Healing & Well-Being

4 Effective Stress Management Techniques To Help You Relax

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6
min
Date Published:
August 18, 2021

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Summary

Stress has a critical function.

We respond to threats more quickly and avoid danger when we are under stress. An extended amount of stress, however, can negatively affect your mental health, such as causing anxiety, depression, or even physical health problems.

It's impossible to avoid all stress, but you can handle it in healthy ways that increase your chance of recovery. Though it’s true that nothing is impossible with God on our side, our situations can seem impossible when we're constantly stressed. 

In this article, we’re going to give you four effective stress management techniques to help you relax.

To start, let’s break down stress.

What are stress management techniques?

Whenever the body faces a perceived threat, it experiences stress. During the primitive time of our ancestors, when they faced a threat from a predator or rival tribe, they experienced something called a ‘fight-or-flight’ response. As a result, our instincts now automatically determine whether we should fight a threat or flee from it. 

In today's world, we don't have to face raging bears or rivals like our ancestors used to. 

Our bodies are unable to handle the fight-or-flight response, which in turn leads to a stress response. There are many reasons we feel stress, from small day-to-day inconveniences to major life events such as divorce or job loss. 
In addition to physical symptoms like elevated heart rate and blood pressure, most stress symptoms come from mental thoughts and personal beliefs about the stressful situation. 

While we usually associate stress with negative situations, positive changes in your life, like getting a promotion at work or giving birth to a child, can also cause it. Our nervous system goes into overdrive, which can lead to burnout. 

By contrast, stress relief techniques are a set of techniques or programs that help people manage stress within their lives, addressing specific stressors and taking positive action to minimize their effects.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to stress relief. You might not be able to apply what works for you to someone else. And, what works for you in one situation may not be as effective in another.

So, it's important to have a variety of stress-relief tools at your disposal. After analyzing your circumstances, you'll be able to determine what strategy will be most valuable to you.

a man sitting on a couch covering his face with both hands


In addition to physical symptoms like elevated heart rate and blood pressure, most stress symptoms come from mental thoughts and personal beliefs about the stressful situation. 

While we usually associate stress with negative situations, positive changes in your life, like getting a promotion at work or giving birth to a child, can also cause it. Our nervous system goes into overdrive, which can lead to burnout. 

By contrast, stress relief techniques are a set of techniques or programs that help people manage stress within their lives, addressing specific stressors and taking positive action to minimize their effects.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to stress relief. You might not be able to apply what works for you to someone else. And, what works for you in one situation may not be as effective in another.

So, it's important to have a variety of stress-relief tools at your disposal. After analyzing your circumstances, you'll be able to determine what strategy will be most valuable to you.

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How to use stress management techniques

There are countless techniques you can use to better control your stress levels and promote a healthy lifestyle. It's all about figuring out what works for you. Let’s take a look at four different strategies for managing stress more effectively in your everyday life.

1. Biofeedback

One great tried-and-true relaxation technique is called biofeedback.

Through biofeedback, it’s possible to learn relaxation techniques by tracking muscle tension and heart rate as a person attempts to relax. In this way, it’s possible to gain control over certain bodily functions that cause tension and physical pain.

By using biofeedback, you can learn how your body responds to stressful situations and negative thoughts and how to cope better. If a headache such as a migraine begins slowly, many people can use biofeedback to stop the attack before it becomes full-blown. 

Relaxation techniques from biofeedback include:

  • Deep breathing exercises 
  • Physical activity like yoga or tai chi
  • Meditation
  • ​Progressive muscle relaxation

2. Mindfulness

Being mindful is organic and fluid. Each person who practices it moves and flows through their mind while focusing on being present. 

Sometimes, holding a scripture in your mind is just as beneficial as focusing on deep breathing relaxation techniques. When someone concentrates on scripture, they are bringing their mind to focused awareness. 

Open scriptures against a dark green background


Additionally, mindfulness helps you connect with God more deeply. 

For example, if you practice mindfulness in church, you aren't thinking much about what you have to do after the service, how you look, or what you are wearing. Instead, you're focused on the importance of your faith and the service.

When you practice mindfulness through daily meditation, it can be a great stress reliever that helps you live in the moment and focus on your faith in God.

3. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy, sometimes called essential oil therapy, is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. 

Essential oils in aromatherapy are used to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. In addition to improving physical health, it also improves psychological well-being.

You can utilize aromatherapy through a variety of methods, such as using:

  1. Diffusers
  2. Aromatic spritzers
  3. Inhalers
  4. Bathing salts
  5. Body oils, creams, or lotions for massage or topical application
  6. Facial steamers
  7. Hot and cold compresses
  8. Clay masks

While it may not work for everyone, aromatherapy will certainly make your house smell nice. 

4. Prayer

The more you face anxiety, stress, and loss, the more you need help from God. 

In times of trouble, the Lord is always there for you. The Bible even recommends that you bring everything to Him in prayer.

Peace beyond our comprehension is God's promise to us. As we discover that hope is born from loss and joy comes from suffering, God promises to create beauty from the ashes of our lives. We can use prayer with family members or a loved one to help with stress reduction. 

When we pray to the Lord about our troubles, we have an opportunity to cope with them better. Faith in God gives us the power to overcome any obstacle, mental or physical. 

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Bible verses to help you relax

It's no surprise that many Christians seek comfort in God's word during stressful times. Here are a few verses you can turn to in your time of need. 

“Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

two girls lying down and reading a book

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I'll give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I'm humble and gentle, and you'll find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light’” (Matthew 11:28-30). 

"I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid" (John 14:27). 

"I'll lie down in peace and sleep for you alone, O Lord will keep me safe" (Psalm 4:8).

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Don’t sweat the small stuff

Stress is a part of life, whether we are facing a minor challenge or a major crisis. 

Even though we cannot always control our circumstances, we can control our responses to them. According to the American Heart Association, chronic stress or overwhelming stress can take a toll on the mind and body. Because of this, it's important to have stress relievers that can calm both your mind and your body. 

Use relaxation techniques or meditate regularly to check in with God. Find whatever technique helps you feel the most peaceful.

For more on wellness and stress management, download the pray.com app in the iOS App Store or Google Play.

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