Stress Techniques to Manage Emotions
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Stress Techniques to Manage Emotions

Managing stress is usually aimed at dealing with the particular stressors we encounter in life. The problem is that many stressors cause our fight or flight mechanism to kick in resulting in the release of many different hormones which in turn can have deleterious effects on our bodies.

 These stressors take us away from homeostasis. The goal of stress management training is to recognize when this has happened and to use stress management techniques to return us to homeostasis.

The true and tried techniques are things such as:

1. Deep breathing

2. Muscle awareness exercises

3. Autogenic training--sort of a self hypnosis aimed at relaxing muscles and improving circulation to
the extremities--hands and feet.

4. Physical exercise

5. Yoga

6. Meditation

7. Self hypnosis

These techniques are aimed at relaxing the breadth, letting go of muscular tension, improving blood circulation and so on.

These techniques are the elementary school part of stress management and they should literally be taught in every elementary school.

What about the high school of stress management? Answer: Often times when we are stressed, there is an emotional reaction.

Emotional reactions are not so easily dissipated. In fact the  emotions themselves become the stressor. Now this is an important distinction because most stress management techniques focus on dealing with the stressor that caused the emotion. The goal is to alleviate the emotion by tackling the original stressor. But what if, it's impractical to resolve the stressor? What if nothing can be done regarding the stressor?

Ok, let me not be misunderstood. The stressor (any event) that results in an emotion causes another stressor--the emotion.

It can be any emotion--anger, upset, frustration, uncertainty, boredom, confusion, malaise, depression and so on. It could also be happiness, excitement, joy, elation, and so on.

Why are these emotions stressors? Firstly it's not necessarily all emotions. For instance, one might have no problem handling confusion, upset, anger, but have a big problem with uncertainty.  Then, for instance, we might have no problem handling our own anger, but be totally inept at handling anger in others.

But to answer the question, it's because of our learned attitudes and beliefs we acquired about these emotions. The end result is that we go to all extremes to escape the emotion. Many people dilute the emotion with food, smoking, or some other deleterious habit.

Years ago there was a book titled, The Angry Book, by Isaac Rubin MD (it's out of print and I can't find it). The entire book was about how many people create all kinds of aberrant behaviors to keep feeling anger. Dr. Rubin believes it's the "sealers" (our beliefs) that say anger is bad for us that keep us from dealing with the emotion. For instance:

Don't be angry--others will take advantage of you.

Nice people don't get angry.

Anger will raise your blood pressure.

You'll say something stupid.

These are just a few beliefs or attitudes about anger. Actually from my experience in stress management counseling a similar book could be written about every emotion--not just anger.

And that's just what I did in a matter of speaking with nearly a dozen Tapes/CD's for Weight Loss Hypnosis and Self Help that cover a variety of emotions. The goal with any emotion is to learn how to feel it and experience it. As any emotion is experienced, it disappears and no longer evokes a stress response within the body--in other words, you are "flat" with the emotion.


Resource Box:

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E. NGH certified, a prominent figure in the personal change field. His aim is to make it possible for anyone desiring to manage emotions more effectively and actually benefit from them to do so.
For more information please visit 
He has several websites with self help materials:
Self help mp3 downloads for you personal change and improvement plan at
How to Build and Improve Self Worth at
Stop Binging and Comfort Eating at
Over come panic disorder with agoraphobia at
Pendulums for self discovery at
Special Diet for Morgellons and Skin Parasites at


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