All coaches must understand stress management and how it’s connected to personal success, sports performance, fulfilling relationships and optimal health.
Although experts say that some stress is good for you — it can sharpen your senses and your mind — too much stress is bad for your mental and physical health. At the same time, relaxation can do wonders to restore balance in your life — and may even reduce some of the health risks associated with stress.
Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
When you find yourself worrying, take a minute to examine the things you have control over. You can’t prevent a storm from coming, but you can prepare for it. You can’t control how someone else behaves, but you can control how you react. Recognize that, sometimes, all you can control is your effort and your attitude. When you put your energy into the things you can control, you’ll be much more effective.
Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive, or passive.
You will have to let go of the need to please everyone and do things according to their expectations. When you do this, you are often left dissatisfied and become weaker the next time you’re about to try asking for something you want. This might mean rejecting things you decide are not a good fit for you, but then explaining exactly why you rejected them.
Learn and practice relaxation techniques; try meditation, yoga, or tai-chi for stress management.
The act of meditating is one that achieves a state of complete and utter simplicity. The whole point is for the individual to take a few minutes, relax, focus on breathing, and live in that one single moment in time. The natural result from doing this boils down to obtaining the ability to shake off yesterday’s concerns (along with thoughts that can lead to unpleasant, and thus, unproductive feelings) and you find yourself with a blank mental slate—a totally new beginning.
Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
A healthy diet builds a solid, more enduring foundation for your body by reducing oxidation and inflammation and by helping to reduce weight gain. Building a healthy food prep habit into your daily or weekly routine can greatly improve your overall diet, and eventually, lead to reduced stress levels.
Learn to manage your time more effectively.
Most of us experience stress when we feel as though we have a perceived lack of control over the events in our lives. And time management—being careful about how we use our time, how we portion our time—can enhance our sense of control.
Make time for hobbies, interests, and relaxation.
Spending time on an activity that you enjoy can improve your mental health and wellbeing. Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression.
Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.
Humans need to sleep for about one-third of the time to stay healthy. It is essential for both the regeneration of the body and psychological health. Stress and sleep have a dual-sided connection, meaning higher stress disturb sleep, and a lower amount of sleep increases the risk of stress and anxiety.
Don’t rely on alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviors to reduce stress.
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down the brain and the central nervous system’s processes. While alcohol may help deal with stress in the short term, in the long run it can contribute to the feeling of depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with.
Seek out social support. Spend enough time with those you enjoy.
Research has found that the majority of us thrive when we have strong, positive relationships with other people. In fact, your happiness actually decreases when you reduce the number of hours in which you socialize.
Seek treatment with a Certified Stress Management Coach to learn healthy ways of dealing with the stress in your life.
At NESTA and The Spencer Institute, we provide the quality education and support you need, so you can earn your training, coaching, or specialist certification with confidence.
Our stress management coaching program is designed for life coaches, as well as fitness and wellness professionals who want to expand his or her knowledge in the lucrative and expanding field.
NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.