Various Stress Management Techniques

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There are many definitions of stress but the one coined by Hans Selye in 1936 stood out to me the most. According to him, “stress is a non-specific response of the body to any demand placed upon it to adapt, whether the demand produces pleasure or pain”. He observed that the psychological response of the body to either a good or a bad situation was the same. According to Seaward (2012), the author of the text Managing Stress, principles and strategies for health and well-being, there are three different types of stress including eustress, neustress and distress (Seaward, 2012, p. 9). Eustress is good stress that motivates an individual toward an optimal level of performance or health (Seaward, 2012, p.9). An example of Eustress would be the stimulus your body generates when you get an A on a paper, or the one it generates when you find those perfect pair of heels on sale! Neustress is the type of stress that is neither good nor bad. The news of a typhoon in a remote area of the world, would be an example of neustress, the body will not have any consequential effect from those news, neither good nor bad. Distress is the negative or unfavorable stimulus your body generates and has two subtypes, acute stress (intense in nature but short in duration) and chronic stress (not as intense but is endured for a long period of time). Failing an exam, news of a loved one’s death, are all examples of distress. There are various stress management techniques but the two techniques that stood out to me the most were Expressive Art and Expressive Writing. Both these techniques appear to be very similar, yet they are very different from each other. Expressive writing, also known as journal writing, is a vehicle for meditation (Seaward, 2012, p. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ative for patients who do not respond to other evidence-based treatments (Van Emmerik, Reijntjes, and Kaumphuis, 2013). While comparing the number of scientific research and evidence for effectiveness collected for both the techniques, I found that there are many more scientific researches done on the effectiveness of expressive art technique for stress management. Moreover, expressive art has also proved beneficial during the treatment of critical illnesses such as cancer. Moreover, expressive art therapy enables one to express their feelings and emotions through art which otherwise would be difficult to express through words. According to me, both these therapies have proved to be extremely effective in helping people cope with stress. Yet, if needed to choose one, I believe expressive art would be the most effective stress management technique amongst the two.
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