Stress Management Techniques

stress management

Stress can be both one of our greatest motivators as well as a debilitating force in our lives. It can come from pressures at work or in school, or it can be a result of major life events. Whatever the source of your stress is, learning to manage these symptoms helps you confidently approach the changes of life and prevent lasting health effects.

What is Stress?

When you have an upcoming deadline, you’ll likely feel some kind of stress leading up to the event. For most people, these feelings create a drive and motivation to perform well, resulting in a strong performance. Others, though, may become overwhelmed and unable to complete the tasks they need to. Feelings of stress, if well-managed, can create productivity and success, so learning to cope with and channel those emotions is an important part of life. 

Just as people respond differently to upcoming deadlines or tasks they need to complete, each person has different experiences when it comes to stress. What one person may find anxiety-inducing, others may not have a strong reaction to. It’s important to understand the responses you have to different scenarios, so you can better prepare yourself to manage the emotions that come along with them.

The Effects of Stress

Stress, if left unchecked, can have negative effects on both your mental and physical health. Mentally, if you are unable to manage these thoughts and feelings, the burden of these situations can create anxiety, thought rumination, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and depression. You may also notice physical symptoms that accommodate those thoughts, and those can impact how you function in your daily life. Some of the common physical signs of stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal issues (nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Higher blood pressure

These physical symptoms can be short-term, but the longer you are unable to manage these emotions, the more likely it is that you could develop long-term health issues. These could include heart disease, chronic migraines, or significant weight changes. Any symptoms you notice that are out of the norm for you, though, should first be discussed with a medical professional to ensure you don’t have any underlying health concerns.

Techniques for Managing Stress

When you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by the stressors in your life, it’s important to have a variety of techniques that can help both in that moment and create patterns that last for a longer period of time. Some helpful coping skills for immediate stress relief include:

  • Taking a break from your work
  • Practicing deep breathing
  • Creating a schedule for completing tasks
  • Taking a walk
  • Listening to relaxing music

If you’ve noticed a pattern of feeling overwhelmed, however, it may be time to work on creating more long-term habits to manage these emotions. To develop these habits, you can consider: 

  • Creating routines of exercise and healthy eating
  • Utilizing a planner to track tasks and scheduling
  • Scheduling time for rest or self care each day
  • Working on communicating needs to those around you

Help for Unhealthy Stress Management

When we begin to feel overwhelmed, a natural response is to seek out ways to cope with those emotions. While there are a number of healthy coping strategies available, it’s not uncommon for people to turn to unhealthy means of coping, such as substance abuse. Substance abuse serves as a means to temporarily manage emotions, but it has long-term detrimental effects. Most who use substances to cope will develop an addiction and require some sort of treatment. At Hemet Valley Recovery Center, we offer a range of addiction treatment options to best fit your needs. Whether you would benefit from outpatient treatment or require a medical detox, we can help you begin your journey to sobriety. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about our treatment modalities and discuss what would be the best option for you.


Schneiderman, N., Ironson, G., & Siegel, S. D. (2005). Stress and health: psychological, behavioral, and biological determinants. Annual review of clinical psychology, 1, 607–628.