How can busy people reduce stress?
Are you too busy for stress management? In a busy life, often only the most urgent and most important things get done. Get motivated and move stress management up on your to-do list. Learn what problems reducing stress solves, and where to find quick and easy solutions.
Share this post:
Maybe you’re stressed. Probably you are busy. Do you ignore the impact of stress on your physical and emotional well-being? Or do you take action to manage your stress, and improve your well-being? Why bother with stress management?
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to take the time to do something I need to know why it’s important. Let’s talk specifically about managing stress. A recent google search and pub Med search for “benefits of stress management” came up with many lists of the risks of stress and not so many benefits of managing stress. Stress management blogs and research seem to focus on avoiding future problems in your health, relationships, and productivity. That’s a little too vague to motivate me; how about you?
In a busy life, often only the most urgent and most important things get done. So, a good beginning for me, and for anyone who is overly stressed, is to develop strong motivation to change. Without motivation, “Why bother?” becomes the prevailing attitude. With a motivation that is important and relevant to you, your attitude shifts effortlessly to possibilities.
What are the benefits of stress management?
Over time, long-term stress can lead to health problems according to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (DPHP.) That sounds like more threats of doom and gloom to me, something to which I’m becoming increasingly numb. But reading on, the DPHP claims that managing your stress can help you to
- Sleep well
- Manage your weight
- Experience less illness
- Feel better faster when you are ill
- Reduce muscle tension
- Improve your mood
- Get along better with family and friends
Is there anything on that list that inspires you? Motivates you? I rather like the ideas of sleeping better and getting better faster if I do get sick. Perhaps you are more interested in enhancing your relationships with friends and family. Can you get more specific? Is there a particular family member that is really important to you? One of my former clients was highly motivated to develop a strong stress management plan. The single parent of one daughter, she noticed the stress she brought home from work was affecting the time they had together in the evening. With a strong desire to be in a better mood for her daughter, she successfully created a stress management plan that worked for both of them.
If you are busy, stress management needs to be seen as either urgent or important in order to claim your attention. Is one of the items on this list strong enough to inspire and motivate you to reduce stress? Great! No? read on!
Unique benefits for stressed nurses
“Stress amongst nurses is one of the most underappreciated yet impactful issues nurses face. It surfaces in so many aspects of a nurse’s work and personal life.” –Combating Stress | American Nurses Association | ANA (nursingworld.org)
Because of the work they do, if a nurse is overly stressed, her stress impacts not only her own health but also her patients and her healthcare organization. Stress in nursing may
- affect the health of nurses
- impact the outcomes of patients and patient care
- influence nurse retention rates
- alter the financial well-being of healthcare organizations
according to the American Nurses Association.
Stress reduction or stress management can have a positive impact on nurses, patients, and healthcare organizations, while increased stress has negative impacts. Can anything here motivate you to manage your stress?
What problems will stress management reduce?
Perhaps the most significant consequences of stress occur with long-term activation of the stress-response system, also called chronic stress. Why? The overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that occurs in chronic stress can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. Here are some specific risks of long term stress:
- Digestive problems
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Memory and concentration impairment
Before too much gloom and doom causes me to lose your attention, here’s my point. Stress raises your risk of emotional and physical health problems, while stress reduction and management may reduce your risk of health problems. How about these motivations?
- Calm instead of anxious
- Energized instead of depressed
- Eating with ease, rather than digestive problems
- Feeling comfortable rather than having headaches
The secret to motivating yourself with the risks of stress management, is to change them into something you desire. What will improve your emotional or physical well-being? What will help you to feel good again?
How to get inspired and motivated to reduce your stress
Finding your personal inspiration or motivation is key to your success. Here are two steps to define what will motivate you to manage your stress.
How do you feel when you are stressed? What’s your mood like, how do you communicate with others, and how does your body feel? For help sorting out which of your symptoms may be the impact of stress on your body, here’s a good article: Understanding the stress response – Harvard Health . Do you wish to change any moods, communication styles, feelings that stress causes?
How would you rather be? What mood would you prefer, how do you want to relate with others, and how do you want your body to feel? THAT’s your motivation!
If you are struggling to find your personal motivation, no worries. TLC has a course for that.
Don’t know what to do about stress?
If you worry about your level of stress but can’t find time or don’t know what to do about it, here are some TLC resources for you.
- Here’s how to create your own collection of stress management interventions
- For lots of good ideas, visit TLC’s resource page Free Stress Relief Tools.
- For nurses, find more good ideas in TLC’s free report. Stress Solutions: 100+ Tips for Nurses compiles inspirational stress management interventions from nurses and other experts that help you to release stress and restore energy in just a few moments. Download your copy here: Stress Solutions: 100+ Tips for Nurses. Right now it’s FREE.
- Here’s how to find time to manage stress
- Even your perfect stress management intervention is ineffective unless you do it. You probably know that and are frustrated that you can’t find the time. Well, help is here. Dive deeper into finding the time to reduce stress despite your busy life. Enroll in TLC’s comprehensive webinar program: Managing Stress, Mindfully: Advanced Stress Management for Nurses. Experience immediate and long lasting relief of stress symptoms with the five secrets to success. The vital expertise you gain is how to use timely, frequent, mindful and meaningful stress management interventions ideally matched to the situation you find yourself in. With that knowledge you can start improving your physical and emotional well-being.
The bottom line when you are too busy for stress management
I get it. Even though my career is dedicated to providing resources people can use to reduce stress, I still hear my inner voice saying “I’m too busy!” when it comes to reducing my own stress. I replace “I’m too busy” by stating my motivation. My current motivation is to get a really good night’s sleep. In a busy life, often only the most urgent and most important things get done, and to me, sleeping well is important as it tends to improve everything I do.
If you are too busy for the stress management you think you need, get motivated and move stress management up on your to-do list. Finding your personal inspiration or motivation is key to your success. Any time you need to renew your commitment, review the benefits to stress management and the problems that reducing stress can solve.
The bottom line is, find your own inspiring motivation to take time for stress management. Then find the time to mindfully manage your stress. We’re happy to help. You’re worth it. If you want to be the best you can be, take care of yourself!
In peace, Gale
-, July 6, 2020. Understanding the Stress Response. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. Retrieved 11/24/20 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response
-, nd, Combating Stress. American Nurses Association. Retrieved 9/2/2021 from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/work-environment/health-safety/combating-stress/
-, June 10, 2021 (updated). Manage Stress: Benefits of Lower Stress. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved 9/2/21 from https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/health-conditions/heart-health/manage-stress#panel-4
Mayo Clinic Staff. March 19, 2019. Chronic stress puts your health at risk. Mayo Clinic Healthy Lifestyle. Retrieved 11/24/2020 from Chronic stress puts your health at risk – Mayo Clinic.