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How To Create Stress Management Plan For Free

Updated on October 28, 2016

Is stress a problem for you?

When life seems never ending stress, incorporating a well balanced stress management plan based on your individual values, needs and priorities into your lifestyle will help you pull through any challenging times that you may come across professionally or personally.

The main objectives are not to get rid of stress, though. It’s impossible to get rid of stress. It’s inherent; it’s a part of our life.

My main objective is to make you aware of stress, aware of how dangerous it can be, of how it can impact you psychologically, physically, impact on your relationships, your behavior.

And to make you motivated to do something about it.

Follow 7 simple steps I recommend in this article and create realistic stress management plan for FREE.

Stress is here to stay ...and distroy your life

In the middle of the 20th century physiologist Hans Selye labeled our reaction to life's challenges with a simple word: stress. Now, 50 years later, there's a conversation you hear so often, it's almost a chorus: You ask a friend, "How are you?" and she replies, "I'm OK, but I'm feeling a little stressed."

In fact in the 21st century, stress has become synonymous with life and is associated with almost every aspect of our lives, personal and professional alike. Not all stress is bad. Stress does however become a danger when it goes unrecognized, is poorly controlled or becomes pent up over long periods of time.

Countless studies show that mental stress has a serous impact on health.

If you look beyond the symptoms of many physical ailments to the core problem, you will find stress. Stress has been linked to all the leading causes of death, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, accidents and suicide. Almost 90 % of all visits to primary health care providers are due to stress-related problems. Even when stress is not the direct cause, it often aggravates a condition. Stress has such a powerful effect because of what it does to the body.

The end result of unmanaged stress is the weakening and eventual breakdown of all of the body’s systems and contribute to our premature aging.

For most women, stress ranks at the top of the list of daily problems.

Stress - Portrait of a Killer

National Geographic: Stress - Portrait of a Killer
National Geographic: Stress - Portrait of a Killer
Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University, reveals just how dangerous prolonged exposure to stress can be. Don't miss it, it's worth every penny! You'll want to share it with your friends.

If you're ready to reduce stress in your life, creating your own stress management plan may help you to reach your stress reduction goals, whatever they might be.

Essentially, stress management involves empowering you to take control of your own health and well-being through the practice of effective stress management techniques.

As each person responds differently to stressful events, it is difficult to make general predictions about how you should deal with that stress. This means that the stress management plan will be different for each individual.

In order to create a stress management plan I suggest you to follow certain steps:

Step 1. Think about WHY you want to reduce stress.

Step 2. Find out what causes stress for you.

Step 3. Identify your own stress symptoms. How do you react when you encounter a stressor - a stressful event?

Step 4. Think about your habitual coping strategies.

Step 5. Look for new ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

Step 6. Plan for setbacks and dont be afraid of them.

Step 7. Create your support team.

Step 1

Think about WHY you want to reduce stress.

  • You might want to protect your health by reducing stress.
  • Prevent premature aging or burnout.
  • Or maybe you simply want to enjoy your life more and not let stress control and manage you, your relationships, your personal and professional life.

Your reason for wanting to change is important.Whatever it is, it is eligible for you.

If your reason comes from you and not from someone else (spouse, friend, boss) it will be easier for you to make a healthy change for good.

Step 2

Find out what causes stress for you. Identify your sources of stress.

If you don’t understand the sources of your stress you can end up putting yourself under more pressure by just taking on more ‘stress reductionactivities’ and avoiding the real problems. Pick the wrong approach and you could make things worse, feel de-motivated and get caught in a vicious self-reinforcing stress spiral.

The sources could include life changes, such as divorce, marriage, job change, a move, pregnancy, change in finances, basically any change in your life.

Keep a stress journal to record what triggers you stress. Nedless to say that sources of stress are individual. One persons stressors may be anothers pleasures.

Step 3

Identify your own stress symptoms or ways you tend to respond to stress. How do you react when you encounter a stressor - a stressful event?

Stress Symptoms fall into four main categories:

Physical symptoms, such as feeling dizzy, stomach problems, tense muscles, tension headaches, erratic breathing, dry mouth, chronic constipation, diarrhea, sleeping difficulties.

Emotional Symptoms, such as irritability, angry outbursts, state of anxiety, feeling of hopelessness, increased moodiness, panic attacks; you can become very negative, everything could seem difficult or a problem.

Psychological Symptoms, such as difficulties in concentrating or making simple decisions, muddled and negative thinking, loss of confidence.

Behavioral Symptoms, such as Increased smoking and alcohol drinking, nail-biting, engaging in comfort eating, insomnia, relationship problems, social withdrawal.

Write your stress symptoms and signs in a stress journal.

Step 4

Think about your habitual coping strategies.

The goal of stress management is not so much avoid or prevent stress, but to have strong and varied coping skills to lessen the effects of stress and manage stress better.

Are your habitual stress management strategies effective and healthy, or on the contrary do they increase your stress and health problems in a long run.

In fact bad habits – stress management strategies like overeating, excessive smoking or alcohol consumption may seem as a temporarily effective way of taking the mind away from whatever is causing the stress.

If you use bad habits and addictions as a stress management tool you might find this useful( Change bad habits in 6 simile steps )

Record stressful events, your response to them, and how you have coped in your stress journal.

Set a goal. Think about a long-term and a short-term goal to reduce stress in your life.

Keep your WHY always present. (See Step 1)

Step 5

Look for new ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

What your specific stress reduction needs are? Only you can answer this question. Your stress management plan depends on your answer.

Do you need to learn some new stress prevention strategies, such as healthy life style changes, healthy eating, living mindfully, physical exercises and getting some more sleep?

Or more specific stress management techniques such as learning to manage your time, learn and practice relaxation techniques, problem solving, positive thinking or get rid of worries.

Or you just have 'too much on your plate' and the first step could be simplifying your life.

This all boils down to - if your current stress management and coping strategies are not leading toward your wellness goals, learn more effective and healthier and ways to manage your stress.

Step 6

Plan for setbacks and dont be afraid of them.

Use a personal action plan to

  • write down your stress management goals,
  • any possible barriers,both internal such as limiting believes and external.
  • your ideas for getting past them.

By thinking about these barriers now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them if they happen.

Step 7

Create your support team.

Tell family and friends your reasons for wanting to change. Tell them that their encouragement makes a big difference to you in your goal to reduce stress.

Hire a professional, who can help you set goals and provide support in dealing with setbacks.

Dealing with stress is about dealing with change. Change isn't always easy, especially when you doubt about where to start. The good solution could be consider working with a stress management coach in order to reach the permanent results.

About the Author

Dr.Inese Millere , M.D. is lifestyle coach in holistic stress management and mindful eating for busy women after 40 who want to be Fit, Balanced and Ageless: to manage stress, stress eating, have a healthy and joyful relationship with food and enjoy healthy living and longevity.


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    • Inese profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Rome, Italy

      You are so right, Sue. WHY is fundamental. The reason we want to change is the first to understand and ALWAYS keep present. Many times when we get stuck its time to revise it. Is my why still actual? Is my why still my why, or it somebodies else? Thank you for the comment, Sue.

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 

      10 years ago from South Carolina


      As I read your 7 steps, I keep going back to the number one, the have put it so well, the why determines the rest of the steps and the ultimate outcome. Awesome advice as you help lead others to a different path of stress free living. A great article! Sue


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