Nowadays, employees are much more aware of their personal responsibility towards managing their own job stress, and maintaining healthy lifestyles.

We naturally want to improve the quality of our lives, and controlling our reactions to job stress is a crucial component of work-life satisfaction.

You can read numerous article online relating to stress and how to beat stress… Here are my 5 ways of managing stress…


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1. Exercise

Making exercise part of your everyday routine will greatly impact the stress you encounter, and your body’s resistance to dealing with stress.

It doesn’t need to be all out super strenuous exercise, a pleasant form of moderate exercise also works fine.

You’ll find that you are more at ease, less quick to to anger, more accepting of others, and a bit more resilient to work.

People of all ages are walking, cycling, practising yoga, jogging, swimming… the list goes on.

Exercise won’t just impact your stress levels and management, it will impact your health levels, weight control, cholesterol levels, and so on…

Exercise and stress

2. Relaxation

The alarm reaction phase of the General Adaptation Syndrome is the mobilisation of the body to fight or flee… the nervous system achieves this in one or two heart beats.

Once the threat is gone the body winds down from the state of high readiness… the relaxation response.

We need to control our fight or flee responses, and work on developing our relaxation responses for times when we feel stress.

When you feel the tightening of the chest and some agitation, attempt to close your eyes and take 5 to 10 deep breaths in and out.

This kind of meditation will impact your stress levels greatly, and give you time to calm your mind before you deal with the problem properly.

There are many relaxation techniques out there and I suggest you research, until you find the one that is most effective for you.

Control you breathing and then your mind… then tackle the issue at hand with a solution based mindset.

Relaxation and stress

3. Diet

Diet plays a significant role in how we feel, and an indirect role in stress management.

Foods with high sugar or fat content stimulate or prolong the lingering effects of stress, because they adversely affect blood chemistry by elevating bad cholesterol while lowering the good.

Good eating habits contribute to our overall health, making us less vulnerable to disease or resistance.

I’ve felt this in action…

During one of my more stressful periods when working as Regional CEO in Tianjin (China), my day included eating McDonalds for breakfast and lunch, and then getting home to finish the day with a few bowls of breakfast cereal with a crazy amount of sugar on top… Not to mention the coffee I was consuming.

Looking back and knowing what I know now about diet, it’s no wonder my stress levels were through the roof.

Around two years ago I enlisted the help of a personal trainer and nutritionist (Mike Calpin), and he taught me the importance of a balanced diet… it really opened my eyes.

Yes I lost a lot of weight, but the main impact I see is when I have an off day and eat things I know I shouldn’t.

I really can feel the difference… lethargic, tired, snappy

I encourage you all to educate yourself on the right type of foods you should be eating, it really will impact your well being and your stress levels.

Diet and stress

4. Differentiate guilt from shame

No we’re getting into the meat of things.

We all experience guilt or shame as a result of traumatic events.

Guilt is a useful emotion when we resolve to make amends, it can lead to a positive outcome.

People who experience guilt will alleviate it by becoming more empathetic and work harder to resolve conflicts.

Individuals who experience shame isolate themselves (I’m a bad person), become depressed (i’m worthless) and alienate others (It’s their fault).

It is important therefore that we do our most to keep out of the shame circle, and use guilt more to push us forward.

Shame results in nothing changing, guilt (used properly) makes amends.

Shame and guilt in stress

5. Build up your stress resistance

The key principle here is to learn how to handle more stress, while you resolve to experience less of it.

Take more walks at lunch and don’t eat at your desk, get out into the open areas.

Research the many methods of reducing stress, toss away the ones that don’t work and keep the ones that do.

Be fair on yourself whilst you are learning these techniques, you will experience lapses as you go.

Work on your posture… back straight, chest out, head held up high.

Finally become a solutions based person…

Whenever you encounter a problem or issue, immediately recognise what exactly it is, and then divert your attention to developing a solution.

We like working on solutions, it releases positive hormones throughout our body and we instantly feel positive and display a can do attitude.

Build up strength resistance

Stress can be a killer of people and organisations.

Whilst our organisations are responsible for stress management, we too must take personal responsibility for our stress levels.

Research stress reducing techniques and incorporate the most successful into your daily routines.

My article relating to starting your day may also help, so check that out.

2 thoughts on “5 Ways of Managing Stress”

  1. Out of control stress is definitely unhealthy and I agree with all you’ve written about coping with stress. My area of concern is with the emotions, as often unresolved conflicts or anger or other emotion causes stress. The danger is that it is hidden, because we bury the emotion and aren’t always aware. Often we forget the underlying cause of stress lies in unresolved emotions. Its a huge problem and one I’m working on right now on my website.

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