Researcher discusses how to manage stress

Researcher discusses how to manage stress

Unless you're a natural-born optimist, of course, you may really have to work at seeing possibilities when times are tough. "The way to become more resilient is to live in the world, challenging yourself socially, psychologically, and intellectually," contends stress and resilience researcher Mary Steinhardt, a therapist and professor of health education at the University of Texas-Austin. In a study published in the January Journal of American College Health, she found that stressed-out college students who were given four weekly therapy sessionsfocusing on coping strategies, self-esteem building, and making interpersonal connectionsincreased their "stress resilience," a measure of how quickly they bounce back after feeling stressed, far more than peers who didn't get the counseling. Steinhardt suggests pausing when stress hits to simply recognize its source, whether it's an unrealistic deadline, a family reunion, or an inflating mortgage. Focusing your attention on the problem is key to identifying what you can control and accepting what you can't and to preventing a panicked reaction from developing unchecked. If you're not in a panic, you can offer yourself some coaching: Is anger going to be productive? Are you really (choose one): a bad employee, the black sheep of the family, someone completely incapable of handling personal finances?

U.S. News and World Report
Relax! Stress, if Managed, Can Be Good For You
June 5