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How to Recognize and Properly Manage Your Stress

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Woman Getting a Massage on Massage Table

Stress can quite literally be a killer. It elevates your blood pressure and takes a general negative toll on your overall health, especially if your stress levels are high for extended periods of time. In today’s high-stress world, it’s more important than ever that you learn to properly manage your stress levels for the sake of your mental and physical health. Like any other skill, this is one that takes practice to master, and too few people put in the time necessary to master it. Keep reading to get tips on better managing your stress. And if you’re interested in providing people with stress-relieving massages to better their health, look for massage therapy courses in Arlington, TX.

The Signs of Stress

You probably think you know when you feel stressed. You might get irritable, feel anxious about getting everything done, and experience headaches and other bodily pains. But these are often later signs of stress, and it’s important that you recognize the earlier symptoms before your stress reaches a level that is causing you physical pain and anxiety. Earlier signs of stress that you should look out for include the following:

  • Disinterest in things you usually enjoy

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Tension in the neck, shoulders, and jaw

  • Avoiding others

  • rouble clearing your mind

If you can recognize these earlier signs, you can manage your stress before it progresses. You’ll also be better able to identify the causes of these feelings so that you can better manage your stress triggers as well.

Identifying Your Triggers

Again, this is an area that you probably think you have under control. You probably are aware that work is stressful, or that major changes in your life (moving, getting a divorce, etc.) are contributing to your stress levels. But triggers of stress can often be much more subtle than you realize.

Perhaps you tense up the moment a certain coworker walks into your office. Maybe you find yourself dwelling on what you read on social media today, and you struggle to fall asleep at night as a result. While you may not normally identify social media or an individual person as a stress trigger, they can be. Pay attention to how your body reacts to different situations. Write it down and try to identify why you’re reacting this way.

Managing Your Stress

One key to managing your stress is to manage the triggers to your stress. Once you’ve identified the triggers that are most likely to send your body into “stress mode,” you can work on how to manage those triggers. Of course, some triggers can be avoided (you might choose to stay off social media or block certain individuals or topics from your news feed), but others can’t (your coworker probably isn’t going anywhere any time soon). So, what can you do? There are a few options available to you:

  1. Work through the reason for your stress response. Why does that specific coworker make you feel this way? Do they always bring problems to you? Do they say things that make you uncomfortable? Identify why this person or situation triggers this response in you so that you can tackle the root of the problem head-on. You might sit down with the person and talk about your issues, for example.

  2. Manage your stress response early on. If the trigger isn’t something you can avoid or work through, it’s important to take steps to manage your stress response quickly when these situations arise. Find something that helps to calm you and use it the moment your trigger rears its head. This might include rubbing pressure points on your hands and wrist to relax you, rubbing lavender oil on your temples, or a soothing, repetitive motion like rolling a ball between your hands.

  3. Take steps to manage your overall stress levels. Stress isn’t something that should only be dealt with at the moment. Deal with your overall stress levels by finding activities that calm you, like meditation, yoga, or massage.

If you want to help people with their stress, massage is a great way to do it. Contact our licensed massage therapist school in Arlington, TX, to learn more about our classes.

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