Friday, 7 October 2011

Stress Management

Do you ever think now 'I can't cope...this is too much' about work, personal or relationship issues?

Do you feel anxious, angry or depressed or perhaps all three?

Do you notice your heart racing, tense muscles, headaches, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, restlessness, irritable bowel, sleeping disturbances, eating more or less, drinking more alcohol, upset, shouting, arguing...?

The first step is to identify what is making you stressed and then you can then either remove the triggers or change your response to them.

Say for example, it's your career and you are stressed about possible redundancy and the financial implications of this.

In this case you are not in control of removing the trigger - the redundancy threat - but you are in control of how you to choose to view it. 

You can stress and feel sorry for yourself or you can take action by updating your CV and use your network to identify job opportunities.

No one is saying that life stresses are always easy to handle, however, there is often a solution if we stay calm and in control.

What tools are useful for staying calm and in control? Here are ones that I have used, some of which I continue to use:
  • Mindful extended breathing
  • Relaxation CD with progressive muscle relaxation
  • Focus fully on an activity
  • Pampering e.g. aromatherapy massage
  • Exercise - especially yoga
  • Help others
  • Be with others - i.e. your friends and family
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Have a regular enjoyable hobby, interest
  • Prioritise
  • Say no - Not for now
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings
  • Positive self-talk/affirmations e.g this is temporary and will pass
  • Healthy eating
  • Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
One of my clients has each of the above tools written down on slips of paper in a box and each day she picks one out (like angel cards) to focus on.

I think that I know a bit about this because I used to stress about the smallest of hitches and now I definitely 'don't sweat the small stuff' or even bigger things that I cannot do anything about, for example, the economy, job security, impact on pension...

I do take action though when things don't go as I expect and I do make a plan. After all, we must recognise that worrying is futile. 

We are better off thinking about our outcome and planning a way forward.

So, if you are currently worried about losing your job update your CV, share it with your network and make a plan to find another employment opportunity.

We are currently working with a number of clients on helping them find a way forward following redundancy or helping them to prepare for redundancy. If this is you please get in touch via West of England Coaching and Counselling.

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