Three Strategies for Managing Stress

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Aug 20, 2012

Urban myth is that smoking can relieve stress whereas recent studies show just the opposite – that smoking causes stress!  Nonetheless, stress is considered a normal part of everyone’s life.  So how is it that some people seem to manage stress well and others find it difficult to manage?

One theory is that it is not the situations we encounter that lead to stress, but rather how we react to them that increase or reduce it.  By recognizing that stress is influenced by our perception of these situations, we can develop skills to enhance our ability to manage it.  Here are three specific strategies you can use to help manage the stress in your life:

By recognizing that stress is influenced by our perception of events, we: 

1. Accept – Life is often unpredictable.  Accept what is beyond your control and remember that the feelings of stress will eventually pass.


2. Avoid – When you have control over a stressful situation, you can plan to avoid it.  If heavy traffic is stressful and can trigger a desire to smoke, try leaving work earlier to avoid it. 


3. Change – Changing your thoughts, feelings, and actions in response to stress can greatly influence how it affects you.  Thinking positively, breathing deeply, or talking to someone about your feelings are changes that can help you manage stress. 


While stress can be a part of your life, by practicing these strategies and others, it does not need to be the biggest part. And remember smoking is not the answer rather smoking could make stress even worse.  Learn more ways to manage stress at becomeanex.org