Tips for effective stress management

03.08.2022
Estelle Klemp
What is stress?

Stress is a fundamental part of our lives. This is exactly why it is crucial to find a healthy and effective way to deal with it. Our brains are constantly confronted with new stimuli, we have deadlines to meet, children to pick up from school and rarely find peace for ourselves. Instead, we feel rushed, exhausted and powerless at the mercy of the schedule. Or in short: we are stressed. In general, stress is a person's reaction to physical or mental strain.

The experience of stress is subjective and depends on the personal assessment of the stress as well as on the coping strategies.

Stress arises particularly in certain situations, characterised by novelty, uncertainty and unpredictability. In the business world, these are, for example, a conflict at work or a deadline that has been brought forward.

How can we cope with stress?

Coping methods include, for example, support from colleagues or our own skills and competences. Being able to deal with stress effectively is essential because the fewer coping strategies we know, the more stressed we feel. However, stress is not always negative: in the short term, it can also lead to an increase in performance. In the long term, however, preventive measures and coping strategies should be learned, as a high level of perceived stress over a long period of time can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration and even burnout.

Stress traffic light - When stress forces us to brake hard

The stress traffic light illustrates how stress arises and what we can do about it. Red stands for stressors, yellow for stress intensifiers and green for the resulting stress reaction. In order to learn how best to deal with stress, we should start at the respective traffic light or stress phase.

Coping strategies - set goals, believe in yourself & relax

Instrumental stress management directly addresses the stressor (traffic light phase red) and is designed to enable the affected person to feel better able to cope with the stressor. One way to relieve yourself is, for example, by asking a colleague for support. An optimised time management based on to-do lists with specific goals is also a useful way to prevent stress.

Mental stress management, in turn, helps to deal with the stress amplifier (traffic light phase yellow). Here, the main focus is on constructively reassessing demands, strengthening one's own self-efficacy expectations and reformulating negative thoughts.

Finally, regenerative stress management revolves around recovering from physical and psychological stress reactions (traffic light phase green). In this context, exercise, nutrition and relaxation play a key role.

6 tips for effective stress management

  1. These tips will help you recognise and deal with stress in your everyday life.

  2. Pay attention to feedback from family, friends and colleagues.

  3. Identify personal energy givers and drainers

  4. Reward yourself for achieving goals

  5. Consider your own needs

  6. Digital Detox - consciously putting down the smartphone

  7. Combine relaxation and health

For now, it's time to go to the gym and put away your smartphone.

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