Resilient Stress Management Strategies
“It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.”
What is Stress?
Stress is a biological and psychological response to a real or perceived threat that we feel we don’t have the resources to deal with.
Symptoms of Stress
There are a variety of ways in which stress can manifest, including (however, not limited to):
- Difficulty Relaxing/Winding Down
- Utilising a lot of Nervous Energy
- Easily Agitated
- Low Tolerance Levels
Where does stress come from?
A source of stress for one person may not be the same for another. By increasing your self awareness and adopting effective coping strategies, you will be better placed to manage stress. These include:
Be aware of your triggers - Becoming aware of your triggers (e.g., certain people, work deadlines, traffic jams) may place you in a better position to anticipate and manage these potential triggers.
Focus on what you can control - Naturally some factors relating to these triggers may be out of your control (e.g., having to work closely with someone you don’t get along with or an unreasonable work deadline), however, what you can focus on is factors that you can control (e.g., self calming strategies prior to entering the office, adopting a healthier lifestyle, prioritising your workload, delegating where possible).
Checking your self talk - Become mindful of how you are talking to yourself, ask yourself “Is this thinking helping or hindering?” – if it is not helping, ask yourself “What is a more productive way of looking at this?” For example – Bob has a major tender due and, as he enters the office, he breaks out in a cold sweat and feels sick to his stomach.He stops, takes a moment to calm himself and check his thoughts.He identifies that he is thinking “I can’t cope”, “I’ll never get this done” “This is just too much”.Bob recognises that this thinking is not helping and chooses to adopt a more helpful thinking style, including “I’ll handle it”, “I will give it my best shot”, “I always come through in the end”.
Don’t forget to Breathe - Why? When stressed we tend to take shallow, deep breaths allowing less oxygen into our lungs and blood stream.This sends a warning signal for more adrenalin to be released increasing our anxiety levels.By mindfully slowing down your *breathing, you will be better placed to problem solve and manage stress.
*Following is a link to a useful outline of how to engage in relaxed breathing: