Stress Management

We need pressure in our lives to motivate and stimulate us to do things. Most of the time pressure is good for us. BUT, if the pressure we experience is persistent or beyond our coping levels, then it’s likely to shift cause us ‘stress’. However, we’re all different. What’s stress to one person, is positive pressure to another.

We can work with you to identify your sources of stress at work and home, and plan effective ways for you to mitigate and manage stress situations in the future. It's not that you will never experience stress again, but you will be able to handle it better and appreciate it won't be as debilitating as it might have been before.

The following is reproduced, with permission, from The Crisis Book;

In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have published ‘stress standards’ and while this is geared towards the workplace, it has relevance to our personal lives too. Six core clusters identify key sources of stress;

Demands. Do you have an excessive workload or too much to deal with? Home, relationship and family demands apply here too. Match what is required of you to what you can cope with, delegate or share the load, change work patterns to suit you (flexitime?) and maintain a realistic pace.

Control. Do you have sufficient control or power over what you do? Are others diverting your time? Find ways to assert your rights and needs. Take ownership and ensure others are clear about your responsibility and your need to have control over what you do.

Support. Is there enough support around you to achieve what’s required of you? Identify the resources you need to achieve your task. Seek out the motivation, inspiration and encouragement you need. Be open to asking for (and offering) help, identify and communicate your needs

Relationships. Relationships are tough to manage (at home and work) with often competing needs and wants. Understand others (empathy) and build positive relationships. Create the environment to avoid conflict and assert what constitutes unacceptable behaviour.

Role. With often conflicting demands, be clear about your roles and responsibilities to know what’s required of you and where you fit in – this applies as much to being a manager as being a parent.

Change. The only thing that’s constant about change is change itself. Learn to ‘go with the flow’, adapt to what goes on around you, build in some flexibility to change. Communicate changes surrounding you and encourage others (especially at work) to keep you informed of changes.

Beyond the HSE ‘stress standards’ you can also learn how to manage your own stress response;

Emotional compass. Understanding the emotion that alerts you to feelings of stress often helps to identify the source of stress which then allows you to take action.

Act. Many people know they’re stressed and the causes, but choose to do nothing. Doing something is better than doing nothing.

Feeling. If you can’t change the situation, you can change how you feel about the situation.

Positive coping. Your coping choices determine your stress resolution potential. Consider what’s helpful and what can be self-defeating, self-destructive and contributes to further stress.