress Management becomes a way of life that helps you progressively improve your mental and physical health. As you create better beliefs, behaviors and thought patterns, the artful process of Stress Management reinforces itself.

In fact, Stress Management can be a fun game that you play with your inner self, as your consciously observe and remind yourself to implement these techniques. Today’s post centers on Practical Tips to help you master Stress Management. How to Master Stress Management Practical Tip #1: Try One, Try ’em All The fact is that there is no one “perfect formula” for fighting stress. The experience of stress is unique to you. The solution to stress is the one that feels right to you. Personally, I find deep tissue massage to be a very effective stress buffer. Somehow, stressful thoughts and feelings seem to float away. Stress buildup dissipates quickly and I feel really relaxed and good-spirited.  But that’s just me; deep tissue massage may not be so transformative for you. This is why it’s so important for people to seek out different methods to master Stress Management. Don’t limit yourself to only 1 or 2 possibilities.

If something is not working for you, it doesn’t mean that you lack the ability to manage your stress. It just means that you haven’t found the right combination of techniques to bring you to your desired level of relaxation and happiness. By the way, every blog post on this Stress Buffer website provides techniques, tips or tricks that have proven effective repeatedly in relieving and even eliminating stress. Check out our Categories, Posts, and Archives, in the side column, to discover golden nuggets that could change your life for the better. Practical Tip #2: Assemble Your Army, One by One Mastering Stress Management is winning a battle over bad habits and a myriad of stressors. What do you need to succeed in any battle? 004c An army, of course! But this is a peaceful army, your personal arsenal of relaxation techniques and behavioral modifications. You will learn these as you take steps toward your Stress Management success. Your personal arsenal must fit your lifestyle. If a technique just doesn’t fit, it won’t work.

So, you just adjust, discard and experiment with techniques to discover what feels like the right remedy to reduce stress in your life. Mastering Stress Management is essentially about you, for you and by you. Practical Tip #3: Keep Practicing! Remember, Stress Management is essentially a collection of skills that enable you to combat stress before it makes you permanently sick. If you want to master a skill, you must be willing to practice it until it becomes second nature. This Practice Tip may seem easy; but in reality, it’s one of the most challenging to fulfill. Why? Because old habits die hard. It’s easier to let a habit rule you than to overrule the habit. For example, say you’re in an argument with someone. Do you naturally fire up the fighter instinct? Is your natural inclination to outdo your opponent, even if it develops into a yelling match? If so, you might find yourself resisting change. When you want to change a habit, always be ready with the replacement.

This will minimize your resistance. A less stressful replacement habit would be, for example, just listening more. Just let the other person sound off. The positive effect of your poise will be astonishing! The truth is this: Staying cool and calm under pressure can give you the edge in any argument. So, in addition to teaching you new skills to manage your stress, Stress Management will require you to change your attitudes and behaviors toward your stressors. For example, you might like to place the poster above in a convenient spot where it will remind you and anyone of the easy, practical habits that reduce or eliminate stress. Also, in the previous blog post, I recommended that you start writing in a Cool and Calm Stress Management Journal. Now listen: Your Cool and Calm Stress Management Journal is more than just a laundry list of things to do. image Your Cool and Calm Stress Management journal is actually a verbal snapshot of how you respond to stressful situations — how you spontaneously think and behave.

It is your private reference and personal insight into discovering your true self. It is your pathway to reinvent part of yourself so that stress will plague you no more. Practical Tip #4: Don’t Forget “Me-Time’ In order to carry out your plan to conquer stress, you must create space in your daily schedule for time alone and your Stress Management checkup. Now, I think I hear the voice of many individuals: ‘The day isn’t long enough! I’m already overwhelmed with everything I need to accomplish in a day!’ Well, I have been through this and have witnessed countless time-squeezed people who have also been there. We wish there were just two more hours in our day. However, this is more a state of mind than reality. Here’s the reality: 12-18 hours of waking time suffices for most groups of tasks. Furthermore, within this time frame, there is also some opportunity for relaxation.

Evaluate how much time you spend on your different activities and try to create more balance within your day. If you cannot fit everything that you need to do within this amount of time, this simply means you need better time management skills — an essential component of stress relief. Check out our series of posts in this blog devoted to this topic and learn little-known techniques that work for the pro’s. You can also get guidance on an easy and efficient way to accomplish this in my FREE handbook, Stress Relief for Professionals, available for instant download here. This handbook contains a section on proven techniques that I originally acquired from experts and further streamlined over time. They work for me and many other individuals. I sincerely hope you will check them out.

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