Stress management: Prevent setbacksStress has a way of creeping back into your life and making you miserable. These simple stress management strategies can help you keep stress at bay.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
You're getting a handle on stress management. Perhaps you've mastered new time management techniques. Or you've learned to control your anger under pressure. Congratulations. To keep stress under control for good, though, you need to make a commitment to using the stress management techniques you've learned.
Practicing stress management
Stress management isn't a first-aid kit you pull out only in emergencies. Rather, it's a set of tools you can use every day to deal with the big and little issues that arise. It's a good idea to keep your tools sharp and even to add a few to your collection from time to time.
Be prepared for setbacks
Don't get discouraged if you occasionally fail to handle a stressful situation as well as you might like. Change takes time, and setbacks are part of the learning curve. Learn from the experience, and plan to clear that hurdle the next time. If you lapse back to your old ways, don't give up. Focus on what you can do to regain control of the situation.
Strategies for preventing setbacks
Stress is more likely to rear its ugly head if you're not taking care of yourself. So remember to put yourself first. These strategies can help you stay on course.
Make time for yourself
Just 10 to 20 minutes of quiet reflection may bring relief from chronic stress, as well as increase your tolerance to it. Listen to music, relax, and try to think of pleasant things or nothing at all. If you feel your muscles tense during your day, take a minibreak. Breathe deeply, inhale to the count of six, pause for a second and then slowly exhale.
Exercise can help keep depression and anxiety at bay. Just 30 minutes a day benefits the body and mind.
Jul. 23, 2013
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- Stress: Coping with everyday problems. National Mental Health Association. http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/stress/stress-coping-with-everyday-problems. Accessed May 30, 2013.
- How can I manage stress? American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/StressManagement/Stress-Management_UCM_001082_SubHomePage.jsp. Accessed May 23, 2013.