Introduction to stress management

Continuously growing pace of the modern life puts more demands on our stress management skills. You may already be in a situation when you feel pressured to accomplish more and more every year with less resources and shorter deadlines. Or you may feel overwhelmed by the challenges in maintaining balance between your work and family life.

Whichever sources your stress is coming from, if you just let it build up for too long, you will eventually pay the price and face sad consequences. And unless you improve your stress management abilities, this may happen much sooner than you expected.

How much can poor stress management cost you? Stress has been linked to a major portion of health problems, from premature aging to heart attacks. Even when stress does not causes the illness directly, it can accelerate development of existing conditions or make you more vulnerable to health problems, as well as to threats from your home or office environment. And even if you don't count physical health damage and premature death, overwhelming stress may also waste a significant portion of your life. Just by keeping you in a state of fatigue, unhappiness, and depression.

Stress management goes hand in hand with time management

On the one hand, good time management is a critical element of effective stress management. Time management is probably the number one tool for managing stress at its sources. If you get organized, plan ahead, stop procrastinating, clarify your priorities, and delegate effectively you are much less likely to be overwhelmed by the pre-deadline stress. Even without advanced relaxation techniques. And you are more likely to get ahead in balancing your work and family life.

On the other hand, stress management is an essential component of effective time management. Many people cannot completely avoid the sources of their stress, and an overwhelming stress can block their ability to think and perform. In such situations stress management techniques, including relaxation techniques, can be critical for getting unstuck and staying effective.

You also need to be well aware of stress symptoms in order to wisely manage your pace in moving to your goals. If you try to move too fast in short term and don't take adequate breaks, your may damage your abilities and motivation, hurting your longer term progress.

And it is certainly not good time management if you become disabled, miserable, or die prematurely from the effects of excessive stress.

Neurosis — a spiritual disease

If you ever were trying to find a way to heal yourself from a deeper and persistent emotional or health crisis or depression, outside of situation where there is a clear medical resolution, you may eventually realise that most of the options you find (yoga, some types of alternative medicine, meditation, psychotherapy, various ways of reprogramming your mind and thinking, certain ways to address or release your emotions, etc) have a spiritual component in them, even if presented (or applied) as purely physical, secular, scientific-looking, or pragmatic (just try and see for yourself that it works). This is not surprising as the problem you are trying to solve is hard to separate from the spiritual component in its root. Yet, by focusing on immediate practical benefits of one such practice or another you may overlook the secondary consequences of what you subconsciously buy into in the process, and that what feels as freedom and ease is only as much freedom as in a free fall (only while you keep falling). Here is an account of a true story of fakir's "miracle" that illustrates such differences in an example of their clash.

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Recognize the risks and causes of burnout syndrome. You are much better off preventing burnout now than putting your life back together later.

Build coping skills to withstand life's challenges
Well-developed coping skills help you maintain control and do the best that could be done when faced with outstanding challenges.

Selected stress management articles
A selection of stress management articles from various authors.

Personal time management and goal setting guide main page
Practical information and advice on various personal time management and goal setting topics.

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