Using Key Communication Skills To Manage Stress (2023)

Using Key Communication Skills To Manage Stress (1)

Stress is something that happens to almost every person from time to time. It is the body’s reaction to something that happened or is happening. Your body reacts to the situation and it causes physical, mental, or emotional strain.

Stress is very common and doesn’t have to be a negative thing. In fact, stress is one way the body helps us avoid danger. It can also lead to increased productivity and motivation. Even positive life changes like a promotion, marriage, or a new baby can cause stress in a person’s life.

While there are a few benefits to stress, chronic or severe stress is a different story. For some, anticipating a difficult event can cause stress and anxiety. Those who live with chronic stress can feel like it is dogging them every moment or through every decision.

This type of stress and anxiety is not beneficial and can cause serious physical, mental, or emotional issues.

Learning how to manage stress in a healthy way is one of the best ways to combat long-term stress. Here we will discuss the effects of stress, how it can affect communication, and best methods to overcome stress.

Using Key Communication Skills To Manage Stress (2)

When your body responds to stress a number of things can happen. Your heart rate might increase, your blood pressure may rise, your breathing can quicken, and your muscles often tighten. This is called a “flight or fight” reaction. Your body is getting ready to act quickly if necessary.

Stress can cause symptoms that traverse a person’s entire body. If it is severe or chronic, it can cause physical, emotional, or mental issues.

Physical Symptoms of Stress

When stressed, the body responds in a number of ways. Some of the symptoms include:

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  • Upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, nausea
  • Muscle aches, pains, tension
  • Insomnia or other sleep issues
  • Loss of Energy
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness or shaking
  • Lowered immune system
  • Dry mouth
  • A clenched jaw or grinding teeth
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sweating

Prolonged stress can also cause heart disease, high blood pressure, or irregular heart rhythms. Stress can lead to heart attacks or strokes, and it can contribute to panic attacks which can feel like a heart attack.

Long-term stress can also lead to obesity, eating disorders, menstrual irregularities, and respiratory infections.

Stress can develop into skin issues like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and hair loss.

Your digestive system can also be affected and can cause irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Emotional and Mental Symptoms of Stress

Stress not only affects your physical body, but it can also affect your emotional and mental state.

Here are some common ways that a person may experience an emotional toll from stress:

  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Avoiding other people
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Excessive worry

Prolonged stress can have severely damaging effects on a person’s mental and emotional health.

The field of study called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) researches the correlation between a body’s immune system and its nervous system. According to MentalHelp.net, “PNI research suggests that chronic stress can lead to or exacerbate mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder, cognitive (thinking) problems, personality changes, and problem behaviors.”

Using Key Communication Skills To Manage Stress (3)

Another way that stress manifests is through communication.

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People who are feeling stressed out may become easily frustrated or angry. This can have a negative effect on your communication skills. A person in a heightened sense of emotion can have trouble choosing their words carefully or expressing things in an appropriate way.

Stress can also cause a person to pull away from people. They may want to draw within themselves and isolate themselves from loved ones. When this happens, communication is impaired and they’re not able to receive proper support and care from their community.

When a person is feeling stressed it’s easy for them to misunderstand another person’s intentions or what they are trying to communicate.

Another way that stress can affect communication is in public speaking. For some, the anxiety caused by public speaking will prohibit them from getting up in front of a crowd. It can trigger the flight or fight response connected and cause them to avoid the situation.

Stress can be damaging to many people in many different ways, but it can also be managed. Here are some helpful ways to manage your stress.

Identifying Causes of Stress

One of the first steps to overcoming stress is identifying where the stress is coming from. At times you may not even know what is causing you to feel stressed. You may be experiencing high levels of stress without knowing the root cause.

Another phrase for this is “stress triggers.” Not everyone is stressed by the same thing. One person may be stressed by work or academics while another is uncomfortable in social situations. Everyone has something different that can trigger their stress response.

Once you can identify your triggers, you can begin managing your stress levels and come up with a comprehensive plan to combat it.

