Stress management is a necessary part of everyone’s daily routine. Stress is a natural part of life that’s been around just as long as humankind has been. After all, stress is defined as being something that causes strain, or a strain felt by somebody (Encarta dictionary).

However, if not coped with in a good way, stress can literally kill a person. The top fifteen causes of death in the United States are from chronic stress-related illnesses (American Heart Association, 2006). Moreover, over ninety per cent of all backaches and body pain is derived from emotional stress rather than any physical cause (Wellness Skills, Inc. Student Manual, 1993). Therefore, coping with stress becomes an absolute necessity. Although everyone deals with stress, not everyone does it in a constructive way. However, managing stress in a constructive way can be easy to do. Causes of stress Before a person can minimize stress, he or she must be aware of what causes it.

People are mostly conscious of tensions caused by arguments, exhaustion, and financial burdens. They are also aware of stress caused by personal relationships, business relationships, and problems at work, school, or home. Most people are highly aware of how negative situations cause them stress. However, most people are not aware of the stressful effect happier events have, such as weddings, birthdays, vacations, and holiday celebrations.

Other people’s energy fields, air pollution, and noise pollution are frequently ignored causes of stress. Also, the majority of today’s populations are ignorant when it comes to the stress levels caused by lighting and specific sounds. Methods of minimizing stress Fortunately, there are numerous ways to reduce each and every stress factor. No one needs to turn to drinking, drugs, suicide, or any other harmful behavior as a way of diminishing the affects of stress. Everywhere you search, you will find someone sharing information on the topic. Abundant information exists in every visual and audio form imaginable, both online and off-line. People might suggest such things as taking a walk, exercising, writing in a journal, or getting a massage. Others might suggest soaking in a warm bath, using aromatherapy, listening to music, drawing a picture, or participating in some type of sport or other physical activity.

Still others may suggest more unorthodox methods, such as using visualization, meditation, stones, feathers, and drumming. These are all excellent methods of stress release. Importance of alternating methods Over a hundred inexpensive techniques for stress release exist. However, each being is unique and not every method works for every person. Therefore, what works well depends on the individual. Any method is fine, just as long as it helps the individual to express his or her own thoughts and emotions safely, in a manner that is not harmful to others. However, frequently alternating stress reduction techniques is highly recommended by several therapists.

Using the same method repeatedly may make the method become ineffective. A constantly repeated technique fails due to the person’s mind becoming aware that it is being tricked into a state of calmness. Hence, although it is satisfactory to utilize the same techniques several times, it is best to rotate techniques often enough that the mind does not get too used to the method. Techniques for immediately coping with stress Another obstacle people often face when coping with stress is the inability to take immediate action to reduce or eliminate the problem. Most people only know of a few ways of dealing with stress, and the ones they know are not possible to do in public. Experimenting with a variety of techniques that are suited to the different situations the person faces on a daily basis is recommended.

For instance, those who are telephonically helping an irate customer could try doodling. For someone who works in an office, keeping some type of absorbent material (like a rose quartz, a cotton ball, or a sponge) on the desk is beneficial. Merely keeping a small object such as a stone or coin, in a pocket can help. You simply hold the object in your hand whenever you start to feel anxiety or anger setting in. If you are feeling exhausted, hold the object in your left hand, if angry, hold it in your right hand. Body language indicates areas of stress The most harmful way of coping with stress is to keep your emotions bottled up.

Yet, several cultures and societies demand exactly that of their populations. In exchange for living up to society’s harsh standards, a person’s body may pay a very high price. Stored up stress eventually causes the person to have physical illnesses, chronic pain, and mental illnesses.

Therefore, it is highly important for each person to learn how to read his or her own body’s language. Each part of the body has its own way of indicating what is causing the entity stress.

For instance, a human being’s body can indicate when a person has been giving more nurturing than he or she has been receiving (right shoulder hangs much lower than left shoulder, and body is very much out of alignment).

The body can also indicate when a person’s mind and heart are having a conflict for some reason (bottom of shoulder blade area hurts, with no apparent reason). In addition, the body can indicate personal relationship problems, or various work related problems, such as lack of creativity (problems in pelvis area and thighs, usually hurting without physical explanation). An individual’s whole life story can be read within fifteen minutes by a body language expert. Yet, in most cases, the person is totally unaware of what his or her body is saying. Many humans are not consciously aware of their own emotions or thoughts.

Therefore, these people do not understand why they are having physical problems with their bodies.

Summary

There are as many ways to reduce stress as there are for creating stress. A person merely needs to take time to examine his or her surroundings, emotions and thoughts, and body language. Then the person simply has to be willing to experiment and let his or her imagination run wild to find ways that allow for those emotions and thoughts to be expressed without causing harm to anyone. The technique doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Nor does the method used have to be able to be used more than one time. It also does not need to work for anyone else, as long as it works well for that individual. The only thing that really matters is whether the stress management was done in a constructive or self-destructive way.