Wellworks for You is a corporate wellness management company. While we work with employers and employees to promote all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, some of the most common health challenges we see in the workplace are mental health issues – particularly, difficulty managing and coping with stress.
There are a thousand theories out there about how to develop successful stress management practices in your life. But when it comes to dealing with stress, a key point of focus should be not just be how to deal with its symptoms, but how to actually determine and work at the issues that are causing it in the first place. Not all stress stems from the same core issues or manifests itself the same way; therefore, every person’s approach to stress management will be unique.
An Exercise in Identifying Stressors
Customizing a stress management plan for yourself is easy! To get started we suggest taking a few moments to really, consciously think about what causes stress most often in your life. Maybe you’re experiencing stress right now! Think about where that’s coming from. Often, the core issues that produce stress can be broken down into three general categories. These include: people, priorities and values. Feel free to be as general or specific as you’d like as you categorize your thoughts and feelings. It may be helpful to write some things out in order to detect any repeating patterns.
Stress needs to be consciously realized; its core source needs to be addressed so that you can make conscious and self-controlled decisions about how to react to it. Understanding what causes stress can help you deal with it in a more holistic way rather than just trying to solve the surface symptoms. Once you’ve determined some different reasons for your stress, think about what kind of stress management techniques would best suit you.
Simple Options for Stress Management That Actually Work
- Sometimes, simply making an effort to change your perspective on a certain situation can make a world of difference when it comes to managing stress. Many people are not able to even consider doing this, though, because they have not yet taken the time to objectively think about what is causing their stress. When you can look at a situation in the bigger picture and choose to focus on the positive aspects of things, you will be effectively managing the stress that is associated with that situation.
- Relaxation methods (meditation, massage, music, etc) are one of the most popular answers to dealing with the symptoms of stress and these definitely can be a big part of the way you choose to manage your stress, but they shouldn’t be the only answer.
- Journaling is also a great way to consciously deal with stress. No matter your emotions or your level of intensity, a journal doesn’t mind hearing what you have to say! Journaling can give you a safe place to honestly express yourself without hurting anyone in the process. Writing also gives you a chance to physically slow down, focus your mind on one task and relax.
- Taking the time to exercise is a wonderful way to release tension and allow the physical symptoms of stress to melt away. Perhaps working out before consciously thinking about stress is the right path for you. Some find that thinking meditatively about a situation that is causing you stress while running is more effective.
No matter what your approach becomes, be sure to try different things until you find what works best for you! Listening to music, delving into a favorite hobby, taking time to develop deep, intimate friendships; these are all methods of stress management that have proven successful for many people. Most likely, your particular stress management practices will be a combination of several of these suggestions or include other creative activities you find to be great stress relievers! What matters is understanding yourself and being able to effectively manage stress so that it doesn’t manage you!