Data & Research
George describes the effects of using three of the techniques from Stress? Find Your Balance as part of
his six-week stress-management project:
The three techniques I used were deep muscle relaxation, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and giving up being
right. My original goal was to use deep muscle relaxation 4 times a week; Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  After
really reading about deep muscle relaxation I felt this would be more beneficial to me than any of the other primary
techniques, because I not only was working out, but stress really causes soreness in my body, so I believed it would
really relieve a lot of tension and stress in my body.  The way I always figured I had a lot of stress was if my neck hurt
and sometimes the pain would be unbearable.  So this really helped me get through that.
My two secondary techniques really correlated with one another.  Giving up being right and putting yourself in someone
else’s shoes are two techniques that a confrontational person really should try. I am by no means a fighter or bully, but I
like things my way all the time.  I do find myself getting angry if I don’t get things my way so I thought by incorporating
these two techniques together I would find more happiness in my life and not have so of these crazy arguments that I
have with people.  
I planned to use these techniques more than the deep muscle relaxation because they were something I could use
whenever I felt necessary.  It is more of an everyday situation while the deep muscle relaxation was only going to be 3-4
times a week.  I planned to keep a log for 7 weeks.  I used all three techniques religiously because I found that they all
made positive changes in my life from the get go.
Deep muscle relaxation was my primary stress-management technique.  At first I chose this technique because I thought
it would be easy and get me through this.  After really thinking about it, I am so happy I chose this because it changed my
life literally.  I have now gotten off my blood pressure medicine due to my high level of stress and my doctor thinks it is
because I have found ways to positively deal with my stress.
When I started deep muscle relaxation I really was focused on understanding the instruction that I had tape-recorded.  
Also, I was at the beach when I began this and my friends were making fun of me for doing it.  So I really thought this
was going to be a long few months doing this technique.  I quickly caught on and I could feel the tension actually
releasing from each part of my body I focused on.  When I would finish each session I would feel relieved and literally
unstressed.  I soon realized this was something that I shouldn’t have days set aside to do it; I should do it every day
because there are stressors that everyone has to deal with on a daily basis.  This exercise would help me lose focus on
those stressors and regain my happiness.  
For the last month or month and a half I did deep muscle relaxation 6 to 7 days a week.  I felt and I still feel like a
different person from one simple exercise.  I still get stressed, but who doesn’t?  Now I have found a way to cope with it.
I did feel a change at the very beginning of deep muscle relaxation.  Since I was skeptical in the beginning, I didn’t think
this would do anything for me.  I was really focused and made it part of my life.  I could feel the release of tension from
my body and the relaxed feeling I had afterward really made me have faith.  I went from doing it 4 days a week too nearly
everyday.  Also, I learned to acknowledge stress building in my body and I was able o point out what part of my body
really had a lot of stress compiling.  If I had only a few minutes of time I would focus my attention on that part of my
body and release stress and tension from it.  It really works and it really helped me out when I only had a few minutes.
Deep muscle relaxation didn’t help me deal with just certain stressors; it helped me deal with every type of stressor there
is.  I feel it compiles all the stressors you experience and releases them from your body, leaving you in a state of
euphoria.  It seems similar to taking an antidepressant or anxiety medication.  For me, it helped me deal with everything
from school to ex girlfriends.  
Since using deep muscle relaxation my stress level has changed.  I am a person that used to let stress get the best of me.  
If I wasn’t stressed out, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  Now when I get stressed I take a half hour or so for
myself to do deep muscle relaxation.  I went three days with out doing it a few weeks ago and I felt myself getting really
stressed again.  This is a technique you have to believe in, otherwise it won’t work.  It is addicting because it makes you
feel better about yourself and makes you feel like to can accomplish a great feeling about yourself even if you’re under a
lot of stress and pressure. I don’t want to say my level of well-being has changed because of a simple technique.  I have
always been a happy person that is very fortunate of the things I have.  I have a great life with a great family and friends.  
I feel like I have become a better person because sometimes I do let stress get the best of me and in many cases I cannot
find the best way to deal with that stress.  Now I have found something that really works for me and makes a noticeable
change in the way I am to not only myself but to people around me.
Putting yourself in someone’s shoes and giving up being right were the minor techniques I used.  I feel like these two
really have a lot of similarities and work better with both instead of just one.  I am a very hardheaded person and I find
myself in arguments with people if I don’t get my way.  I am not gaining happiness from this at all.  A good example of
how these two coincide was when I was at the beach with Melissa and Vicki.  I knew it was going to be the perfect time
to start this because I am always stressed out when I am on vacation.  Melissa was being a total bitch already and we had
only been there for a few days.  We had already been fighting about what radio station to listen too.  She knows how
much Vicki and I hate rap and that is all she wanted to listen too.  I kept going back and forth with her about how this
other radio station was better because it played both, so all of us would be satisfied.  She was not having it.  It finally
clicked to me what I should be doing.  I put myself in her shoes, realized that this was her trip too and just gave up being
right because I knew that this was a no win situation for me.  I let her listen to her station after I thought about this (I was
the driver), because I wanted her to be happy on her vacation and I realized I would be a lot happier listening to rap music
then fighting with her.  To my surprise, Melissa eventually said we could listen to our station if we wanted.
