The definition of the term “stress management” is rather simple and it’s defined as the attempt to make or the process of making stress more bearable or easier to deal with. In other words, stress management is the coping with stress.
The definition may be simple but there is nothing simple about its dynamics or about stress itself.
But What is Stress?
Despite its common usage, stress is in essence a bio-scientific term that characterizes the body’s unhealthful or dysfunctional reactions to environmental discomforts or threats. Furthermore, stress is a very real autonomic response to external distress that poses an emotional or a physical threat which is based on reality or imagination or a combination of the two.
Stress is a big aspect of all our lives and it is always present in one form or another and at various levels. As a matter of fact, but for stress we would have little motivation to perform the many task which we perform daily. Therefore, stress is natural and positive until it becomes overbearing and thus also overwhelming.
In situations of extreme and prolonged stress that weighs too heavily, it can cause the body to get into the fight-or-flight mode and thus promotes increased production of adrenaline and such common symptoms as irritability and anger, anxiety and fear, depression and insomnia, hostility and resentment, tension in the muscles and spasms, reduced ability to focus or concentrate, racing heart and elevated blood pressure, labored breathing, headaches and stomach pain, sweating and so on. In the most extreme cases, stress can lead to serious health problems which can ultimately even culminate in death.
Stress Management Techniques
Over years of study and research, a wide array of techniques had been founded for coping with excessive stress and those may include:
- (a) Relaxation Techniques applied to the body and mind such as yoga, deep breathing, meditation, soothing music as well as spas and baths help the body deal with stress from a more healthful perspective.
- (b) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy which helps increase coping skills.
- (c) Conflict Resolution is a process by which stress resulting from a conflict or a dispute is relieved or eliminated by resolving such adversities via actions such as dispute resolution, negotiation, mediation, diplomacy, arbitration or litigation.
- (d) Physical Activity such as exercise strengthens the body as well as the mind and thus handling stress may become an easier task.
- (e) Involvement in Hobbies helps focus attention away from that which causes the stress.
- (f) Much like hobbies, Creative Expression of any kind can help direct attention away from the aggravating environmental situation that causes the stress.
- (g) Usage of Nootropics which is a group of “smart” drugs which help enhance memory and cognition and they are found in the form of various prescribed medications, over-the-counter supplements and specific food that are said to have the properties to improve intelligence, motivation and concentration and, thus, the capability to deal with stressful situations.
- (h) Alternative Methods such as acupuncture, acupressure and the various massage therapies are known to help relieve the physical and mental pressures of stress.
In cases where stress management requires more drastic measures because all else failed, a variety of antidepressants or some other mood-altering drugs may be prescribed.