Stress & Anxiety (Self-Care) - Dealing with Stress

Written by: 
Self-Care Library

Go to our Health Guide, 20 tips for controlling your Stress levels by clicking here.

If you check the left hand menu, you can learn about several methods of reducing stressRelating to injury or concern., from relaxation techniques to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).

Relaxation techniques are very helpful but they are not always the solution. For example, you may be getting stressed because you aren't working efficiently, in which case time management techniques could help you organise your internal (and external) clutter, and prioritise the things you have to do. Or it might be that you are feeling overloaded because you find it hard to tell people what you do or don't want. In that case, assertiveness and social skills training could help you deal with people, take more control, and gain self-confidence and self-esteem. There again, if your mind is buzzing with worries, conflicts and confused emotions, you may need to consider counselling or psychotherapy. And if you feel you need to start changing how you think and feel about the pressures you are under, then CBT may be very helpful.

Some problems appear too overwhelming until they are broken down into bite-sized challenges that seem more do-able. It's important to get a sense of proportion and think clearly enough to find some positive possibilities. If the ways you think and feel about a problem are partly what caused it, then using the same thoughts and feelings won't solve the problem. Often what's needed is an attitude change. CBT can help shift stuck and unhelpful attitudes and behaviours.

But some problems really are too big to solve alone. When that's the case, you may need some help, because major changes always require support, the right information and, most importantly, energy. It takes energy to change things for the better. If (as is likely at such times) you feel exhausted, do whatever you must to get the rest and recuperation you need so that you can begin to make sense of your situation.

Considering different types of treatment

If you feel very anxious or if tension is making everyday work difficult you should get expert advice. Stress levels are easier to handle if you learn the relaxation response, and get enough sleep. You might also need to put yourself under less pressure; take time off or get some help at home. Exercise and healthy eating are likely to help as well. In addition there may be some natural medicines, or treatments or classes that could reduce tension.