State Health Improvement Process (SHIP)
Do you know anyone who isn't stressed out these days? The pace of modern life makes stress management a necessary skill for everyone. Many people juggle multiple responsibilities, work, home life, care-giving and relationships. Learning to identify problems and implement solutions is the key to successful stress reduction.
The first step in successful stress relief is deciding to make a change in how you manage stress. The next step is identifying your stress triggers. Some causes of stress are obvious — job pressures, relationship problems or financial difficulties. But daily hassles and demands, such as commuting, arranging day care or being overcommitted at work, can also contribute to your stress level. Positive events also can be stressful. If you got married, started a new job and bought a new house in the same year, you could have a high stress level. While negative events in general are more stressful, be sure to also assess positive changes in your life.
Once you've identified your stress triggers, you can start thinking about strategies for dealing with them. Sometimes the solution may be as easy as turning off the TV when the evening news is too distressing. Or, when you can't avoid a stressful situation, try brainstorming ways to reduce the irritation factor. And don't feel like you have to figure it out all on your own. Seek help and support from family and friends. You may want to ask them what stress-relief techniques have worked well for them. And many people benefit from daily practice of stress reduction techniques, such as mindfulness, tai chi, yoga, meditation or being in nature.
Stress won't disappear from your life. And stress management isn't an overnight cure. But with practice, you can learn to manage your stress level and increase your ability to cope with life's challenges.