Stress Management Tools

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Top athletes, performers, politicians, and executives all rely on stress management tools to get them through big moments in the spotlight. These tools are well known to successful people who look to them to check their bodies' stress response when the stakes are high. This may be during a championship game, an opening night performance, or a major boardroom presentation.

When big moments arise, our bodies mobilize their vast resources to deal effectively with tension. In our evolutionary pasts, this may have included encounters with man-eating animals or enemy tribes. Today, however, these "stressors" are generally much more mundane and include things such as traffic and heavy workloads. The mistake people make is in assuming that everyday stressors don't physically tax the mind and body.

Using Stress Management Tools

The good news is that stress management tools can be used everywhere, from your car or office to your own living room or kitchen. One of the most common stress management tools, visualization, involves picturing yourself in a safe or relaxing environment. This may be a sandy beach, a mountain cabin, or even floating in outer space. There's no rule that says visualization techniques must draw on places you've actually been.

Seeing yourself in your own particular sanctuary helps curb your body's stress response by slowing your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure, and cooling your body. It's important to remember that these changes are very real physiological ones, and that stress management doesn't merely take place inside the brain. While visualization starts in the mind, its effects can be measured somatically with the help of biofeedback equipment.

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