Emphasis On Stress

Stress - we have all experienced it. While it can precipitate positive action, it can be damaging if left unaddressed. It arises generally from a subjective source of mental, physical or emotional aggravation, resulting in increased tension. The negative outcomes vary from mild anxiety to mood disorders, physical unwellness and sadly, self-harm. In my experience, men discuss these issues less readily than women. When they do get around to broaching the subject, the negative outcomes may be quite advanced.

Stress is inescapable - accept that one is likely to encounter it. However, with appropriate strategies, support and assistance, most stress can be overcome. This will mitigate against feeling overwhelmed or catastrophising. Should events prove to be more overwhelming, there are many strategies that may assist in achieving greater resilience.

Here are some strategies to address stress. 

Attend to work-life imbalance - whatever the issues, health is too high a price to pay. 

Exercise - as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise per day may begin to have a positive effect (on sleep, sense of well-being, self- image, cardiovascular). 

Attend to sleep hygiene - this is a restorative time so aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night. 

Explore relaxation options - these may include mindfulness-based approaches, meditation, yoga or tai chi. 

Limit (or stop) harmful substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, high caffeine intake and recreational drugs. 

These strategies need to become a part of a sustainable lifestyle rather than a remedy from crisis to crisis.

Should the above strategies be inadequate, seek additional help from friends and family, ministers/elders in your faith, counsellors and a range of healthcare providers.


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