Stress Management Skills

Definition

The term stress management skill is used to describe an individual's ability to understand the causes and feelings of tension or anxiety.  Stress is often thought of as a condition, or feeling, experienced when an individual perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources of the individual.

Explanation

Individuals rarely feel stress when they have sufficient time, experience, and resources.  Stress is a negative experience; therefore management of this feeling is important to the individual's success.  Being able to identify stress, and its effects, is an important first step in developing the skills to manage the source of this problem.

The following list outlines a series of questions.  The answers to these questions can help individuals to better understand, and control, stress in their lives:

  • Understand what increases stress in your life, and how you react to it. Once you understand what causes you stress, it's possible to understand why it brings on these feelings.
  • Understand what you can change in your life to reduce stress.  Can you eliminate the source through avoidance? Can you lessen its impact by shortening its exposure?
  • Attempt to control your emotional reactions.  Temper your emotional reactions to the circumstances where you feel stress.  Take control, rather than having it control your life.
  • Take time to build up your stress reserves through exercise.  Lose weight, walk, swim, cycle, or even jog.  Feed your body with the fuel that it needs, and make sure you get enough sleep.  Avoid food or drinks that can add to your nervousness; especially those containing caffeine.

Related Terms

interpersonal skills, networking, social skills, effective listening skills