Stress Management: Reducing Stress by Being Assertive
- Stress is a physical, mental, and emotional response to life's changes and demands.
- Stress is experienced in levels. Low levels may not be noticeable at all. Occasional, moderate stress can be positive and challenge people to act in creative and resourceful ways. High levels can be harmful, leading to chronic disease.
- Poor communication is one of the biggest causes of stress at work and home. Being unable to talk about your needs, concerns, and frustrations can create stress. Being assertive helps you communicate without causing stress to yourself and others. Assertiveness is a skill that you can learn and put into practice.
- Assertive communication means speaking up for yourself in a thoughtful, tactful way. Being assertive helps you express yourself about things that matter to you. This reduces stress by helping you feel more in control of a situation.
- You can use the assertiveness ladder to practice assertive communication. Each letter in the word "LADDER" stands for a step in the process. The ladder helps you define a problem, describe it to others, and express your feelings.
- Write out your plan to be more assertive, and get comfortable with it. Practice it out loud so you can hear what your assertive statements sound like.
- To be more assertive, you focus on what you say and how you say it. Using the right body language helps you communicate more assertively.
What is assertive communication?
Last Revised: April 20, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine and Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.