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Psychology. Stress Management Approaches

It was in the 50s that the concept of stress was initially brought in by Hans Selye. However, he called it General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) and he explained that all individuals respond to all types of threatening situations in the same manner ( Today, we know that the knowledge of stress has been a common topic. According to experts in psychology, stress is caused when any change requires an elevated demand on a person’s mental or emotional resources. There are several causes of stress. For instance, stress can be caused by working overtime, anxiety about uncertainties, or in the case of students it can be exams, poverty, job security, unemployment, failing relationships, divorce, exposure to a polluted environment, and poor living conditions.

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It can be said that stress has become very common in human life. A person with a high amount of stress and who manages it properly is considered more successful. As a result stress management itself has become a major business in the form of workshops, relaxation tapes, yoga, music industry, light and sound headsets, and several other specialized techniques. This is mainly because today it has been found that the effects of stress are much more intense than in the past. Every body part gets affected by excessive stress (Carpi).

There are mainly two kinds of stress outcomes the positive one and the negative one. Positive stress is considered to be beneficial and negative one harmful to human wellbeing. Positive stress provides hope and excitement to life. It is often noted that sometimes deadlines, competitions, conflicts, struggles, etc. add depth and enrichment to human lives. As often mentioned in the stress management seminars and papers, the aim is not to eliminate stress but to learn how to manage it or how to convert it into a positive experience. Therefore, the first step in stress management is to become aware of the stress factors and their impact on oneself.

Secondly, it is essential to determine the changes that one needs to bring in to overcome the stress factors. The stressors can either be avoided or eliminated or can even reduce their intensity through proper management. For instance, if a person is overworked, it is a good idea to take a break from work and go on a vacation. If a person is poor at a time or money management, it is important to devote the time and energy necessary to make a change and set goals.

In the third step, it is essential to reduce the intensity of emotional reactions to stress consciously. Fourthly, monitoring the physical reactions to stress can be helpful. For instance, slow, deep breathing will bring the heart rate and respiration back to normal; muscle tension can be reduced through relaxations techniques such as practicing yoga. Today, many physicians prescribe meditation for stress relief. Finally, building and maintaining physical as well as emotional reserves is most essential. Physical reserves can be built by regular exercise, having a balanced nutritious diet, maintaining an ideal weight, avoiding nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants, and adequate sleep. Emotional reserves can be maintained by self-regulation. Having supportive friends and relatives, engaging oneself in a social gathering, sharing the frustrations, failures, and sorrows with friends, and being gentle to oneself (Monash University).

In conclusion, it can be said that stress management begins with the identification of the main sources of stress in life. The above-mentioned methods of stress management are considered to be positive. However, there are also some unhealthy ways of coping with stress such as excessive smoking, overeating, using sleeping pills or marijuana, or any tranquilizers to relax. Though these methods can give some amount of temporary relaxation, these are toxic methods of stress management. Besides habits such as procrastination, too much sleeping, social isolation, etc. may lead to further complications ( It is always better to manage stress positively than in negative ways.

Work Cited

Carpi, J. Stress: It’s Worse Than You Think Sussex Publishers, LLC [2008] Web.

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The Psychology of “Stress” [2008] Web.

Stress Management: How to Reduce, prevent, and Cope with Stress [2008] Web.

Monash University Stress Management [2008] Web.

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