Do Stress Management Programs Work?

Stress does not respect age, gender, wealth, ethnicity, ability, IQ, EG, the great, the good or anything else for that matter!  Everyone I know suffers stress at some point in their lives.  Absolutely everyone.  And as far as I can make out, they only differ from each other in two respects: the extent to which they suffer and what they choose to do about it. 

But if you consider this more closely, even these two differences are actually only one difference.  Think about it.  If you suffer a lot with stress, maybe because you perceive everything you are up against to be stressful, and yet you do nothing to actively reduce it then you will remain in a highly stressed out state.  

Conversely, if you are highly stressed and you do consider it to be important enough to do something about, you will follow stress management program successfully and become less stressed.

I suppose naysayers will say something like – “just change your perception of stress”.  Deciding to be less stressed is definitely a way forward.  But have you honestly ever changed your belief system at a time of high stress?  Me either. 

Changing your belief system is not an easy process.  It takes time and energy.  And whilst you are feeling the pressure, if you perceive different situations to be stressful, you will struggle to change your perceptions. 

So actually the only difference between people who suffer continual high stress and those who come through it is the latter group’s decision to take action to reduce their stress.

And that is the million dollar answer to the question I posted at the top.  Stress management programs DO work.  But YOU have to work them.

If you’ve got any personal experiences or success stories, feel free to add them below.

Managing Stress Symptoms – How to Cope Better with Stress

Stress affects everyone. No-one is completely immune. So what sorts of factors determine who is more vulnerable to the harmful effects of stress?

Stress can affect anyone. People of every race, every age, and all socio-economic classes experience stress.  Parents, men, women, retirees, baby boomers, teens, even children all experience different kinds of stress.  In fact no-one is completely immune although everyone experiences stress at different levels.

You may have heard that stress is subjective – it is.  Even if two people experience exactly the same situation, one person might not find it terribly stressful whilst the other might be hugely traumatized. This is because some people are naturally able to cope with stress-charged situations better than others.  And these fortunate people do not tend to suffer with long-term stress effects and are also less likely to suffer long term health than their more stressed out friends.   

So what sorts of factors determine who is more vulnerable to the harmful effects of stress? After all, financial strains, job related stress, relationships, parenting, illness and life transitions and many other stressful events affect just about everyone. So what kinds of people weather the storms of stress well? And who does not?

The answer is actually quite clear. 

The people who are most resistant to stress and who deal well with it are usually those who have a strong support network in place, such as friends they can talk to, family close by who can offer practical help etc.   The people who cope well with stress also tend to be those who actively relax, are by and large fit and usually eat a balanced diet.

In contrast, the people who have the most trouble dealing with stress are generally the ones who:

  • do not have a strong support network of friends and family;
  • are poorly nourished for whatever reason;
  • are suffering generally poorer health, including any untreated illnesses;
  • do not get enough sleep or exercise;
  • any combination of these (new parents take note!)  

People who are hit with many stressful events in rapid succession may also have trouble coping with stress.  These people, whether young or old are less likely to handle stress well, and more likely to suffer more from the effects of stress.

While no one can avoid all stress all the time, stress does affect people differently. The ability to handle stress well is closely linked with good general health, a good support network and experiencing stress as a relatively isolated event rather than an ongoing occurrence.

For more tips information and strategies to manage stress symptoms, sign up for a free stress ecourse and get a stress ebook free simply by clicking here.