Simple Stress Management Strategies
Think about your current training or coaching career. I am willing to bet your clients experience stress (not the good kind) on a regular, or semi-regular basis. It’s called life…
As a trainer or coach, do you know all the physiological and psychological signs and symptoms of stress? Do you know the leading causes of stress? How do you define the distinct difference between good and bad stress? Do you have an action plan for clients who experience high levels or extended periods of stress?
It’s actually a really interesting and complex topic. And, due to our hectic world, coaches who have specific skills and credentials in stress management are doing very well.
Although experts say that some stress is good for you — it can sharpen your senses and your mind — too much stress is bad for your mental and physical health. At the same time, relaxation can do wonders to restore balance in your life — and may even reduce some of the health risks associated with stress.
People, like your client, are frequently unaware that the reason they are always tired or have body aches, is that they are experiencing the negative effects of stress. Find stress reduction techniques that work best for the client.
Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, and Nicotine
Avoid, or at least reduce, your consumption of nicotine and any drinks containing caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and so will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it. Alcohol is a depressant when taken in large quantities, but acts as a stimulant in smaller quantities. Therefore using alcohol as a way to alleviate stress is not ultimately helpful.
Indulge in Physical Activity
Stressful situations increase the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body. When you feel stressed and tense, go for a brisk walk in the fresh air. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine on a regular basis, either before or after work or at lunchtime. Regular physical activity will also improve the quality of your sleep.
Get More Sleep
Rather than relying on medication, your aim should be to maximize your relaxation before going to sleep. Make sure that your bedroom is a tranquil oasis with no reminders of the things that cause you stress.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Focus on a word or phrase that has a positive meaning to you. Words such as “calm” “love” and “peace” work well, or you could think of a self-affirming mantra. Focus on your chosen word or phrase. If you find your mind has wandered or you become aware of intrusive thoughts entering your mind, simply disregard them and return your focus to the chosen word or phrase.
Talk to Someone
Talking can work by either distracting you from your stressful thoughts or releasing some of the built-up tension by discussing it. Stress can cloud your judgment and prevent you from seeing things clearly. Talking things through with a friend, work colleague, or even a trained professional, can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective.
Keep a Stress Diary
Keeping a stress diary for a few weeks is an effective stress management tool as it will help you become more aware of the situations which cause you to become stressed.
One problem-solving technique involves writing down the problem and coming up with as many possible solutions as you can. Decide on the good and bad points of each one and select the best solution. Write down each step that you need to take as part of the solution: what will be done, how will it be done, when will it be done, who is involved and where will it take place.
Manage Your Time
Make a list of all the things that you need to do and list them in order of genuine priority. Note what tasks you need to do personally and what can be delegated to others to do. Record which tasks need to be done immediately, in the next week, in the next month, or when time allows.
Learn to Say ‘No’
A common cause of stress is having too much to do and too little time in which to do it. And yet in this situation, many people will still agree to take on additional responsibility. Learning to say “No” to additional or unimportant requests will help to reduce your level of stress, and may also help you develop more self-confidence.
Rest If You Are Ill
If you are feeling unwell, do not feel that you have to carry on regardless. A short spell of rest will enable the body to recover faster.
Breathing exercises — or even just taking a few deep breaths — can help reduce tension and relieve stress, thanks to an extra boost of oxygen. While shallow breathing — a marker of stress — stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.
Eat A Snack
Pick a snack that will fill you up — say, half an avocado, a handful of nuts or a hard-boiled egg — because nothing is more stressful to the brain than feeling like you’ve run out of nourishment. Take your snack away from your computer and go sit someplace peaceful. Focus on your food: its texture, the way it tastes, how it makes you feel. Now you’ve turned your snack into a meditation.
Buy Yourself A Plant
Houseplants aren’t just beautiful air purifiers — they can actually help you calm down. Researchers have found that simply being around plants can induce your relaxation response.
Step Away From The Screen
Make sure to take frequent breaks during your day of computer use — and try to shut offline at least an hour before bedtime.
Start Smooching More
Kissing relieves stress by helping your brain to release endorphins. In a study of 2,000 couples, researchers found that those who only kissed when they had sex were eight times more likely to report feeling chronically stressed or depressed.
Put On Some Music
While classical music has a particularly soothing effect — it slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure and even decreases levels of stress hormones — any music that you love will flood your brain with feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine.
Chew A Piece Of Gum
Chewing gum doesn’t just make your breath better — it can relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress during episodes of multitasking
Watch a Viral Video
A good laugh is a fine relaxation technique. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
Turn Off Your Phone
Smartphones, in particular, are linked to increased stress, as more and more people feel pressure to respond to messages at all times.
See Your BFF
Friends aren’t just fun — your very closest ones can actually reduce your production of cortisol.
Seek treatment with a Certified Stress Management Coach to learn healthy ways of dealing with the stress in your life
At The Spencer Institute, we provide the quality education and support you need, so you can earn your training, coaching, or specialist certification with confidence.
Our stress management coaching program is designed for life coaches, as well as fitness and wellness professionals who want to expand his or her knowledge in the lucrative and expanding field.
NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.