What techniques help you best manage your stress? Which technique offers clear evidence it's helping you?
Before I began teaching adult education courses about the subject in the early 90's, my approach to managing stress was erratic. My journal was used primarily for whining when I was low and my prayers often centered on things I wanted to happen. I didn't fully understand the deleterious effect of negative self-talk or the healing power of humor. Except for somewhat regular exercise, my toolbox was a little light.
Buddha said "We teach best what we need to learn most." In order to feel more credible, as soon as I began teaching about stress, I decided to fully integrate some techniques often cited in the literature: regular journalling & meditation (any prayers I said from there on would be for others), paying attention to my self-talk, adding a lot more intentional humor to my life.
Twenty five years later and I still have little clear evidence any of these things work. Maybe the effectiveness of each in managing my stress is beside the point. Each gives me pleasure - good enough.