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How to Manage Stress


Managing stress is an everyday activity for all of us. Some handle stress with exercise, others with meditation, and others by lashing out in an attempt to relieve the internal pressure that stress (and frustrations) have built up over days, weeks, and possibly years.

There are some simple ways to relieve stress and frustration. This paper will give you some insights into your particular triggers and how to handle them. I tell my clients that the first thing they ought to do when they realize they are becoming frustrated or stressed is Q & Q. That is, to qualify (give the frustration/stressor a name). Example, “That slow traffic.” Or “That big bill you need to pay,” or “That guy that just cut me off n traffic.” Yes, traffic is a significant stressor. One time I had a client come into my office several minutes late. She apologized and was obviously upset. I asked her what had happened. Her response was, “The traffic on the freeway was cowed and slow.” To which I replied, “So slow traffic frustrates you?” "NO,", she replied, “the car in front of me had a crooked license plate that would fall off! I couldn’t get around him.” Now we have just given the first Q: Following a car with a crooked license plate that will fall off.

The second Q is to quantify the frustration or stressor. It was a “10” (the highest quantity possible) with this particular client. Once we reviewed that the frustration had managed itself (she and the car she was following had gone their separate ways), she was no longer frustrated. The “10” had reduced itself to a residual “2”, She immediately settled in the chair and stopped her nervous squirming.

Think of frustrations and stress as a good thing if it is managed. If you had a glass ¼ full of water, that water is managed and okay. But add water until the glass overflows. Now we have good water (still contained) and bad water uncontained and flowing in all directions. Know your limits! How big is that stress container inside of you? Work stress, home stress, family, business, and financial issues add to your container. Your body does not know the difference between work to home, home to family to finances. It is all one stress.

Now you have the first step in stress management. Are you getting frustrated or stressed about something? Remember to get into clear focus by using the Q&Q method to acknowledge and perhaps act on the stressor or frustration.

This paper is a part of my Stress-Buster Program available to individuals and businesses.


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