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Top Tips for Stress Management

Top tips for stress management

Ten top tips for stress management

What is "Stress"?

In our context, stress can be defined as:
"A mental and physiological reaction to work pressures and the meanings that you give to them"

What is "Stress management"?

"Stress management" is the art of orchestrating:

  • The intensity, duration and frequency of stressors
  • The focus of the mind and
  • The physical state of your body...... So as to create optimum adaptive responses appropriate to the circumstances that faces you

Ten tips on how to manage stress and create Optimum Adaptive Responses

1. Understand Hans Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome

You should learn the three phase G.A.S. model that describes the reactions to unmanaged stress:

i. Alarm phase
ii. Adaptation phase
iii. Exhaustion phase

i. Alarm phase

On first exposure to the stressor there is an initial state of discomfort and confusion: Hans Selye called it "the general call to arms".

ii. Adaptation phase

On continued exposure to the stressor your mind-body-system begin to mobilise its response and "up its game" in order to deal with the perceived "threat" to its comfort.

iii. Exhaustion phase

On extended and continued exposure to the stressor your mind-body-system begins to exhaust its limited capacities. Thus your ability to successfully manage the stressor begins to fail:

Then illness, injury or a loss of productive capacity is evident.

  • Therefore you don't ever want to get to stage iii G.A.S.
  • You want to stay in stage ii G.A.S.

Learn to manage your G.A.S.!

That is a Good idea; but how?

Answer: understand the following points and act on their implications.

2. The three elements of any stressor

Each stressor that acts upon you, has its own degree of:

Intensity, duration and frequency.

  1. Intensity, is the strength of the stressor.
  2. Duration is the amount of time you are exposed to the stressor.
  3. Frequency the number of exposures per unit time.

Learn to balance the intensity, duration and frequency of work stressor, such that you permanently occupy the Adaptation phase: stress therefore leads to an increase in productivity.

3. The optimum zone

The optimum zone is the "perfect blend" of intensity, duration and frequency.

Especially during stressful times, the best place to live is in "The optimum zone".

  • In the optimum zone you feel "turned on" and energised by the stressor;
  • Not ground-down and overwhelmed by the stressor.

4. Develop your "recovery ability"

Your recovery ability is a measure of your resilience to the stressors.

Recovery ability is not a static measure.

It is not encoded into your DNA as a fixed value.

Your recovery ability reflects the sum-total of many elements;

Elements that are under your direct control and personal guidance.

You can increase your recovery ability by:

  • Doing the right things and
  • Not doing the wrong things!

5. Mind and body are one system

If your body is weak, then your mind will suffer.

If your mind is weak, then your body will suffer.

And vice versa...

Therefore you need to take control of your own mind: i.e. control what you think about.

And take control of your body: control what you put into it!

6. Manage your mind

Remember this:

The only thing, over which you can have complete control, is your own mind.

Take control of your mind and you'll also take control of everything else.

If you lose control over your mind, then you'll lose control of everything else.

  • Lose your mind and you lose everything important to you.
  • Master your mind and you can master everything else that is important to you.

7. Be aware of the effects that other people on your stress levels

Identify three types of person in your life:

  • Those who make you feel stronger; (expose yourself to these people more often!).
  • Those who don't make you any feel any stronger; (most people you know are in this category).
  • Those who make you feel weaker;

(to the degree possible - avoid these people- like the plague!).

8. Don't worry about your problems- Instead; solve them!

  • Overwhelm your problems with immense volumes of intelligent action.
  • Don't allow your problems to overwhelm you!

Don't talk about your problems.


  1. Analyse their causes and design solutions.
  2. Predict their possible consequences and design countermeasures.

You have heard the maxim: A problem shared is a problem halved

Rewrite it to read instead:

A problem shared is a problem .......logically analysed and detailed written plans formulated!

9. Beware of the common mal-adaptive coping methods:

The common mal-adaptive coping methods are as follows:

1 Alcohol- 2 bad diet- 3 drugs- 4 poor sleep patterns- 5 too much worry.

This five part formula is a "deadly-cocktail-of-disaster" that many people get into when they are facing stressful situations.

It is so common it is almost standard practice.

But don't mistake standard practice for good practice.

10. Introduce adaptive coping methods;

  • Sound sleep, sufficient exercise and nutritional support,
  • Emotional and intellectual balance and
  • Detailed, intelligent plans of action

If you do that, then all will be well with your world....................

For more information about stress management training visit the Corporate Coach Group website
or visit our sister site where you can download a condensed version of this training

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