Stress can be thrown at us at an early age; in fact an unborn baby can experience stress in utero. We either learn to cope with stress or learn how to avoid stress at an early age. We all have the ability to learn how to manage stress. Some of us learn by trial and error (the school of old knocks). Others make efforts to take classes in stress management or read books on the subject. We can also learn to manage stress by watching others deal with situations and events that cause stress or we can learn stress management techniques from a mental health professional.
We learn from experience or are taught that we can improve our ability to handle stress by first improving our diet, by exercising on a regular basis and by learning how to relax. It is also important to get enough quality sleep at night and to take time for relaxation instead of working all day and night. For most of us, humor can help us to relieve times of tension and to help cope with stressful situations.
There are many books, magazines, and Websites that are out there with the purpose of teaching us how to deal with stress.
Dealing with stress can also be determined by how old we are when we encounter major stress, how good our support system is and the available tools for coping with the situation at the time.
Everyone has different factors that are part of how we cope with stress including the availability of family members, the culture we are raised in, our physiological make-up, and the attitudes we have about the issues of stress that surround us. We can learn bad habits of dealing with stress or we can learn good habits of dealing with stress. We can have good role models and we can have lousy role models.
Manage stress by controlling your environment, building defenses against stressors, think positive thoughts instead of negative ones that add to stress and learn relaxation techniques and keep the ones that work for you.
Keep in mind that your daily stress can change as your life changes like when you make major lifestyle changes (go to college, get married, start a family, retire), and when your environment changes. Realize that you cannot control all things about managing stress and there are going to just be days when the stress may get to you.
It is at those times that you will need to rely on your support system, and your favorite relaxation techniques. A lot of chocolate always comes in handy at least until the calories kick in. Remember to practice managing stress so you are prepared before stress hits you.
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