Although the word ‘stress’ was originally used by metallurgists to describe the forces on metal structures and how well they coped, it is now universally accepted as a description of the human condition also known as anxiety, worry, tension, fear, etc.
Almost everyone has, does or will experience stress. In 1984, Richard Lazarus and Susan Folkman came up with a simple definition for stress, as simply an “imbalance between demands and resources”. From this definition, anger management was born as a way of limiting and in turn controlling and reducing stress.
There are many stress management courses available and almost all of them rely on a system to empower the individual, that is make the person first understand that they have a choice about whether to be affected by stress or not and also to equip the person with methods to control the emotion.
There are two main ways to manage stress. One is to recognise the factors that make you feel stress and do what you can to reduce them. The other is to develop inner strength and resilience to those stress factors.
In the first, you will need to observe your life and lifestyle and take note of the situations, people, activities, time, etc when you experience the symptoms of stress. Once you have your list, you need to start actively controlling and reducing those influences. For example, for a lot of people, the pressure of time is a great cause of stress and one of the main reasons for that is because of poor or non existent time management. By simply planning your time and giving enough time for whatever tasks you need to accomplish, will drastically reduce that particular cause of stress. You can do the same with the other external factors.
The other aspect is self development. With this, you’ll need to decide which method to adopt. People go on Stress Management Courses, practice yoga and learn meditation, plus there are many other practical ways to develop inner resilience and strength. All of these enable you to recognise your feelings of stress and replace them with more harmonious and relaxed feelings.
Stress management is a long term project which to a great extent is on-going as you will learn to reduce the even slight effects of stress. The biggest step is to start to do something about it.