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More PsychNotes: Stress and Coping

April 30, 2016       
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Stressed About Managing Stress?
by Monica A. Frank, PhD

meditation

Often, you may hear of the newest method for managing stress and how research shows that it reduces health problems. But what is the best method to use? For instance, I just read about floating in a tank of water with colored lights and bath salts and how it can reduce pain, depression, and anxiety. Although these claims are likely to be true, it doesn't mean this method is better than other methods. It may sound pleasant to some, but at $50 to $100 a session several times a week it can be costly for most people.

Even though I promote relaxation audios, Qi Gong, and mindfulness, it doesn't mean these methods are any better than other methods to manage stress and associated health conditions. What research has shown is that any method that allows us to shift our focus to a present awareness or to the relaxed but awake “alpha state” can benefit our health when we engage in these practices routinely.

Therefore, you don't need to pursue the “latest, scientifically proven” method because they all do the same thing. Think of it like exercise. No particular exercise is better than any other to obtain health benefits. The only important thing is that you do it.

So, how do you decide what method to use for stress management? It's really very simple:

1) What do you enjoy? If you choose something that is pleasant and enjoyable you are more likely to continue doing it.

2) What is easy for you to do routinely? If it is easy to include in your schedule you are more likely to make it part of your daily routine.

3) What is within your budget? Many methods are freely available. You don't need to spend money to obtain the health benefits.

4) What works for you? Each person is different. For instance, floating in a tank of water may seem quite horrifying to some people with anxiety disorders. As a result, they are less likely to benefit from that method. If one method doesn't work for you, try something else.

More PsychNotes
Stress and Coping

“Which Coping Strategy Should I Use?”
When Bad Things Happen, Share the Good
Do You Work Better Under Stress?
Laugh in the Face of Adversity: Reducing Stress During Marital Conflict
Lunch Break or Stress Break?
Coping With Traumatic Stress

Mindfulness and Relaxation Methods

Improving Performance by Mindfully Reducing Self-interruptions
Mindfulness and "To Do" Lists
Mindfulness is Simply Being Without Judgment
Mindful Passion
Mindfulness: What's in a Name?
Mindfulness Practice and Relapse Prevention When Using Anti-depressants
The Mindful Journey
The Benefits of Mindfully Washing Dishes
The Difference Between Mindful Focus and a Mindful Attitude
Mindfulness Training Shows Promise for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Mindfulness and Managing Chronic Pain
How We Might Stop Bullying: Kindness Curriculum for Preschoolers
Practicing Loving-Kindness May Elicit Resentments
How Mindfulness Can Reduce Risk for Alzheimer's and Heart Disease
Mindful Attention to Unhealthy Foods Improves Food Choices
Want an Easy and Uplifting Health Practice? Laughing Qigong
Mindful Dating: How Does Mindfulness Affect Satisfaction in Relationships?
10 Everyday Frustrations and a Mindful Attitude
What is the Difference Between Mindful Acceptance and Emotional Suppression?
Mindful Attention Reduces Anger for Those With Borderline Personality Disorder
The Paradox of the Mindful Attitude
The Key to Mindful Breathing for Sleep
Addiction to Emotions and Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness Practice is Not Focusing, It is Re-Focusing
How Much Should You Practice Mindfulness?
For Fun--Try Being Mindful About the Weather
What Could Be More Mindful Than a Cat Watching Bird Videos?
Wisdom Doesn't Come In Sound Bites
Qigong Can Reduce Depression
Demands vs. Mindfulness for Enhancing Performance
Acceptance as the Basis for Wisdom?
“I want to feel good NOW!”
The 20-Minute a Day Miracle
Be the Best You Can Be: On Mindfulness and Performance
Being Mindful of Emotions Decreases Intensity
Massage: Effects on Anxiety, Depression, and Pain
Mindfulness and Flow in the Workplace
Mindfulness May Prevent Relapse
Is Mindfulness-Based Therapy Effective?
Qi Gong Exercise Shown to Improve Mood
Mindfulness Skills Can Improve Relationships

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank



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