Stress Management

WHAT IS STRESS?

"That which arises when the pressure placed upon an individual exceeds the capacity of the individual to cope" CBI

"The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them at work" HSE

Stress is not a new concept. It is a natural reaction whenever the demands being made on you are greater than your capacity to cope. Those pressures may come from various sources, and when their combined effect is overwhelming, stress occurs. This increased arousal of the autonomic nervous system, for prolonged periods in times of extreme stress is what causes problems - something for which there is no outlet in the modern-day world. Anyone can suffer from stress. 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF STRESS

Stress upsets the normal body chemistry.

It can produce a wide range of physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Sweating
  • Dry Mouth
  • Poor Concentration
  • Negative Thinking
  • Panic Attacks
  • Anger
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Poor Sleep Pattern

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF STRESS

Constant Daily Pressure

  • Money Worries
  • Relationship Problems
  • Unemployment
  • Problems at work or home

COMPLICATIONS OF STRESS

Excessive, prolonged stress may contribute to a wide variety of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Stress may also be a factor in many physical conditions e.g.

  • Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Ulcerative Colitis

The important thing to remember is that anyone can suffer from stress - it is not a sign of weakness. Learn how to develop mechanisms for controlling, or eliminating unnecessary levels of stress to improve your quality of life, using a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and relaxation exercises. 

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." 

TOP TEN STRESS TIPS

  1. Share your troubles. 
  2. Can anything be done about the cause of your stress? Be aware of your own warning signs. Review what is really causing your stress. Think about any action you could take to change things e.g. anger management. 
  3. Slow down and make time for relaxation. Do something you enjoy without feeling guilty about it! 
  4. Think about breathing and relaxation exercises.
  5. Take regular breaks and adopt a good work-life balance
  6. Adopt a lifestyle which cushions the effects of stress e.g. regular healthy meals, reduce caffeine and alcohol intake, drink plenty of water, lots of sleep, exercise and leisure.
  7. Cope with panic attacks
  8. Watch out for negative thinking and accept the things you cannot change.
  9. Learn how to become more assertive
  10. Think about how best to tackle stress at work if necessary stress management technique