Stress is a natural part of life; it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference between health and illness, success and failure.

I have been writing and talking about health for over 20 years, and in that time I have seen so many people challenged by the stresses of their everyday lives. In today’s challenging economic climate the pressures on all of us have increased a hundred fold and learning how to deal with stress is a vital part of staying healthy, productive and happy.

What I want to share with you are the many ways you can begin to tackle the effects that stress is having on your health and happiness. First let me tell you about my simple and effective 3 point plan.

1 Acknowledge It. We often ignore stress and pretend everything is ok. We don’t want others to know that we are stressed, and in the workplace most employees would rather tell their boss they have taken the day off for a dentist’s appointment than admit they are stressed and couldn’t face going in. We don’t give stress the importance it warrants because we are afraid to face up to it. The first step is acknowledging that you are stressed, and that it is not a weakness but a genuine physical condition that is affecting your health, happiness and relationships – and your performance at work.

2 Identify the stressors. Once you have acknowledged the stress the immediate next step is to identify just what is the greatest factor that causes you stress. This is about being honest, and doing some self monitoring. Don’t judge, just observe your own physical and emotional reactions throughout the day and write them down. It’s a log that will help you see exactly what stresses you, for example if you get irritable or a headache after a meeting with your boss then that is an obvious stressor – but what exactly is it that does the damage. Does your boss have unrealistic expectations of your workload? Do they fail to acknowledge the good work you do or are they always criticizing you? Knowledge is power, and you need to know where to apply it.

3 Act on the information you now have. Understanding is the booby prize in stress management. The real prize is in understanding and taking action. There are so many options available to you to handle your stress and taking even the smallest action will begin the process of handling and reducing it.

Just those three actions will make all the difference between being at the effect of your stress, or being in control of it.

About the Author:

AnnA is the author of ‘How To Handle Stress’ and is an inspirational writer and speaker on health, personal development and creativity. For more information visit and for free email newsletters, creative resources and archives then visit her main website at

This article is distributed on behalf of the author by