is our emotional and physical response to pressure. That pressure can
arise from external factors including life events, illness
(ourselves or someone close to us) living conditions, work, home and family,
study, lack of some necessity, or the demands we place on ourselves. Even
those events which we see as enjoyable can be stressful, such as holidays,
moving home, starting a better job, pregnancy, parenthood, Christmas etc.
are common when feeling stressed
This is too much - I
Someone should be helping me.
I haven't got enough
I'll never finish
I must get this
The physical response
to stress is caused by the body's adrenaline response - the body's alarm signal
and survival mechanism when faced with a threat.
Tense muscles - e.g.
neck, shoulders, abdomen
Bladder or bowel
Unable to settle, constantly
busy, rushing about
Lots of things on the go, but
don't finish them
Eating more (or less)
Vicious Cycle of Stress
Identify your stressors -
what's making you stressed?
Where am I when I'm feeling stressed? What
am I doing? Who am I with?
Even if there is little you can do about some
situations, maybe making some small changes - in routine, in the way you handle
things, doing things differently, taking time out, thinking about it in a
different way, in getting help, seeking advice - could make all the difference
Doing things differently
Do something different (to what you
time for yourself each day - relaxation, fun,
enjoyment. Create a healthy balance - allow time for activities which
give you a sense of achievement, those that give a sense of closeness to
others, and of a sense of enjoyment. When stressed, it's often the case
that we spend more time doing things that help us achieve,
but less of enjoyment and closeness to others. Aim for a healthy balance
as shown in the pie chart.
Keep an ACE Log to help you keep track
Grounding techniques - look around you, what do you see, hear, smell, sense?
Hold a comforting object.
exercise - walk, swim, go to the gym, cycle
(take the stairs instead of the lift, get off the bus a
in a hobby or other interest - if you don't have one, find one! What
have you enjoyed in the past? What have you sometimes thought
about doing but not got around to?
your responsibilities - it's okay to say no
down your thoughts and feelings - get them out of your head
take one step at a time - don't plan too far ahead
self-talk - encourage yourself, tell yourself: I can do this, I am
strong and capable - find an affirmation that works for you (even if you don't
believe it at first!). Write it down and memorise it for when you need
it. See Affirmations
something creative - make a box of items that remind you to use the
techniques that help, or put photos on paper, or write and decorate a
e.g. to relax and bring about future goals
yourself: "This will pass, it's only temporary". "I've got through
this before, I can do it now". When we're going through a tunnel and
become fearful of being trapped, there's no point in stopping - we just have
to carry on in order to reach the end of the tunnel.