Managing Stress: Create calm, at work and in your personal life


Many of us experience stress in life, whether this is in the short term from one-off projects, or long-term stress from a high-pressure career.

Not only can this be profoundly unpleasant, it can seriously affect our health and our work. However, it is possible to manage stress, if you use the right tools and techniques.


What is Stress?

A widely accepted definition of stress, attributed to psychologist and professor Richard Lazarus, is, “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.”

This means that we experience stress if we believe that we don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to handle a situation. In short, we experience stress when we feel “out of control.”

This also means that different people handle stress differently, in different situations: you’ll handle stress better if you’re confident in your abilities, if you can change the situation to take control, and if you feel that you have the help and support needed to do a good job.


Signs of Stress

Everyone reacts to stress differently. However, some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Cold or sweaty hands and feet.
  • Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
    Persistent difficulty concentrating.
  • Social withdrawal or isolation.
  • Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue
  • Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
  • Significant weight gain or loss.
  • Consistent feelings of being overwhelmed or overloaded.
  • Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness.
  • Frequent crying spells, depression or suicidal thoughts


 How to Manage Stress

The first step in managing stress is to understand where these feeling are coming from.

Keep a stress diary to identify the causes of short-term or frequent stress in your life. As you write down events, think about why this situation stresses you out. Also, use the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale to identify specific events that could put you at risk of long-term stress.

Then, consider using some of the approaches below to manage your stress. You’ll likely be able to use a mix of strategies from each area.


1. Action-Oriented Approaches

With action-oriented approaches, you take action to change the stressful situations, e.g.:

  • Manage your time and priorities
  • Be more assertive in managing your boundaries
  • Take action to minimize stress in your working environment.


2. Emotion-Oriented Approaches

Emotion-oriented approaches are useful when the stress you’re experiencing comes from the way that you perceive a situation.

To change how you think about stressful situations:


3. Acceptance-Oriented Approaches

Acceptance-oriented approaches apply to situations where you have no power to change what happens, and where situations are genuinely bad.

To build your defenses against stress:

  • Use techniques like meditation and physical relaxation to calm yourself when you feel stressed.
  • Take advantage of your support network (e.g. your family and friends).
  • Get enough exercise and sleep, and learn how to make the most of your down time, so that you can recover from stressful events
  • Use laughter, humour and smile to de-stress yourself and transform stress to strength 🙂


How are you coping with stress in your life? 
What approach helps you the most?


28 thoughts on “Managing Stress: Create calm, at work and in your personal life

  1. Perfectly timed read for me…thank you for this affirmation and clear direction.

  2. Elouise says:

    Hmm. What helps the most? I’d say a combination of deep breathing, and going outside for a long walk. Saying No is pretty good, too, though it brings its own stress sometimes.

  3. Jahilliya says:

    Reblogged this on Jahilliya.

  4. The ideal way is to remove yourself from the stress that is happening to you. Easier said than done I know especially if it is ion your work place. Having someone to talk with is useful but I agree half the battle is recognising the stress and identifying where it is coming from.

  5. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel and commented:
    Very relevant and well written post. Keep it up!

  6. bkpyett says:

    Maybe desserts are the cure for stress! Thanks for another interesting post. 🙂

  7. erikakind says:

    Great post! My dad used to say: Stress is when your acting is faster than your thinking!

  8. satzie says:

    Good post Otrazhenie.
    Enjoyed the pictures very much, particularly the diamond and desserts.

    This post reminds few things i read earlier from the following link
    View at
    and i have quoted few of my fav lines from there below here.

    ” 1) Being productive is less about time management and more on managing your energy.

    2) According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of the effort produces 80% of the results; however, 20% of the results consumes 80% of the effort. Instead of working harder, we should focus primarily on those efforts that produce 80% of the results and forgo the rest.

    3) Next time you need to avoid saying yes, say “I don’t”.

    4) It’s important to walk away from our work once in a while and have some alone time. ”

    You can give that link a view, I’m sure it is very worth reading and can help with handling stress.

    I do different things when i feel stressed and each works only at certain situations. Here are few things which i think works most of the time.

    Spend time doing nothing, simply sitting or standing.
    Breathing exercise.
    Some push ups, it relieves pressured feels.
    Taking a walk out below scorching sun.
    Sometimes yoga.
    Reading books to figure out the cause, which inturn makes me feel calm.

  9. I think a lot of it is perception too. Reflecting on past stressful moments now I wonder why I felt so stessed at the time. I often have more situations now that should induce stress but tend to rationalise what I can and cannot do then sort of shrug at the ‘impossible’ bits. My own family ask why I’m not freaking out at certain things and it’s generally because I see things a bit differently than in the past when I thought I had to handle it all and be superwoman. That’s not to say that I don’t care about things any more, just that I try not to sweat situations so much now and do what I can when I can.
    Maybe I had to get to a point of extreme stress before learning to let go but it feels very liberating. Saying ‘No’ is a big part of that for me.

  10. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    This was a great post! We face stress every day, even babies have stress but if we instill these methods and teach them to our children we will be much better off.

  11. Gail says:

    When I feel stressed, I organize something. It gives me a feeling of control.

  12. What a wonderful blog you have, so many helpful posts. I especially love knowing that stressed is desserts spelled backwards. Its like matter and anti-matter, maybe even literally eh, as one puts on the pounds and the other often takes them off.
    Regarding stress, I find that expectations are a key stressor for me, expectations of myself, of others. Don’t the Buddhists say to live life with no expectations. Oh, how much simpler it would be. I strive for that, though I have a ways yet to go.
    Thank you so much for visiting Tovarysh. Namaste.

  13. loispercente says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Here’s a very interesting article on STRESS! I thought I would reblog this, because we all experience stress every once and a while. There are also other great things on this blog/website, give them a look-see and tell them I sent ya. lp

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