Tips for Positive Stress Management

Here are a few tips for positive stress management:

Know What Stress Is

Stress is our physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral responses to changes that occur in life or to demands that are placed on us. Stress is our response to changes and events.

Know the Signs of a Stress Reaction


Muscle tension

• Racing/pounding heart

• Rapid breathing

• Nausea

• Headache

Chronic fatigue

• Appetite changes

Sleep disturbance


• Anger

• Irritability

• Easily frustrated

• Mood swings

• Hostility

• Feelings of panic

• Anxiety

• Worry


• Confusion

• Forgetfulness

• Negative self-talk

• Poor concentration

• Boredom

• Indifference

• “Spacing out”


• Clenching fists

• Gritting teeth

• Overeating

• Substance abuse

• Nail biting

• Physical violence to others or property


• Crying spells

• Impulsiveness

Know the Sources of Stress


It bombards you with the demands to adjust. You must endure weather, noise, traffic, pollution, etc.


You must cope with:

• Deadlines

• Financial concerns

• Presentations

• Disagreements

• Demands for your time and attention

• Balancing personal and work relationships with self-care


• Illness

• Aging

• Menopause

• Accidents

• Lack of exercise and proper diet

• Sleep disturbance

• Expected and unexpected physical changes


Our cognitive responses (self-talk) to stressful events will either increase or decrease the stress response.

Managing Stress Before it Manages You

Prepare and Prevent 


• Plan travel time

• Listen to music

• Change the look of your office

• Keep your car running well, etc.


• Learn to communicate and resolve conflicts with others in a positive manner

• Work on balancing family/work time

• Financial planning

• Learn time management skills

• Assess your personal values (what we do is what we value)


• Exercise

• Eat well

• See a medical professional regularly


• Assess and monitor your self-talk (“Is your glass half full or half empty?”)

• Assess your irrational beliefs (“I must always make everyone happy.”)

Responding to Signs of Stress


• Deep breathing

Progressive muscle relaxation

• Stretching

• Exercise

• Get a massage

• Take a warm bath


• Talk your feelings out with others you trust

• Laugh

• Cry

• Escape by reading

• Do something you enjoy


• Think positively

• Look for opportunity in a crisis or a challenge

• Look at what you can do and not at what you can’t do

• Make positive self-statements


• Avoid using substances to deal with stress

• Seek out others to talk to

• Eat well

• Take care of yourself physically by exercising

• Do not use physical violence toward other people or property

• Implement muscle relaxation techniques

For additional assistance with personal or work issues, contact Agnesian HealthCare’s Work and Wellness Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at (800) 458-8183.

About Agnesian HealthCare Work and Wellness

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One Response to Tips for Positive Stress Management

  1. Rahma January 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    The better I kept mseylf organized and on schedule with school work, etc. the less stressed I would be. I had set study times and didn’t allow mseylf to procrastinate.I took me time as much as I could, even though it was hard to do. I had to make it a priority. I started doing yoga half-heartedly a few years before I went to school but once in school I forced mseylf to do it more often and to become better at it. I also took and extra class at school Tai Chi. Another semester I took Fitness Walking. Both good ways to force mseylf to keep a schedule.I also started meditating, and as cheesy as it sounds, using positive thinking and imagery of mseylf attaining my goals. But it worked, all these things combined. My last year of school I was a LOT less stressed and felt good.Good luck to you!

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