Family, Youth and Community Sciences News

Research-based information, resources, and tips for families, consumers, and educators; provided by the faculty of the University of Florida/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences.

Stress Management Techniques

Getting stressed in traffic? Worried about your finances or loved ones? You are not alone. Stress is a daily part of life, and can cause both health and emotional problems. Experts suggest that we manage our stress in order to prevent having these negative results.

Here are some tips for managing stress.

First, if you are under a lot of stress, take better care of yourself than usual, because you are more at risk for getting sick. Try to eat better, get enough rest, and exercise regularly. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as well as other drugs.

Second, you may want to work on relaxing your muscles. One way to do this is to use heat, such as hot shower or bath, or even a heating pad. Exercise can both relax muscles and increase endorphins, which help improve mood. Another way to relax your muscles is to use a technique in which muscles are tensed and then relaxed. Yoga and meditation may also help with muscle relaxation, and may provide other benefits in dealing with stress.

Third, try to think about things in a different way. This might mean looking at the situation differently, distracting yourself, or even using humor. Recent research suggests that humor provides a helpful way to combat the negative effects of stress.

Finally, breath deeply and slowly to help your body relax. This can having a calming effect and can be done anywhere, anytime and without any tools but your own sound body and mind.

Podcast: Stress Management Techniques

Written by Heidi Liss Radunovich

Reviewed by Donna Davis and Suzanna Smith

Listening, learning and living together, it’s the science of life. “Family Album” is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at familyalbumradio.org.

References

Abel, M.H. (2002). Humor, stress, and coping strategies. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 15, 365-381.

Carpi, J. (1996). Stress: It’s worse than you think! Psychology Today. Available at: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-19960101-000027.html Retrieved August 28, 2006.

Osterkamp, L., & Press, A.N. (1983). Stress? Find Your Balance. Preventive Measures Inc.: Lawrence, Kansas.

Resources

Suzanna Smith and Joe Pergola. (2006) "Stress Management: Preventing Stress Through Lifestyle Management," EDIS. The Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

Suzanna Smith and Joe Pergola. (2006) "Stress Management: Ways to Cope." EDIS. The Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

Smith, Suzanna and Joe Pergola. (2006). "Stress Management: Understanding Stress." EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida.FCS2077B, FCS2080,

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