Learn How to Manage Stress » Mind Tools Blog

Learn How to Manage Stress

February 14, 2014


A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found that more than half of working adults in the U.S. are concerned by the amount of stress they experience.

Another APA survey found that most people don’t know how to manage stress effectively.

Stress can cause short-term health problems such as headaches, tiredness, and nausea, as well as long-term conditions like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. And that’s before we’ve factored in the impact that stress has on our general well-being and our effectiveness at work.

The good news is that we can learn how to keep stress at bay, if we take the right approach.

Our article on Managing Stress looks at what stress is, what increases our risk of experiencing it, and, importantly, how we can manage it effectively so that it doesn’t have an impact on our work and our lives.

Question: Do you have a stressful job? What strategies do you use to manage stress?

6 thoughts on “Learn How to Manage Stress

  1. MidgieThompson wrote:

    Having experienced significant stress in the past, my strategy is to get lots of exercise.

  2. Rebel wrote:

    So this is all very nice. But when you’re stressing in the heat of the moment, do you ask for a time-out to go write out some strategies? At what point do things become second nature? I know it’s not clever to stress about my stress – but I do. And then I don’t sleep well and I stress because I don’t sleep. And then it becomes one crazy stress cycle.

    1. Dianna MT wrote:

      Hi Rebel, Have you ever tried a Stress Diary? I think it’s a great tool for you because you will start to learn your stress triggers. So instead of always feeling like you are in ‘react’ mode you can work proactively to manage your stress. Typically the ‘heat of the moment’ stresses are reduced because you learn to see stress coming and can take measures to manage it quicker. That’s not to say your stress will be eliminated or that you’ll be calm and cool each and every time, but your overall stress should go down. I think it’s worth trying. And it’s very easy to do. I have created a Stress Diary on my phone using “Notes”. I jsut jot down what was causing me to feel stressed, what happened immediately before and how I knew I was getting stressed-out. I’ve noticed some very interesting patterns in terms of who causes me stress, what projects are most stressful, and how I start to feel when I am in the early stages.

  3. Bree wrote:

    I can relate to what Rebel is saying about being caught up in ‘one crazy stress cycle’! What I do that is easy and quick is to take one long slow breath, and exhale for longer than I inhale. This long slow exhale breath seems to take the edge of the stress, plus, I then tend to be able to think more clearly.

    OK, so sometimes it’s several long slow exhale breaths, but it does help me!

  4. Rebel wrote:

    I definitely have triggers. Myabe I must just pay more attention to what I feel – sometimes I’m just so busy I don’t pay any attention to myself. Also started doing Pilates recently so I get the breathing. Need to start doing it.

    1. Dianna MT wrote:

      Pilates is a great way to destress – any exercise is great really. I think like you mention it helps us get more in tune with our bodies. We do get the clues but don’t necessarily listen to them!!

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