Managing Stress & Anxiety *



Dealing with Stress

The three aspects of stress are;

- the stressor (the event, the trigger), 

- the assessment of threat (our thinking), and 

- the physical reaction (our body). 


Stress Management may involve 

- avoiding the threat or

- redefining the threat or

- improving the body’s capacity to deal with the physical reaction or

- all of the above


A. Avoiding stressful situations - The Stressor

Avoid the triggers that cause us to be stressed. That is change the environment. For example if noise stresses us one approach is to move to where there is less noise. 

Example: if we are stressed by flying, don’t fly. However this may not be practical or desirable. If we avoid flying we may miss out on an opportunity to visit friends and relations.

So an alternative maybe to change our thinking so as to redefine the threat.


B. Change thinking

We may be able to change our thinking by some fact finding and some logical thinking.

We may think flying is a threat because we think that the plane may crash. We may only see aeroplanes on TV or in the Newspapers when they crash.

If you know that the chances of an aeroplane crashing are extremely small you may see things differently. 

When flying there is only one aeroplane taking off in our world- the one we are on. However, every day, every minute and all around the world there are planes taking off and landing safely. The chances of your plane crashing are negligible.

Often the beliefs and experiences that lead to the threat assessment are not even known by us. In this case counselling / therapy may assist to understand our stress and taking action to manage it.


Strategies for those living with a heart condition

The threat of a heat attack is very real for heart patients. We need to be able to determine whether symptoms are of a heart attack or one of the many other factors that can result in similar symptoms.

Improve knowledge of the factors involved

e.g.. 

- Learn heart attack symptoms

- Understand risky activities

- Ask cardiologist, cardiac rehabilitation staff

- be careful with information provided by non medical sources

- Counseling

- Self - help books




C. Building The Body’s Stress Resistance

The third way of lowering the impact of stress can be to minimise the body’s reaction to the threat, eg raised blood pressure, increased heart rate, tense muscles, shallow breathing, increased clotting etc. 

There are many practical, simple and effective ways of  building stress resistance. 

These can be by natural means such as 

- Exercise

- Creating good sleeping habits

- Relaxation exercises

- Relaxing activities

- Deep breathing, 

- Meditation 

Many people turn to alcohol and illegal drugs to relieve stress. which may work but only for a brief period. They do not help get to the cause of the stress and usually compound other physical problems.


Medication can lower the physical impact but does not eradicate the problem.

Tranquilisers can dull the reaction, beta-blockers can lower the impact of adrenaline. Blood thinners can be used to decrease the body's blood clotting capacity. Sometimes medication is provided to relieve symptoms while counseling / therapy is undertaken to address the undertying problem.


If Stress impacts your life speak to your doctor who can help assess action to take.


Sources of Detailed Information on Stress & Anxiety


Further information

* beyondblue is an excellent source of information on Stress, Anxiety and Depression

See further details by CLICKING HERE

Understanding and Managing Anxiety

Contents include:

Introduction

What is anxiety?
What causes anxiety?
What are the symptoms of anxiety? How is anxiety treated?
Tips on how to manage anxiety Other resources on anxiety
Other resources on anxiety Seeking professional assistance 


To view in Anxiety Tip Sheet another Window  PRESS HERE

Understanding and Managing Stress

Contents include:

What is Stress

What are the signs of Stress

Tips on how to manage everyday stress 


To view Stress Tip Sheet in another Window  PRESS HERE





© Len Gould 2013 Heartemotions (Version 1_2)