Increase Communication With Those Around You

Often our stress levels get out of hand when we’re doing a poor job communicating with others.

There are times in our lives when no one is able to help us with our stress load. Still, there are other times we could reduce our stress through communication. Here are four ways you can use communication to lower your stress.

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Communicate in Work and Academics

Using Key Communication Skills To Manage Stress (4)

Work is a major area that people stress over. When a job is new, you can expect that your stress levels will be higher as you learn how to accomplish new tasks. However, if you’ve been working at a job for a long time and your boss has unrealistic expectations, it may be time to have a conversation. Communication is integral to a healthy work environment.

While it’s not always possible to have a communicative relationship with a boss, it’s better to try than to suffer under enormous stress. Your boss may not lessen your load, but they may have creative solutions to help you succeed.

The same is true for academics. If the material you’re covering is too difficult, reach out to your professor. They will see that you’re genuinely making an effort and they may be able to find you a tutor or offer help during office hours.

Communicate in Your Relationships

Another common source of stress is relationships with others. Social support is important and relationships are fundamental to a person’s wellbeing. However, when tensions are high with a spouse, roommate, family member, or close friend, our stress levels can be through the roof.

One way to avoid stressful relationships is to communicate early. Instead of waiting until you reach a boiling point, let your friend, spouse, or loved one know when something frustrates you. By expressing frustration or disappointment gently, you can de-escalate potentially stressful situations.

Likewise, we should be willing to listen when a loved one expresses their feelings. Let them explain how things affect them and try not to interrupt or

Talk to Friends, Families, and Loved Ones About Your Stress

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed in life, reach out to someone. Talk to someone about the things that are causing you stress and about the emotions that you’re having.

If you’re experiencing chronic stress, you may want to reach out with a professional therapist to help you manage your stress. In fact, according to a study conducted by UCLA, talking about your emotions can lessen the intensity of sadness, anger, and pain.

Matthew D. Lieberman, lead author of the study explains, “In the same way you hit the brake when you’re driving when you see a yellow light, when you put feelings into words, you seem to be hitting the brakes on your emotional responses…Putting our feelings into words helps us heal better. If a friend is sad and we can get them to talk about it, that probably will make them feel better.”

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Additional Ways to Reduce Stress

Using Key Communication Skills To Manage Stress (5)

If you’re dealing with stress there are a lot of other proven methods to help lower your stress levels.

One significant way to reduce stress is to exercise. The American Heart Association writes, “Regular physical activity can improve quality of life and relieve stress, tension, anxiety, and depression. You may notice a “feel good” sensation immediately following your workout and also see an improvement in overall well-being over time as physical activity becomes a regular part of your life.”

Eating healthy is also known to help relieve stress. Caffeinated beverages can have a negative effect on your body and increase stress when consumed in large quantities. The same can be said for overindulgence of alcohol, sugar, salt, and nicotine.

Things that help reduce stress are foods with vitamin B, vitamin C, and Magnesium. These nutrients can help your body gain energy and strength when you’re experiencing stress.

Other things that can help is getting enough sleep, meditating, praying, and doing relaxing things like taking a warm bath or getting a massage. Enjoying hobbies or recreational fun is another way to greatly reduce stress.

Stress is a natural part of life but it doesn’t have to consume it. If you’re feeling stressed every day, start by making simple changes that can help give you relief.

Take some time to relax, talk with some friends, and remember to communicate your feelings. These small changes can be the beginning of real change and help free you from being the weight of stress.

Republished. Original text here.

FAQs

What is the role of communication skills in managing stress? ›

If you're feeling stressed every day, start by making simple changes that can help give you relief. Take some time to relax, talk with some friends, and remember to communicate your feelings. These small changes can be the beginning of real change and help free you from being the weight of stress.

How do you answer how do you handle stressful situations? ›

How To Answer, “How Do You Handle Stress?” To answer this question successfully, you'll want to provide specific examples of how you've handled stress well in the past. You might also provide examples of times when pressure made you work more productively.

