Stress Management!
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Stress management is the amelioration of stress and especially chronic stress often for the purpose of improving everyday functioning.

Stress produces numerous symptoms which vary according to persons, situations, and severity. These can include physical health decline as well as depression.

In order to develop an effective stress management programme it is first necessary to identify the factors that are central to a person controlling his/her stress, and to identify the intervention methods which effectively target these factors. Lazarus and Folkman's interpretation of stress focuses on the transaction between people and their external environment (known as the Transactional Model). The model conceptualizes stress as a result of how a stressor is appraised and how a person appraises his/her resources to cope with the stressor. The model breaks the stressor-stress link by proposing that if stressors are perceived as positive or challenging rather than a threat, and if the stressed person is confident that he/she possesses adequate rather than deficient coping strategies, stress may not necessarily follow the presence of a potential stressor. The model proposes that stress can be reduced by helping stressed people change their perceptions of stressors, providing them with strategies to help them cope and improving their confidence in their ability to do so.

Health realization/innate health model
The health realization/innate health model of stress is also founded on the idea that stress does not necessarily follow the presence of a potential stressor. Instead of focusing on the individual's appraisal of so-called stressors in relation to his or her own coping skills (as the transactional model does), the health realization model focuses on the nature of thought, stating that it is ultimately a person's thought processes that determine the response to potentially stressful external circumstances. In this model, stress results from appraising oneself and one's circumstances through a mental filter of insecurity and negativity, whereas a feeling of well-being results from approaching the world with a "quiet mind," "inner wisdom," and "common sense".

This model proposes that helping stressed individuals understand the nature of thought—especially providing them with the ability to recognize when they are in the grip of insecure thinking, disengage from it, and access natural positive feelings—will reduce their stress.

Techniques of stress management
There are several ways of coping with stress. Some techniques of time management may help a person to control stress. In the face of high demands, effective stress management involves learning to set limits and to say "No" to some demands that others make. The following techniques have been recently dubbed “Destressitizers” by The Journal of the Canadian Medical Association. A destressitizer is any process by which an individual can relieve stress. Techniques of stress management will vary according to the theoretical paradigm adhered to, but may include some of the following:

Autogenic training
Cognitive therapy
Conflict resolution
Exercise
Getting a hobby
Meditation
Deep breathing
Zen Yoga
Nootropics
Relaxation techniques
Artistic Expression
Fractional relaxation
Progressive relaxation
Spas
Spending time in nature
Stress balls
Natural medicine
Clinically validated alternative treatments
Time management
Listening to certain types of relaxing music, particularly:
New Age music
Classical music
Psychedelic music
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Measuring stress
Levels of stress can be measured. One way is through the use of the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale to rate stressful life events. Changes in blood pressure and galvanic skin response can also be measured to test stress levels, and changes in stress levels. A digital thermometer can be used to evaluate changes in skin temperature, which can indicate activation of the fight-or-flight response drawing blood away from the extremities.

Stress management has physiological and immune benefit effects.

Effectiveness of stress management
Positive outcomes are observed using a combination of non-drug interventions:

treatment of anger or hostility,
autogenic training
talking therapy (around relationship or existential issues)
biofeedback
cognitive therapy for anxiety or clinical depression

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Related How To Articles
How to be calm in a stressful situation



See Also:
National Stress Month









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Resources: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article stressbiology /  and other related pages. Top Photo: homestead stock
How To Deal With Stress