The goal is learn how to manage stress and how to use it to help you. If you are experiencing stress symptoms, you have gone beyond your optimal stress level. You need to reduce the stress in your life and/or improve your ability to manage it.
- Become aware of your stressors and your emotional and physical reactions.
- Recognize what you can change. Can you avoid or eliminate your stressors? Can you reduce their intensity? Can you shorten your exposure to stressors?
- Reduce the intensity of your reactions to stress. Are you expecting to please everyone? Are you overreacting and viewing things as absolutely critical and urgent? Work at adopting more moderate views and temper your excess emotions.
- Learn to moderate your physical reactions to stress. Slow, deep breathing. Relaxation techniques.
- Build your physical reserves. Exercise, eat well-balanced meals, maintain your ideal weight, avoid caffeine & nicotine, get enough sleep.
- Maintain your emotional reserves. Have a support system. Always be kind to yourself. Expect some frustrations, and sorrows. Pursue realistic goals meaningful to you.
Reference: University of Illinois (2005). Stress Management. Pamphlet produced by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.