What communication strategies can help reduce stress? ›

Have patience as you talk with others.
  • Focus on the issue at hand.
  • Avoid personal attacks.
  • Show respect by truly listening to others' point of view.
  • Recognize that others may be speaking with emotions behind the words, but you may also be listening with an emotional filter and not hear the true intent of their words.

How do you communicate with someone who is stressed and what are the best things you can do if someone reaches out to you for support? ›

How to Support Someone Who Is Stressed
  1. Signs of Stress.
  2. Help Them Recognize The Problem.
  3. Listen to Them.
  4. Identify the Problem.
  5. Get Active.
  6. Fill Their Free Time.
17 Aug 2021

What is communication under stress? ›

When it comes to interpersonal skills, research shows that team members under stress tend to communicate with less empathy, engage less with each other, and focus less on working together. Instead, team members tend to focus directly on problem-solving.

How effective communication could help prevent effects of emotional stress? ›

Effective communication can only happen where there is trust, reliability and responsibility, therefore avoiding emotional stress to yourself and others. Communicating effectively means respecting the feelings of others. When you show respect for the feeling of others, they will show respect for you and your feelings.

How do you handle stress interview question examples? ›

I've found that a healthy amount of stress motivates me to stay on track and work as efficiently and effectively as possible. For example, deadlines are important to me. If my manager doesn't give me deadlines, I set them for myself. That's how I'm able to consistently turn in assignments on time.

How do you work under pressure Example answer? ›

When I begin to feel stressed at work, I use a few strategies to help me stay focused. First, I learn to accept the situation. If I have a pressing deadline, I work to prioritize my most important tasks and get my work done. I find that being adaptable helps me handle pressure quite well.

Why it is important to communicate worries and concerns? ›

Talking about your problems can release pent-up feelings. Talking to someone outside of the situation may help you to find a solution to the problem. If you don't think you can discuss the problem with anyone you know, you can call a confidential telephone counselling service.

What is effective communication? ›

Effective communication is the process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, opinions, knowledge, and data so that the message is received and understood with clarity and purpose. When we communicate effectively, both the sender and receiver feel satisfied.

How will you communicate effectively under pressure? ›

Try to understand their perspective. It is not necessary to agree with the other point of view to understand or empathize with it. When responding, resist the temptation to pile on by discussing only the issue at hand. Getting off the track and bringing up old issues is not only confusing, it can be irritating.

How do you motivate someone who is stressed? ›

15 Things To Say to Someone Who Is Stressed
  1. “I'm here for you. ...
  2. “You're not alone. ...
  3. “This is nothing new for you. ...
  4. “One thing at a time. ...
  5. “I'm here (always) if you want to talk..” ...
  6. “What you're feeling right now is 100% understandable.” ...
  7. “I am so proud of you!” ...
  8. “Considering what you're going through, you're doing great!”
20 Apr 2022

What do you say to someone when they are stressed? ›

Tell them that you're willing to listen

Let it be known that you are available to listen when they'd like to open up on their own terms and you can provide a shoulder to cry on. The person who is feeling stressed may take a while to confide in you, so be patient and do not push.

What are the types of skills necessary to be a good communicator? ›

Top 11 Communication Skills for Any Job
  • #1. Written And Oral Communication. Verbal communication is using words to convey information and it includes both written and oral communication. ...
  • #2. Presentation. ...
  • #3. Active Listening. ...
  • #4. Nonverbal Communication. ...
  • #5. Feedback. ...
  • #6. Respect. ...
  • #7. Confidence. ...
  • #8. Clarity.

What is the importance of listening to stressed person? ›

Listening for feelings is very important for helping someone under stress, because this is what helps the person to feel understood. Then, if necessary, she or he can go on to make decisions or solve problems. Ask questions. If a person seems to need to talk, "open" questions are an invitation to say more.

Why is effective communication important? ›

When communication is effective, it leaves all parties involved satisfied and feeling accomplished. By delivering messages clearly, there is no room for misunderstanding or alteration of messages, which decreases the potential for conflict.