OH MY GOD!!  I couldn’t believe it, THIS WORKS, and nothing ever works with her.  I was in complete shock.  This is
why it seems like they work better with both of them, instead of just doing one, so I am extremely happy I chose these
two as my minor techniques.
These two techniques made me realize that confrontation get me nowhere.  My ultimate goal is happiness.  I thought
happiness was always being right and getting things my way, but I learned that happiness has nothing to do with these.  
Happiness is getting what you desire but also having the people around you feel good about the situation made.  That said,
there are times where I was able to put myself in someone’s shoe and still not have an understanding why they did what
they did.  For instance, Liz, who is supposed to be my best friend, never even called me on my birthday.  I have done
everything for her and even dove to Texas to see her on her birthday last year when she was live there.  I really had to talk
to my friends about this because it was a situation that I felt I was complete right about being mad and after even putting
myself in her shoes, being unbiased, I felt there was no reason for her to do what she did.
It felt good to realize that doing these techniques there will be times you can put yourself in someone’s shoes and search
and search for ways to understand why they did what they did and still come up empty handed.  I found my self in this
situation especially in time where it was something I would never do to anyone.
As for giving up being right, I caught on to this really fast.  When I analyze this it seems like everyone always has to be
right even if it is over something stupid.  I gave up being right so much; I didn’t even realize it 99% of the time. It is a
great way to really avoid anger and confrontation.  It worked for me right off and I did it all the time subconsciously.  I
think about so many confrontations I have avoided and see it has made me look like a much more mature person. I think it
has directly affected my stress and well being because I have a better understanding why people do what they do, instead
of being close minded and only seeing things from my point of view.  It really has made me less stressed and it has made
me less confrontational.  I realized the less confrontation a person has the less stress they have.
I asked three people what they thought of me now.  I asked them if I was less of a stressor now that I was before.  The
first person I asked was my Mom.  She defined a stressor as something that wreaks havoc in someone’s life.  It could be
a person or something in general.  My Mom said I am definitely less of a stressor now.  She has noticed that I listen to her
much more.  She doesn’t feel like I get defensive and argue with her anymore.  She says she really feels I take in what
she tells me.  She also told me she doesn’t have to worry about me as much.  She really trusts what I do a lot more than
she did in the past.  Finally, she said most importantly she could tell I know how to manage my stress and anxiety now.  
She reminded me how the doctor noticed it too.  She thinks I will save a ton of money just on medication alone.
Melissa, who is one of my best friends that I argue with, told me I am a great example of a stressor.  She says stressors
are people.  She says she can tell positive changes in my life and most importantly she says I look healthier.  Melissa told
me she likes me better now because I let her have her way a lot more now.  She did say, which surprised me that I
indirectly make her look like an idiot sometimes because she is always expecting me to fight back with her.
The last person I asked was my ex-girlfriend.  We don’t talk, as much so she was really surprised to hear me ask this.  
She says she can tell I have made changes in my life and she wouldn’t even consider me a stressor at all.  A stressor to
her is anything that causes unwanted anxiety in your life.  She says since I don’t call her as much, when we do talk we
spend time catching up on what has been going on with one another.  She can tell I have finally moved on with my life
because I am not always pressuring her to get back with me.  She says she respects me a lot more as a person.  Hearing
her say this really made me feel good about myself.
For not only the next few months, but for the rest of my life, I plan on using these three techniques.  It is true practice
makes perfect.  I have learned to give up being right in most situations and really putting myself in other people’s shoes
before I make critical decisions.  I will not always do this because sometimes a situation doesn’t allow you to, but in most
cases I can and I have, which has made me more enjoyable to be around.  It is a really great feeling to know that making
just a few changes in your life can make you seems to be a completely different person to others.
The techniques I plan to use in the future, besides the ones I used in my stress management plan are exercising regularly,
eating for good health, learning to deal with criticism and needing less approval from others.  My ultimate goal is to be
happy with myself.  If people don’t like me for who I am than I don’t need them in my life.  I thought eating healthy
would be as easy as exercising, but it is very difficult not to eat McDonalds everyday. It is something that takes time and
it is something I am definitely working on.  It is also been very difficult to take criticism from others, but I have really
learned to accept it because it can only benefit me in the future.  For instance, I used to feel like my supervisor was
picking on me when she would criticize the work I did.  I now take in what she says because I know she is only trying to
make me a better employee.
Overall, I learned a lot of concepts and ways to work on my stress in the future.  The book, Stress? Find Your Balance is
a book that will really help me for the rest of my life.  If I forget a technique or need to be reminded of ways to do certain
things, such as deep muscle relaxation or needing less approval from others, I will have this book to read.  A few friends
and even my Mom have read the book and my Mom has taken just as much from this as I have.  I learned how to finally
cope with stress and that will not only make life much easier for me, but I will be able to enjoy life more and people will
enjoy being around me even more then they already do.