Stress relief should be personalized

April 21, 2012 at 1:40 AM
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DALLAS, April 21 (UPI) -- One-size-fits-all approaches to stress reduction are not effective because what stresses one person may not stress another, a U.S. researcher says.

Dr. Shawn McClintock, a psychiatrist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said common stressors include economic problems, working too much, family difficulties, always being "on," always being "connected" and never enjoying personal time.

Stressors vary by age group and situation.

"Teens may be stressed by school, getting good grades, peer pressures, going to college," McClintock said in a statement. "Adults may be more concerned with employment, filing tax returns, beginning and raising a family, planning for retirement."

The elderly may be more focused on the loss of loved ones, starting a new phase in their lives, moving or health concerns, McClintock said.

"Stress is a vicious circle: The more stressed you get, the more worried you get that you're stressed. That increases your stress, which then increases your worry, then back to your stress, and so forth," McClintock said.

"The key is to find what the stressor is and then identify how to process it," McClintock advised.

"Similarly, there are many remedies for stress and some work great for a few people but not so great for others. Identifying what works best for you and making sure you implement the stress reducing method is important," McClintock said.

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