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Stress Management Plan: Tips for Living Stress Free

Meditation at sunset.
Meditation at sunset.

*Everyone has stress in their life; the key is being able to harness it. This stress management plan will offer tools to help define and manage your stress.

What is stress?

• Stress is the mental and physical response of our bodies to the changes and challenges of our lives. A stressor can be physical, social, psychological, or an adjustment. The pattern followed by stress is called the General Adaptation Syndrome. This syndrome has three phases; alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. It is the way our bodies try to adapt to stress, and restore homeostasis (balance).

Steps to manage stress

• Assess your stressors: Alter circumstances to reduce distress, or modify your behavior and reactions to reduce stress levels

• Change your response: Stop before reacting. Gain time and breathe. If you catch yourself before you engage in the fight or flight response, you eliminate stress.

• Stress inoculation: Prepare ahead of time for potential stress. If you know something is going to stress you out, talk yourself through why you will be stressed and how to eliminate it.

• Think positive: Accept that change is natural in life. Try not to worry about the unknown. Don't rush into action. Eliminate unnecessary obligations.

• Use a planner: Writing your appointments, obligations, daily activities, and work outs in a planner keeps you organized and less likely to forget what you need to do.

• Break overwhelming tasks into small pieces.

• Use time to your advantage: Do tasks at your best time of day, and take breaks when you need them.

• Meditation: Sit with your back against a wall and legs crossed in a dark, quiet room and light a few candles. Make up a word in your mind that has no association with anything. Close your eyes and repeat the word in your mind. Picture a scene of nature; field, beach, mountain. Do this for 20 min a day. When you're in the middle of life and there is not time to meditate, close your eyes and say your word in your head for 5 minutes to relax.

• Don't forget about you: Book a massage or facial when needed.



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