Posted on Mar 6th, 2006

To gain the most benefit from stress management techniques, it’s important that we identify the specific pressures we are having difficulty with and tailor the techniques to our needs.

Simply employing deep breathing techniques or visuals can be helpful at times – when we know why we’re doing them, doing them correctly and if they are part of an overall management program and not a lone strategy.

There are many different dimensions to our stress:

Mental - Physical - Environmental - Spiritual - Interpersonal - Family

In order to experience stress relief, our management techniques need to be directed toward the problem we are having. For example:

We are constantly in a state of rush – running from one activity to another with hardly enough time to breathe in between. Doing deep breathing exercises will give us a few minutes of calm but will hardly address the real issues.

In this example, it would be helpful to also look at time management techniques in addition to relaxation. Are we overextending ourselves? Are we allowing enough time in between activities? Do we know how much time each activity takes to accomplish so that we are not needlessly pressured? Are we comfortable saying “no” to requests?

In the mental category, are our self-limiting beliefs contributing to our perceived level of distress? Do we have realistic expectations? Are we over generalizing? Do we see everything as a crisis? Do we know ourselves well enough to connect our values with our goals? Are we self-sacrificing?

Analyzing our life balance priorities might be beneficial. If family togetherness is one of our values but we are not allowing enough time to devote to family, it could be making us uncomfortable leading to irritability and increased feelings of stress.

In the following articles, I will be addressing specific stress management techniques including giving a description of the correct way to do relaxation breathing and imagery and most importantly, the type of stress those methods address most effectively.

One article will be devoted to self limiting beliefs. Until I started doing research in stress management, I didn’t consider that my own attitudes, beliefs and thinking could be contributing to my level of stress. Interesting subject and very enlightening!

I will include the techniques most useful for addressing different causes of stress and practical suggestions for their use.

Here’s to a calm, stressless life!

Cathy Gariety is a Registered Nurse and CEO of Gariety Group Consulting - a firm specializing in stress management providing services to individuals, corporate and healthcare facilities. She is also Editor of their Stress Buster newsletter. Email for a complimentary Mini Stress Management E-Course delivered to your email address once per week for four weeks.

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