What is Stress?
- Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure.
- It’s very common and can be motivating to help us achieve things in our daily life, and can help us meet the demands of home, work and family life.
- But too much stress can affect our mood, our body and our relationships – especially when it feels out of our control.
- It can make us feel anxious and irritable, and affect our self-esteem.
Signs of Stress
If you are stressed, you may:
- Feel overwhelmed
- Have racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating
- Be irritable
- Feel constantly worried, anxious or scared
- Feel a lack of self-confidence
- Have trouble sleeping or feel tired all the time
- Avoid things or people you are having problems with
- Be eating more or less than usual
- Drink or smoke more than usual
Possible causes of Stress
- Stress affects people differently, and the things that cause stress vary from person to person.
- Our individual genes, upbringing and experiences
- Difficulties in our personal lives and relationships
- Big or unexpected life changes, like moving house, having a baby or starting to care for someone
- Money difficulties, like debt or struggling to afford daily essentials
- Health issues, either for you or someone close to you
- Pregnancy and children
- Problems with housing, like the conditions, maintenance or tenancy
- Feeling lonely and unsupported
General procedures in Stress Management Training
- Develop an awareness of your stress reaction and its early signs
- Learn to apply the relaxation skill when the first signs of stress develop
- Master abdominal breathing techniques
- Practice at home by using a video or audiotaped relaxation and/or imagery program
- Practice transferring stress management skills to real-life situations
- Develop behavioral strategies to prevent stress reactions and to reduce the frequency of stressful situations.
- Relaxation through deep breathing techniques, relaxation imagery, tension-relaxation contrasts, cue-controlled relaxation, and biofeedback
- Cognitive techniques: Review your attitudes and values, restructure your thinking, set goals, use positive imagery, rehearse mentally, schedule
- Behavioral changes to better manage interpersonal situations and distress
- Check your assumptions, share your expectations with others, be assertive, exercise and consume sensibly
- Relationship review: Review past hurts, forgive, communicate feelings, listen, reward
- Imagine a spot just below your navel.
- Breathe into that spot, filling your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon.
- With every long, slow exhalation you feel more relaxed.
- If your breathing is short and hurried, slow it down by taking long, slow breaths. Inhale slowly, then exhale slowly.
- Count slowly to five as you inhale, then count slowly to five as you exhale.
- As you exhale, pay attention to how your body naturally relaxes.
Sources – https://www.nhs.uk/