Get Stressed Easily? Try the STAR Technique To Reduce Stress!

STAR technique to reduce stressNothing reduces stress like being well prepared ahead of time- there’s just no replacement for this.  That being said, stressful situations can affect even the most prepared person.  If you’re easily susceptible to stress or have a hard time getting control of your nerves, the STAR technique can help.  When used properly, this simple technique can target the root of your stress and obliterate it.

The STAR technique stands for:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

Situation or task refers to a stressful time in your personal experience.  This could be a time when you were in a precarious situation or faced with a particularly difficult task to accomplish.  Think of the most stressful time in your life.  Was it the time you drove through a blinding blizzard with an empty tank looking for a gas station?  What about the time you lost your younger sibling at the beach and had to locate them before your parents found out?  Whatever it is, recall that stressful time in your life in great detail.  This will put you back into the headspace and emotional state you were in when the original situation occurred.

Now that you’ve remembered the most stressful time in your life, what did you do to mitigate your stress?  The Action step refers to your thought processes and actions you took to handle the stressful situation or task at hand.  Go over your actions and thoughts exactly as they happened so you can objectively understand what needed to be done on your part, and what may have been failed attempts at a solution.  Even if the action was a group effort, focus on what you contributed.

The result is the outcome of all your thought processes and actions which combined to produce a resolution to the situation or task at hand.  Consider the positive results and let that success help you recognize and reinforce your ability to handle stressful situations.  Just think, “If I could handle that, I can handle this too!”

By using this technique, you’re building a memory bank you can quickly refer to when things start to feel stressful.  When you find yourself on the verge of being overcome with stress, immediately recall another stressful situation or task.  You’ll quickly find that the path to solve your problem was easy or straightforward and that, once you took the necessary actions, your stress quickly melted away.

The STAR technique is a great way to boost confidence and reduce stress before your interview too!  Try writing down and reviewing your life challenges, situations, and tasks with which you’ve had to deal.  Write down the end results, even if they were negative.  By doing this, you can get an overall picture of how you typically deal with stressful situations and realize that the jitters you may feel about your upcoming interview are nothing compared to other stressful things you’ve overcome in the past.