How would you describe good effective communication essay? ›

Successful Communication is the conveying and understanding of a message from one person to another. For communication to be effective, the meaning must be easily understood. An individual 's communicative success relies on factors that include speaking, reading, listening, and reasoning skills.

Why communication is important especially in terms of expressing ideas and feelings? ›

​Expressing feelings is an essential component of effective communication. Whether the aim of the communication is to be positive; or to seek a change in behaviour; expressing feelings reinforces the importance of the message. However, when expressing your feelings it is important that you do so in the correct manner.

How does stress affect communication in the workplace? ›

The researchers found that people who have higher levels of stress do not initiate as many new contacts with others. Instead, these stressed-out people prefer to work on keeping their existing contacts. The authors say that this could be because making new contacts requires some risk (such as risk of rejection).

What is the importance of listening to stressed person? ›

Listening for feelings is very important for helping someone under stress, because this is what helps the person to feel understood. Then, if necessary, she or he can go on to make decisions or solve problems. Ask questions. If a person seems to need to talk, "open" questions are an invitation to say more.

What are the types of skills necessary to be a good communicator? ›

Top 11 Communication Skills for Any Job
  • #1. Written And Oral Communication. Verbal communication is using words to convey information and it includes both written and oral communication. ...
  • #2. Presentation. ...
  • #3. Active Listening. ...
  • #4. Nonverbal Communication. ...
  • #5. Feedback. ...
  • #6. Respect. ...
  • #7. Confidence. ...
  • #8. Clarity.

What is effective communication? ›

Effective communication is the process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, opinions, knowledge, and data so that the message is received and understood with clarity and purpose. When we communicate effectively, both the sender and receiver feel satisfied.

How do people manage positive and negative workplace stress? ›

Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and thoughts without judging them) can help melt away stress. Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking, or enjoying a meal.

What can you do to make communication easier in these situations? ›

Making Your Communication Easier
  1. Gain attention. It is important to gain the attention of the listener before you begin speaking. ...
  2. Make eye contact. We hear with our eyes as well as our ears. ...
  3. Speak naturally and clearly. ...
  4. Repeat and rephrase. ...
  5. Avoid background noise.
27 May 2021

How do you keep your mind calm and stress free? ›

How to Keep Calm Under Pressure
  1. Take a Deep Breath. Breathing deeply and slowly triggers the body to stop releasing stress hormones and start to relax. ...
  2. Focus on the Positives. ...
  3. Get Plenty of Sleep. ...
  4. Go for a Walk. ...
  5. Meditate. ...
  6. Practice Gratitude. ...
  7. Surround yourself with positive people.
14 Nov 2017

How do you know if communication is delivered effectively? ›

As well as being able to clearly convey a message, you need to also listen in a way that gains the full meaning of what's being said and makes the other person feel heard and understood. Effective communication sounds like it should be instinctive.

Why is it important to talk to someone when you have a problem? ›

Talking about your problems can release pent-up feelings. Talking to someone outside of the situation may help you to find a solution to the problem. If you don't think you can discuss the problem with anyone you know, you can call a confidential telephone counselling service.

How do you express good communication skills? ›

These eight tips can help you maximize your communication skills for the success of your organization and your career.
  1. Be clear and concise. ...
  2. Prepare ahead of time. ...
  3. Be mindful of nonverbal communication. ...
  4. Watch your tone. ...
  5. Practice active listening. ...
  6. Build your emotional intelligence. ...
  7. Develop a workplace communication strategy.
30 Aug 2021

How would you describe your communication skills? ›

Here's a sample answer: “Through my work experience and education, I have developed strong communication skills, and I'm able to clearly convey points to different audiences. I'm also a good listener which aids in my ability to intimately understand a situation and prepare an appropriate response.

Why is it important to have good communication skills? ›

Successful communication helps us better understand people and situations. It helps us overcome diversities, build trust and respect, and create conditions for sharing creative ideas and solving problems.

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