Everyone deals with stress at different degrees. It’s how we deal with or manage stress that is important.

Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The final goal would be to have a more balanced life, where you make time for yourself, relationships, work, etc in a more constructive way.

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress

These are some examples of coping strategies that might help in the moment, but do more harm than you think.

* Procrastinating
* Over-eating/Under-eating
* Putting stress on others (i.e. lashing out)
* Using Drugs/Alcohol as a means to cope
* Filling your day up to avoid problems
* Oversleep as a means to avoid problems
* Avoiding people/withdrawing

Stress Management techniques

Learn to Relax: try to give yourself breaks during your day. If that means stepping out of your office to take a 5 minute walk, do it! Or sit down and take a couple of deep breaths.

Practice Acceptance: realize that you cannot change/control people or things around you- you can only control how you react.

Watch out for Perfectionism: don’t set yourself up for failure. Try to set realistic and attainable goals. It is helpful to break tasks into smaller tasks and prioritize them accordingly. It’s also okay to ask others for help.

Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them. Don’t accept added responsibilities when you don’t have time for them.

Get Organized: getting into a routine could help with stress. Get a planner and schedule in your daily tasks. A “to do list” could also help get you organized.

Exercise: Get involved in an activity you enjoy i.e. yoga, hiking, a zumba class, etc.

Quiet Time. Try unwinding by taking a quiet stroll, gardening, getting a massage, playing with a pet, or listening to calming music. Self care is very important in managing stress.

Watch Your Habits. Eat sensibly; minimize alcohol/drug use. Also, be mindful of the effects of excessive caffeine and sugar on nervousness. It’s also important to get enough sleep!

Talk it out: talking to people that you are comfortable with could greatly reduce stress. Avoiding certain things or hiding from them will not make them go away.

Journal: A stress journal can assist you in identifying if there are regular stressors present in your life. Journals help people see patterns and common themes that might be harming them.

Cristina Mardirossian, MA., LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Lic. # MFC 49234




Author's Bio: 

I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA. I work with children, teens, and adults to help improve interpersonal relationships. I do individual, family, and group therapy. Please visit my website for more info. www.cristinamardirossiantherapy.com