Stress is an emotion that can produce both positive and negative results. Short-term positive stressors include getting married, having a child, starting a new job and buying a home. Long-term chronic stressors, on the other hand, such as serious illness and pain, divorce or the death of a loved one, can produce harmful effects and reduce longevity. Stress management, therefore, is a powerful tool in maintaining physical and emotional health and wellness throughout the lifespan.

Stress management begins with identifying the stressors in one’s life. This may not be as easy as it sounds as it is sometimes difficult to discover exactly what the source or sources of stress might be. It also involves thinking out one’s own thoughts because people can create their own stress by the way they think about work, relationships and life in general. Accepting one’s causes of stress (e.g. blaming others, feeling overwhelmed) can lead to better stress management.

True management of stress means to bring about balance and homeostasis in one’s professional and personal life. There are numerous methods and techniques that people have used throughout history to create a sense of balance including meditation and prayer, exercise, music, art, pets, close relationships, aromatherapy and others. People tend to use things that give them the most meaning and purpose to reduce and manage stress.

Life will have its ups and downs. There will be times that produce mild stressors and those which will produce long-lasting stress and anxiety. Being in greater control of stress can create resilience, which is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Learning to avoid certain stressors, adapt to situations, having more fun in life and accepting what cannot be changed can not only manage stress – they can increase longevity and enhance quality of life.