Signs of stress may be cognitive, emotional, physical or behavioral. Signs include poor judgment, a general negative outlook, excessive worrying, moodiness, irritability, agitation, inability to relax, feeling lonely, isolated or depressed, aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, eating too much or not enough, sleeping too much or not enough, social withdrawal, procrastination or neglect of responsibilities, increased alcohol, nicotine or drug consumption, and nervous habits such as pacing about, nail-biting and neck pains.
Stress management is the amelioration of stress and especially chronic stress often for the purpose of improving everyday functioning.
Stress produces numerous symptoms which vary according to persons, situations, and severity. These can include physical health decline as well as depression.
Techniques of stress management
High demand levels load the person with extra effort and work. It is then high time a new time schedule is worked up. Until the higher-than-normal demand has completed, the normal frequency and duration of the normal personal joys and normal interpersonal fulfillment, that time usually allows to be diverted, must be politely curtailed or blocked.
But many techniques cope with the stresses life brings. Some of the following ways induce a lower than usual stress level, temporarily, to compensate the biological tissues involved; others face the stressor at a higher level of abstraction:
- Autogenic training
- Cognitive therapy
- Conflict resolution
- Getting a hobby
- Deep breathing
- Yoga Nidra
- Reading novels
- Relaxation techniques
- Artistic Expression
- Fractional relaxation
- Progressive relaxation
- Somatics training
- Spending time in nature
- Stress balls
- Natural medicine
- Clinically validated alternative treatments
- Time management
- Listening to certain types of relaxing music, particularly:
- New Age music
- Classical music
- Psychedelic music
Techniques of stress management will vary according to the philosophical paradigm.
Levels of stress can be measured. One way is through the use of the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale to rate stressful life events. Changes in blood pressure and galvanic skin response can also be measured to test stress levels, and changes in stress levels. A digital thermometer can be used to evaluate changes in skin temperature, which can indicate activation of the fight-or-flight response drawing blood away from the extremities.
Stress management has physiological and immune benefit effects.
Effectiveness of stress management
Positive outcomes are observed using a combination of non-drug interventions:
- treatment of anger or hostility,
- autogenic training
- talking therapy (around relationship or existential issues)
- cognitive therapy for anxiety or clinical depression