Stress Management (04-01-2004) 

Recognizing and Managing Stress

Stress can be thought of as our physical or mental reaction to demanding situations. A certain amount of daily stress is normal. However, ongoing or excessive stress can result in fatigue, burnout and even depression. Stress can also harm our relationships and our physical health if not addressed early. This tip sheet identifies some of the symptoms of stress and offers tips to help you manage the stress in your life.

Symptoms of Stress

Learning to recognize the symptoms is the first step in effectively managing stress. Some signs of excessive stress are:

  • difficulty sleeping
  • decreased satisfaction
  • constant feeling of urgency and pressure to get things done
  • tension headaches, backaches, stomachaches or other physical discomfort irritability, impatience

Managing Stress

A number of techniques can assist you in reducing stress. We recommend that you experiment with the following methods and use those that are most effective for you:

  • Take care of yourself. Eating healthy foods and getting plenty of rest will help you maintain your body's resistance to the physical symptoms of stress.
  • Manage your time. Take charge of your day by scheduling your time and focusing on your goals. Create a list of tasks to accomplish. Be sure to cross items off your list as they are completed.
  • Identify the messages you give yourself. Focus on what you can do rather than your limitations. Be positive.
  • Try a muscle relaxation exercise. Start by tensing your shoulders for about 10 seconds. Slowly release the tension and you will begin to feel your muscles relax. Try this exercise for all major muscle areas.
  • Make time for fun. Take a break from your normal routine during the day to ease tension. Physical exercise or a change of scenery, such as an evening at the movies, can help you relax.
  • Spend time with friends and loved ones. Go out of your way to see friends and loved ones. Talk about your stressful situation, but also find things to laugh about. Try to let go of stress and savor the time you have with them.

When to Seek Help

If stress is interfering with your health, well-being or ability to function in your life, get help. Signs that stress may be getting out of hand include crying, feeling overwhelmed or anxious, being irritable, having trouble concentrating and finding it difficult to face the demands of your routine.

Resources Are Available

Call us for more information, help and support. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide confidential assistance at no cost to you. Additional information, self-help tools and other resources are available online at www.MagellanHealth.com.

PPG Industries, Inc. Employee Assistance Program
1-800-EAP-0761 / 1-800-327-0761