Stress is any physical, chemical, or emotional reaction to the ever increasing demands of life that causes bodily or mental unrest. Surveys show that most Americans experience challenges with stress at some point during the year. In looking at the causes of stress, remember that your brain comes hard-wired with an alarm system for your protection. When your brain perceives a threat, it signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response. This has been labeled the “fight-or-flight” response. Once the threat is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop stress of modern life means that your alarm system rarely shuts off. That’s why stress management is so important. Stress management gives you a range of tools to reset your alarm system. Without stress management, all too often your body is always on high alert. Over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems. Don’t wait until stress has a negative impact on your health, relationships or quality of life. Start practicing a range of stress management techniques today.
While elimination of stress is unrealistic, management of stress is an attainable and realistic goal that can be achieved by a number of strategies. Learning to manage your stress level will increase your ability to cope with life’s challenges.
Symptoms of poor stress and time management:
Irritability; fatigue; difficulty concentrating; forgetfulness; loss of sleep; physical disorders; withdrawal; and depression.
Wise principles of good stress and time management:
Learn your signs for being over stressed or having a time management problem; verify that you really have a problem; don’t have the illusion that doing more will make you happier (is it quantity of time that you want, or quality?); stress and time management problems have many causes and usually require more than one technique to fix.
Here are some simple techniques to manage stress:
• Talk to someone;
• Notice muscle tension;
• Have someone hold you accountable if you take on a technique to manage stress;
• Cut down on caffeine and sweets;
• Use basic techniques of planning, problem solving and decision making;
• Monitor amount of work hours;
• Write weekly status reports;
• Do something that makes you feel good.