Posted by: Thixia | June 18, 2008

Strategies For Stress Management 1 of 2

 

 

Table of Content

 

­      Physical strategies (what you feel)

­      Perceptual (what you see)

­      Cognitive (what you think)

­      Affective strategies (how you feel)

­      Skill strategies

­      Environmental strategies

 

 

Physical Strategies

 

  1. Deep Muscle Relaxation – Lower your physical tension by focusing on major muscle groups, and relaxing them.
  2. Watch your diet – especially caffeine intake (coffee, tea, chocolate, etc., which will raise your stress level.) A well balanced diet will improve your ability to cope.
  3. Fitness level – An exercise program can help you in two ways:

­       if you are in good physical shape you are better able to tolerate anxiety.

­       physical exertion when you are worried or anxious provides an emotional release of tension for most people, or will help you re-focus your attention.

­       you don’t have to engage in strenuous activity necessarily, a good brisk 15 min. walk each day can be very helpful.

  1. Sleep – Maintaining proper rest will help you cope with stress. Lack of sleep over a long period of time can produce its own feelings of tension and depression. When you are run down, worry, stress and anxiety affects you more.
  2. Cycles – Track (make note of) your body cycles to assist you in discovering if there is a pattern to your periods of feeling up or down. We all have low points and high points which often follow regular daily, weekly, monthly or yearly patterns.

 

 

 

Perceptual (What you see)

 

Focusing Attention

– Learn to pay attention to what is relaxing for you and ignore what is disturbing. For example, on your way to school to write an exam, look at the trees and sky, and not the people biting their fingernails. Selectively ignoring aspects of a situation which raise your anxiety or looking for aspects which are comforting to you is called positive scanning.

 

Neutral Scene

– When you find yourself getting uptight – recall a scene from your past when you were very relaxed and content. your neutral scene. Visualize it as completely as you can by focusing on what you are seeing, hearing, feeling and smelling. Be an actor in that scene not the audience.

 

Divertive Tactics

– When you begin to feel uptight have some diversions at hand. These could be such things as science fiction or adventure novels, T.V. programs, sports, hobbies, etc. Probably the only criteria here are that your divertive tactics be legal, cheap, and non-fattening.

 

 

Cognitive

 

Stop trying to be perfect – Naturally we want to be all that we can, but often we make ourselves uptight by expecting a standard of ourselves which is not humanly possible. Prioritize what you want to do and decide which to really work at and which need only passing attention.

 

Analyze your “shoulds” – All of us seem to have plenty of “shoulds.” eg. I should always be nice, I should always be polite, etc., which are the product of our upbringing as well as expectations of ourselves and other people. Discover what your “shoulds” are and determine if they are realistic or necessary.

 

Illogical thinking – Pay attention to the statements you make to yourself to make sure they are reasonably logical. For example, an illogical thought would be:

Jane doesn’t want to go to the pub with me, therefore, Jane doesn’t like me, therefore, I am unlovable.

 

­       It could be

­       Jane doesn’t drink

­       Jane has other plans

­       Jane already has a hangover

 

A lot of illogical statements we make to ourselves are the result of collecting poor data, or not checking the situation out fully enough.

Don’t fall into the trap.

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