Managing Life's Changes

Stress Management「壓力管理」臨床心理師黃玉萍主講 | El Camino Health

Managing Life's Changes


Change is inevitable. It’s a natural part of life. You may experience transitions in work and relationships, changes in your physical health, or loss of a loved one. Even positive changes like getting married, having children, or buying a new home can cause stress and inner turmoil. You may feel a mix of emotions ranging from joy to sadness and depression. It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms, so you can take steps to manage your emotional well-being. 

Being able to cope with change is sometimes called resilience. The Chinese Health Initiative has collaborated with community partners and behavioral health professionals to assemble the following tools, advice and resources to help you build resilience and effectively manage life’s ups and downs. 

Well-Being Tips

Three Steps to Approach Stress

Step 1. Identity how you react to stress

These reactions usually take one (or all) of the following forms:

  • Emotional. Feeling tense, anxious, or worried. 
  • Physical. Experience raised blood pressure, tension headaches, or an upset stomach. 
  • Response. Turning to unhealthy habits to help deal with stress such as smoking or overeating.  
  • Performance. Noticing a decrease in performance at work, home or things you enjoy. 
  • Relationships. Experience an increase in conflicts with people that can impact relationships. 

Step 2. Discover what stress busters work for you

  • Review. How you think about a situation matters. Look for ways to turn a stress situation into a positive challenge or find the good in the situation. Why? When you change the way you view a stressful situation, it can change the way your body responds. 
  • Reflect. Think about the times when you’ve experienced stress in the past. How did you react? Did your reaction help the situation? 
  • Relax. Whether it’s deep breathing or thinking about a relaxing place, find your go-to technique for those stress moments.  
  • Rest. Stress events require some recovery for both your mind and body. To help take care of yourself, try to relax a little every day and get enough rest. 
  • Enjoy. Turn to activities that bring you pleasure when stress gets you down

Step 3. Learn your triggers and break free of stress

  • Identify. What makes you feel stressed? Now, write them down. And remember that stress can come from positive things too, such as a new job or a new family member.  
  • Avoid. Minor irritations, like traffic jams, can be avoided by switching your route or altering your transportation.
  • Prepare. For larger triggers, try to keep the situation in perspective. Can you make a plan about what to do and who to talk to? 
  • Assert. Plan and execute solutions for problems under your control. For instance, talk to your boss about difficulties at work, ask for help when you have too much to do, or allow yourself to say “no” when you feel overwhelmed.

Steps to Effectively Manage Stress: Part I

By Wei-Chien Lee, PhD, clinical psychologist

Any change in our environment can create stress. Stress is invisible, but it has an impact and can lead to various physical and psychological reactions and responses.

Stress is a normal response to change
We experience stress when we face any kind of change. Whenever someone introduces a change into our daily routine, our minds must shift direction and focus, which creates stress. In times of change, stress is inevitable.
When stress occurs, we have three possible responses: fight, flight, or freeze. For instance, if you're hiking and you run into a mountain lion. The stress hormone kicks in and your mind  wonders, "Should I fight it? Can I run away? Or, I don't know what to do, I'm frozen." 
These are normal responses. Our responsibility is not to eliminate these reactions but to learn how to deal with them and take the next steps.
Click here to learn more and download the full PDF.

Steps to Effectively Manage Stress: Part II

By Wei-Chien Lee, PhD, clinical psychologist

Medium-term and long-term strategies for effective stress management

Effective Stress Management: Medium-term
Some stress management techniques take time to practice, and you may not see immediate results. It might take a week or even longer. 

  • Reduce sources of stress
  • Have genuine friends
  • Accept that change is part of life
  • Make effective, long-term investments in yourself.
  • Set goals
  • Foster a positive outlook
  • Look at things from different perspectives
  • Maintain a hopeful outlook
  • Take care of your own physical health

Click here to learn more and download the full PDF.

Enhance Your Emotional Well-Being Webinars

Workshops conducted in Mandarin by clinical psychologists where they outline practical suggestions that can strengthen physical and emotional well-being.

Recordings now available:

Watch other CHI Emotional Well-Being topics on YouTube.