Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stress Management

Stress Management covers various techniques that are intended to equip a person with different ways to cope with psychological stress. Stress Management can be successful when a person uses the knowledge and techniques they have to cope and deal with the stressful situations in their life. There are many ways to deal with stress and below is a list of 10 quick and easy methods that a person can do to reduce their stress levels.

10 Stress Relief Tips
Before mentioning some of the stress relieving tips its important to point of some of the things that can cause stress in peoples lives. Most people don't realize this but things such as watching TV, drinking, or smoking are things that can reduce mental sharpness and increase stress. So when you are having a stressful time in your life remember that the solution to watch TV, drink, or have a smoke are some of the activities you want to avoid when trying to reduce your stress levels.

1. Go for a jog or even a brisk walk around the block. It is always a good idea to exercise when you are stressed because it helps relieve the tension in your body and release endorphins that helps your body relax.

2. Take a hot shower or bath. Warm waters helps to relax your muscles.

3. Visit a local massage therapist. Similar to the first two points a massage can help relieve the tension in your muscles and help you relax.

4. Hatha Yoga. A very relaxing system of body movements that helps relieve tension and relaxes the body.

5. Acupuncture. Helps relieve the tension in your muscles especially if other methods such as massages and exercise don't work.

6. Acupressure. This is very similar to Acupuncture but without needles. So if you are scared of needles this maybe the way to go.

7. Reflexology. This is similar to having a massage but all the massages are focused on the hands and feet. Since there are nerve endings in your hands and feet this helps relieve stress by massaging those areas.

8. Breathing. The most easy method of Stress Management is to just breathe. Usually you would want to do slow deep and steady breathes to relieve stress.

9. A relaxation technique. This technique requires you to lie on the ground with your legs uncrossed and your arms at your side. Basically what you do is tense one muscle group at a time and then relax it and move from your feet to your scalp. Do this fot 15-20 minutes and you should feel less stress once your finished.

10. L-Glutamine. This is an amino acid that everyone has in their bodies. It is shown in studies to improve self-hydration, boosts your immune system, and incrases growth hormones by over 400% with just a 2g dose.
The list mentioned above is only a few of the techniques for stress management. There are many other ways to reduce stress. Some of the other techniques include: conflict resolution, meditation, stress balls, progressive relaxation, fractional relaxation, natural medicine, and time management.

Measuring Stress
There are ways to measure a persons stress level. One of the ways to measure a persons stress level is by using a Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale to rate stressful life events. Another way to measure someones stress level is by measuring changes in blood pressure and galvanic skin response. A digital thermometer can also be used to measure skin temperature which can determine stress levels.
Two models of stress management

Transactional model
This model was developed by Richard Lazarus and Susan Folkman in 1984. Basically what they though was that stress was caused by an imbalance between demands and resources. It was also thought that stress occurred when pressure exceeded one's perceived ability to cope. With this model it was believed that it wasn't the stressor causing the stress but rather one's resources and ability to cope with the stress or pressure. If one was not able to manage the stress then their stress levels would go up and they would be unable to cope.

Health realization/innate health model
This model is similar to the transactional model in that its believed that stress itself does not necessarily follow the presence of a potential stressor. The focus of this model is the same as the transactional model in that the focus is on his or her own coping skills. It also focuses on the nature of thought, stating that it is ultimately a person's thought processes that determines the response to potentially stressful external circumstances. By using this model one can realize when they are having stressful thoughts and disengage from them and therefore naturally relieving stress.