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Personalized Stress Management (PSM) is a model that takes an approach to management of stress from a response perspective. When the cause of stress is viewed in terms of response, it is viewed in such a way that we have personal control over how we are affected by it. On the other hand, when stress is perceived to be caused by a stimulus, it places the stimulus in control of the stress we feel, our emotions and state of physical reactions. The way we perceive stress, as a stimulus or response, will determine the focus of attention towards how we manage it.

Examples of stress perceived as a stimulus are individuals who say, “My boss causes me stress.” “My job causes me stress.” “Traffic jams cause me stress.” When someone views stress as a stimulus, it means that she wants the stressor to do something or make changes such that she will not be stressed. Most people are aware that the likelihood of this happening is rather remote.

When we focus our attention on the stress stimulus: boss, traffic, controlling spouse, etc., especially if the stimulus is one we recognize that we have no power over, it exacerbates our feelings of stress. Focusing on the stimulus only adds additional personal and emotional stress, such as worry, fret, and anger, to the existing stress of the situation. On the other hand, when the focus of attention is directed towards our response, it places us in a position of direct control over the level of stress we experience. Whereas regulating or modifying the stress stimulus is most often out of our control, we can, however, learn to control and regulate our response to the stress.

Focusing on the response is the key to effective stress management. Using this approach, you do not have to leave the situation, get upset, angry, or fret about the situation. You do not even have to entertain fantasies about overthrowing the stress stimulus. The response is something that you do have control over; that you can manage; that you can make decisions in regard to how it affects you. Additionally, by regulating your response to stress, you minimize your emotional reactions, and gain greater access to rational ideas essential to making decisions for resolving a stressful situation.

The PSM model is consistent with today’s human potential's movement based on self-reliance, self-regulation, and self-help. The book is designed to help the reader develop self-dependence and confidence that will place his inner self as the locus of control over how he is affected by situations that are stressful. Its conceptual meaning implies:
1. An understanding of stress;
2. The ability to identify stresses and their source;
3. A sufficient and adequate repertoire of skills and methods of approach that can be directly applied to stress reduction, coping, alleviation, or satisfactory adjustment.

The goal of the Personalized Stress Management model is to maximize one’s potential for dealing with the stresses of day to day living. Learning to control and manage one’s response to stress is the best way to do this. The PSM process includes:
1. Obtaining a clear definition of the stressor or stresses;
2. Assessing various approaches and resources available to the individual for managing the stress;
3. Assessing of one’s potential for making use of available resources.
When this is completed, the steps that follow are:
4. Assessing the strength of the difficulty to resolve the problem;
5. Setting goals for the resolution of the problem;
6. Mapping a plan of approach to achieve set goals;
7. Making a commitment to follow through with the plan;
8. And finally, implementing periodic evaluations of the plan.
This course is continued or repeated until the stressful situations are resolved, or all avenues of resolution are exhausted.
PSM_Model Review by SJMercury News

Source: Personalized Stress Management: A Manual for Everyday Life and Work
© CCSpublications

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