How Can You Make A Stress Management Program Work?

Everyone I have ever met has complained at some point, that they are feeling stressed out.  In fact, stress is the great equalise.  It cuts across race, religion, social class, age, gender, sexuality, occupation etc.  The great and the good as well as newborn babies, teen, the elderly etc all get stressed. 

The only differences between all these people (newborn excepted!) is really what they do about it. 

This is not rocket science.  Nonetheless so many people think that just because the answer to stress is relaxation, it takes no effort.  It does.  Stress management programs only work if you work at them. 

So here are some top tips to ensure you give yourself the best chance of succeeding at a stress management program. 

Buy into the program

Literally.  It has been shown time and again that everyone likes free stuff but no-one values it.  If you are going to make an effort to follow a stress management program, you have to buy into it, literally.  Find that will cost you what you consider to be an attention grabbing amount.  That way you will be far more likely to follow it.

Tell you friends and family what you are doing

This is the “naming and shaming” idea!  Without help, support, and a “loss of face” downside, most programs fail.  That is why Weight Watchers and Slimming World are so successful.  And crucially – public weighing spurs participants to succeed because they do not want to be seen to fail.  The same is true of stress management programs.  If you do not want to explain why it failed, (and why you could not be bothered to make it work), you will make it work.

Do a stress management course when you are not stress maxed out!

This sounds tough!  But as no-one is at their best when they are stressed, it does not make sense to take new stuff on at this time.  You are too busy lurching from crisis to crisis, simply fire-fighting.  So, try to anticipate when you will next have a high stress time, and schedule your stress management course in the period just before it.  That way you will be able to put your new skills and tools to work right when you need them most!

For more information about stress reduction techniques, download the free ebook from this site!  (Prove me wrong about people not valuing free stuff!)  And if I’ve left your favourite tip off this list, please comment below!

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.