Stress Management

Living stress-free is a life with balance. Time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun—but also, the resilience to not submit to adversity and view challenges as growth opportunities. However, stress management is not one-size-fits-all; stress levels, responses, and coping mechanisms differeniate for each of us. The different reactions to stress confirm why it is essential to practice managing stressors, in order to figure out what healthily fits your preferred way of living. Short-term (acute) stress, for example, might be one feeling overwhelmed for an upcoming exam. Whereas, long-term (chronic) stress might be caused by a significant setback or loss, such as injury or even death. According to an annual stress survey conducted by American Physiological Association (APA), the main reasons for rising stress levels in adults are employment and money. Unfortunately, the bills are just going to keep coming. Luckily, there are many ways to cope with stressors, and the first is acknowledging them. Second, is to simply control what you can control. Accountability for your personal contributions is the appropriate initiative to overcome and succeed any obstacle. Brain Line has listed questions to ask yourself when identifying your contributions to stressors/triggers:

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?

  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”)?

  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?



Listed below, APA has developed a list of six myths when discussing stress. Use this information as tools or reassurance as you develop coping skills:

  1. Stress is the same for everybody: Completely wrong. Stress is different for each of us. What is stressful for one person may or may not be stressful for another; each of us responds to stress in an entirely different way.

  2. Stress is always bad for you: According to this view, zero stress makes us happy and healthy. Wrong. Stress is to the human condition what tension is to a violin string: too little, and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spic of life. The issue, really, is how to manage it. Managed stress makes us productive and happy; mismanaged stress hurts and even kills us.

  3. Stress is everywhere, you can’t do anything about it: Not so. You can plan your life so that stress does not overwhelm you. Effective planning involves setting priorities and working on simple problems first, solving them, and then going on to more complex difficulties. When stress is mismanaged, it’s difficult to prioritize.

  4. The most popular techniques for reducing stress are the best ones: Again, not so. No universally effective stress reduction techniques exist. We are all different, our lives are different, our situations are different, and our reactions are different. Only a comprehensive program tailored to the individual works.

  5. No symptoms, no stress: Absence of symptoms does not mean the absence of stress. In fact, camouflaging symptoms with medication may deprive you of the signals you need for reducing the strain on your physiological and psychological systems.

  6. Only major symptoms of stress require attention: This myth assumes that the "minor" symptoms, such as headaches or stomach acid, may be safely ignored. Minor symptoms of stress are the early warnings that your life is getting out of hand and that you need to do a better job of managing stress.

Failing to address stress will not make symptoms lessen, but just pull you further away from your solution. It is critical to develop coping habits that promote stress management to remain productive and happy. Negative thoughts/ideas only strengthen and contribute to stress levels. If you knew how powerful your thoughts are, you’d never think poorly of yourself again. If you or someone you know has been suffering from any stress please contact us. All questions may be sent to referral@claycounselingsolutions.com.