Stress Management: Techniques & Tips

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  • 0:04 What Is Stress Management?
  • 0:40 Stress Elimination
  • 1:22 Stress Reduction Steps
  • 3:02 Stress Management Tips
  • 4:31 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Do you have a lot of stress in your life? Would you like to learn how to eliminate, reduce, and manage the stress you experience? Here are some tips and techniques on how to do just that.

What Is Stress Management?

Martin is talking one of his clients, Karen, through a very stressful period. He's not a therapist - he's a business consultant who has noticed small business owners need help with reducing and managing stress.

He explains to Karen that stress, emotional strain due to demanding circumstances, is a normal part of life and especially of owning a small business. There are ways to eliminate some stresses, reduce others, and manage what remains. Stress management, then, is what we do to help keep stress in check.

Stress Elimination

Karen is especially stressed because a key vendor raised their rates, increasing the demands on her limited inventory nearly to the breaking point. Martin asks her a simple question, 'Do you have any control in this situation?' and goes on to explain that whatever her answer is he can help her eliminate some of her stress. If she can do something about it, then they can make and execute a plan. If there is nothing to be done about this particular stress, then what's to worry about? This if/then criteria shows Karen she can choose to move on to something that she can control. Karen decides that it may be worth asking her salesman for a price reduction and looking for an alternative vendor.

Stress Reduction Steps

There are a few things that everyone can do to reduce their stress. Let's take a look at a few steps for doing that now.

1. Create a Schedule

The next thing that Martin helps Karen do is create a schedule; he has seen that she jumps from one direction to the next very quickly and doesn't seem to have a routine. Karen doesn't think she can make a schedule because her job responsibilities change often. Martin explains that he knows her job is very challenging, and of course things are going to come up that need to be done right then, but not everything is going to happen that way.

He also tells her that although many people think they can multitask well, numerous studies have shown it's actually a very inefficient use of time and energy. Making a schedule, with some flexibility built in, is the best way to increase productivity while also maintaining the ability to handle unpredictable circumstances.

2. Celebrate Success

When Martin checks in with Karen a week later, things are going much better, so Martin moves on to the next phase in the stress reduction plan: celebration of victories small and large. If stresses make us feel bad, then working through the difficulties should make us feel good. For the victory of creating a schedule and using it successfully for a week, Martin suggests a simple self-congratulatory statement, 'Good job creating that schedule, Karen. Doing that feels really good!' For larger accomplishments, maybe a dinner with friends or a buying a small gift for herself. Celebration is the opposite emotion from stress, and celebrating our successes helps us deal better with the stresses that are part of life.

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