First 30 Days Blog

10 jan

Coping with and Managing Stress

RobertCordrayThe American Institute of Stress reports that stress levels have steadily been on the rise in the workplace. According to a recent survey, 80% of workers feel stress on the job and almost half of those say they need help learning to manage their stress. The American Psychological Association is concerned about the stress levels of teens between 9th and 12th grades, stating that teens who don’t learn healthy ways to cope with stress are susceptible to serious long-term health implications. Chances are that those stressed out teens are living in the homes of stressed out working parents. The whole family could benefit from some stress management training.

The Problem With Stress

While we generally recognize that stress is taking an emotional toll on us, we might not realize that it can also exacerbate almost any health condition. The body responds physically to the mental condition of stress as if it were facing a physical threat. Blood vessels constrict, your blood pressure and pulse rise and you breathe faster. Maintaining this level of cardiovascular activity over long periods of time takes a toll on your physical health. Studies have shown an increase in many health problems in people that have poor stress management, some of which include:

  • • Heart Disease
  • • Asthma
  • • Obesity
  • • Diabetes
  • • Headaches
  • • Depression
  • • Anxiety
  • • Gastrointestinal problems

Causes of Stress

Balancing work and home can become a vicious stress-filled cycle. For example, working long hours at work or bringing work home can make home life stressful. Since your home life normally acts as a stress reliever to restore you for the next day’s work, feeling stress at home makes your work life seem more stressful as well. The opposite is also true. When a person feels stress at home due to childcare responsibilities, financial problems or relationship strife, they will often become less effective at work, which compounds the stress they feel both at home and at work.

There are many causes of stress both at home and at work, but the stress management techniques are the same no matter the cause of the stress. You can either change the situation or change your reaction, and sometimes you need to do both.

Changing the Situation

Changing the situation involves avoiding or altering the stressor. However, identifying the stressor is often a challenge. Sometimes we blame our stress on other people or outside events that are beyond our control when really it is our perception of or reaction to these things that is causing the stress. Other times we might view the stress as temporary, not recognizing that its relief requires some action on our part. Keeping a stress journal can help you identify the stressors in your life so you can start working to avoid or alter them.

Changing Your Reaction

You can change your reaction to a stressor by either accepting it or adapting to it. For example, you can try to change your perspective to see the bigger picture. People often find that a situation becomes less stressful when they imagine the impact it will have on their lives down the road a week, a month or a year. You can manage the stress in your life by focusing on the most urgent needs rather than having everything piled up in front of you. You might have to accept stressors that are beyond your control, but your reaction to them is always within your control.

Getting Help

Another great way to cope with stress is to talk about it with someone you trust. A sounding board can often help you to identify the stressor and even set goals to avoid it, alter it or change your reaction to it. Many people have had success in learning to manage stress by working with a life coach. A life coach helps you to lead a more balanced life that is better aligned with your personal goals and values.

Manage Your Stress Better This Year

Don’t let the stress cycle run your life this year. Managing your stress will have both emotional and physical health benefits and make you more successful at work and at home.

About the Author:
Robert Cordray is a former entrepreneur/businessman with over 20 years of success. He has seen his fair share of ways that people deal with stress, and wants to continue to help those that can’t seem to manage it. For more specific help, go to to find the right help for you. Currently Robert resides in the Los Angeles area with his beautiful wife and three children.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on January 10th, 2013 in General, Health, New Directions | 0 comments Read related posts in , ,

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