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Stress Management

Stress Management: Overview, Causes, Treatment and More | Singapore General Hospital

Stress Management - How to prevent?

Stress Management - Diagnosis

Stress Management - Treatments

Managing Stress

How can we manage stress better? Just as there are many sources of stress, there are many ways of managing it. However, all require work toward change: changing the source of stress and/or changing your reaction to it.

  • Be aware of your stressors and your emotional and physical reactions
    • Understand more about stress itself.
    • Don’t ignore your distress. Determine what are the things that distress you.
    • Determine how your body responds to the stress. Do you become nervous or physically upset?
  • Recognise what you can change.
    • Change your stressors by avoiding or eliminating them completely.
    • Reduce their intensity or frequency.
    • Shorten your exposure to stress (take a break, leave the stressful environment).
  • Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress.
    • Are you expecting to please everyone? Trying saying "NO" at times.
    • Try to see the stress as something you can cope with rather than something that overpowers you.
  • Moderate your physical reactions to stress.
    • Try slow, deep breathing exercises. (see description below) They will bring your heart rate and respiration back to normal.
    • Relaxation techniques such as the Jacobson’s Progressive Relaxation Therapy can reduce muscle tension.
    • Using biofeedback can help you gain voluntary control over muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure.
    • Massage and applying heat to the tensed muscles improve blood circulation and helps the muscles to relax.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle
    • Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week (exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, or jogging are good).
    • Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals.
    • Maintain your ideal weight.
    • Avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants.
    • Get enough sleep and be as consistent with your sleep schedule as possible.
  • Stay emotionally well
    • Establish some mutually supportive friendships/relationships.
    • Recognise and accept your own feelings and limitations.
    • Pursue realistic goals that are meaningful to you, rather than goals others have for you that you do not share.
    • Make time to relax and enjoy yourself. Be kind to yourself.

    Deep Breathing Exercise

    The deep breathing exercise is a simple yet effective technique in stress management. It is useful in replacing the rapid, shallow breathing caused by stress with long, deep breaths using all of your lung capacity. This simple exercise, done 1-2 minutes several times a day, may relieve many stressful feelings.

    • Take in a slow breath into your lungs, through your nose and out through your mouth.
    • You don’t have to take deeper breath than usual. Just the depth with which you normally breathe.
    • Slow down your breathing rate gradually. You can do this by breathing in and counting 1 – 2 – 3 before breathing out. You should aim to breathe at a rate of about 12 to 14 breaths in a minute.
    • Relax the muscles around your neck and your shoulders.
    • Continue these breathing control exercises for about 5 – 10 minutes or until you are no longer breathless.

Stress Management - Preparing for surgery

Stress Management - Post-surgery care

Stress Management - Other Information

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