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What is stress management?

What is stress management?

Everyone experiences stress at various times in their lives. It’s a normal reaction that occurs when you encounter changes or challenges (stressors). Your body responds physically and mentally to stress.

How does stress affect your physical and mental health?

Anxiety, depression or panic attacks.

Chest pain or racing heart rate.

Fatigue or insomnia.


High blood pressure.

Upset stomach (indigestion).

What are the risks or complications of poorly managed stress?

People who feel overwhelmed with stress may turn to unhealthy behaviours to cope, such as:

Alcohol use.

Eating disorders, including overeating.


Substance use disorders.

The ways to identify stress?

The first step to relieving stress in your life is to identify stressors. Something big like a move, job change, Fired or divorce is easy to identify. But small stressors can have a big effect on your physical and mental well-being, too.

You may want to keep a journal to track your stress levels and coping mechanisms. A journal can help you identify stressors and patterns. For a week or longer, write down:

The cause of stress.

How you feel physically and emotionally.

Your reaction to the stressor.

Is All Stress Bad?

➢Moderate levels of stress may actually improve performance and efficiency

➢Too little stress may result in boredom

➢Too much stress may cause an unproductive anxiety level

What are ways to cope with stress?

There are lots of ways to cope with stressful situations. To get the most benefit, try to incorporate these techniques into your daily life — not just when you start having symptoms of stress. Most people find relief using a combination of methods.

Relaxation techniques

Laugh more: Studies show that laughing reduces the stress hormone cortisol. And it boosts your mood. Watch a funny show, or get together with someone who makes you laugh.

Calm your mind: Mindfulness, meditation, massage and deep breathing exercises can lower your heart rate and calm your mind. You can also listen to your favourite tunes or to soothing sounds.

Physical techniques

Be physically active: Walking outside or exercising with friends can help boost mood. You can also try mindful physical exercises like yoga or tai chi.

Eat a healthy diet: Aim for more fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut back on fatty foods, caffeine and sugar.

Improve your sleep habits: Turn off electronics, create a soothing environment and unwind with a book or warm bath to sleep better.

Stop using substances: Quit smoking and cut back on alcohol.

Cognitive techniques

Keep a journal: Write down the day’s accomplishments. You can also capture positive events of the day or three things you’re grateful for.

Make “me time”: Try to do at least one thing a day that’s just for you. It could be meditating, getting together with a friend, reading a book or working on a hobby.

Seek help: A mental health professional can help you learn techniques to manage stress better. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a proven technique that can help you change how you respond to life stressors.

Share your feelings: When you feel overwhelmed, connect with a trusted loved one or friend. Hearing a voice can help, either in-person or on the phone.

Take control: Use lists or smartphone apps to better manage your time and pare down to-dos. Try planning your day the evening before, so you know what to expect — and what you might need to postpone. Give yourself permission to say no to other people’s requests.

When to Call the Doctor

Anxiety or depression.

Chest pain.

Substance abuse.

Suicidal thoughts.

Other Helpful tips

➢Changing perceptions and expectations

➢Break jobs/tasks into manageable parts

➢Set reasonable/realistic goals

➢Avoid procrastination

➢Set boundaries

➢Don’t compromise your values/beliefs

➢Schedule “me” time

➢Avoid caffeine

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