The Art of Stress Management: Techniques to Find Calm in a Hectic World



Stress is a part of everyday life, whether it’s a minor challenge or a major crisis. While you may not always be able to control your circumstances, how you react can influence the outcome. Stress can negatively affect your health when it becomes chronic or overwhelming. It’s important to find stress-relieving methods that calm the mind and body.

Are you stressed out by life?

Let’s face it, the past couple of years have been difficult. It’s been a tough couple of years, with lockdowns, social distance, uncertainty, work from home, and perhaps even schooling at home.

You may feel depleted and burned out like so many others! You may be wondering how you can relieve stress and rejuvenate your body.

Stress Reduction Strategies That Work Fast

What are some strategies to relieve stress quickly? You can use several quick-acting techniques like deep breathing or meditation.

You can reduce your stress now, whether you are about to interview for a new job or your child is acting out at the playground.

1. Build your resilience.

One man can handle a situation with confidence and ease, while another may be completely thrown off balance. The ability to handle stress begins with developing the trait called resiliency. Resilience is the ability to act and respond in the world. You can bounce back quickly from trials and challenges and face the world with confidence and courage. All of the methods listed below are equivalent to rearranging deck chairs on Titanic without a resilient approach and attitude to life.

It is impossible to explain the path toward developing resilience in a few short sentences. We wrote a 7-part, comprehensive series about resilience a few years ago. The book includes a conceptual framework that will help you to understand resilience and practical ways to develop it. It’s an essential read for men of all ages. The series can be found here. We also assembled the articles into an ebook with worksheets. The articles on How to Stop Catastrophizing, How to Avoid Learned Helplessness, and Change Your Explanatory Style will be the most helpful and applicable when it comes to stress management.

2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

You can practice progressive muscle relaxation by taking a few deep breaths.

Start with your forehead, and work your way down to your feet.

You’ll become more relaxed as you practice. You should feel a sense of relaxation in your body each time you practice.

3. List the things that are stressing you.

When we are overwhelmed by a lot of worries and a list of tasks, they can all come together to create a cloud of anxiety and restlessness. The cloud can make it difficult to explain why we feel overwhelmed. Take some time and make a list. You can relax your mind by dumping your worries onto paper. Dwight D. Eisenhower relied on this method to reduce his stress as the decision to launch D-Day became overwhelming.

4. Take plenty of rest

Stress and sleep can create a Catch-22 situation. Stress can prevent you from getting enough sleep. We could write an entire article on how to improve sleep, but here are some quick tips to help you get the best possible night’s rest, even if you’re feeling stressed:

  • To calm your mind and relax your body, meditate for 20 minutes before going to bed.
  • Before you go to bed, write down your worries so that you don’t think about them as you try to fall asleep. This is a great stress-reduction technique for any time, but especially before bed.
  • Switch off your computer and television an hour before you go to sleep. The light from electronic devices suppresses your body’s melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep.
  • Consider taking melatonin supplements right before bedtime. You can relax faster and fall asleep quicker. (And, based on personal experience, you may have some crazy dreams).
  • According to studies, the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 68 degrees. (Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!) You can use a fan instead of running the air conditioner all night. Also, wear light clothing or no sleepwear.
  • Play white noise. White noise is a sound that blocks out distracting sounds and soothes you to sleep. It is especially helpful if your roommate stays up late and makes noises after you go to bed, or if you live in a city with a lot of noise. Desktop fans are a good source of white noise. You can also download white noise tracks to listen to while you sleep. While in law school, I used the white noise generator for power naps.

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