Stress

STRESS

To be kept up to date on Stress, please Contact Us, stating “Stress” as your area of interest.

Stress is a necessary and valuable part of our life.? Its evolutionary purpose is to protect us from danger and ensure our survival.

However, the long-term over-stimulation of the stress response leads to a variety of possible problems.? They include insomnia – but also include fear, accident-proneness, compulsions, anxiety, tensions, depression, eating disorders, nervous tics, speech problems, anger, increased consumption of alcohol, nicotine, drugs and sedatives etc.
Source:? Stress: How to Cope with Pressure (book).

Thankfully there are seemingly endless resources and strategies for stress reduction.

Helpful strategies include time management, assertiveness training, open communication, breathing techniques to relax, watching your self-talk, negotiation, meditation, Emotional Freedom Technique (see The Power of Tapping book), changing the way you think, affirmations and positive suggestion, disputing irrational beliefs and stereotypes (including your relationship roles), exercise, spending time on enjoyable projects, having an excellent social life, choosing a job that has real meaning for you, finding new challenges, including community work in your life, having more fun, massage, Tai Chi, etc.

Stress can effect you physically – indigestion, dizziness, headaches, tremors, sexual difficulties (including lack of desire), fatigue, weakness, aches and pains, heart palpitations, muscle tension (esp. jaw and neck).? It has been estimated that 40% of referrals to cardiologists for palpitations are a result of stress.? Referrals to specialists for headaches or bowel upsets have similar figures.

You should establish that any physical symptoms do relate to stress, and be aware that stress can produce anxiety, and can become more serious if ignored.? Some diseases such as thyroid disease cause symptoms of stress and anxiety.? In addition, strong anxiety and depression and other conditions such as panic disorder and phobias need specific treatment, usually from a skilled therapist.? Source: Stress: How to cope with Pressure.

From Sleepless No More customer responses, it would appear that stress is a factor for those insomniacs who find it Hard to Fall Asleep (as opposed to those who wake up early, etc).? We have received excellent feedback from people who have used relaxation CDs and hypnosis CDs during the day, but especially at night before going to bed (or actually in bed).? We therefore recommend that you consider these CDs with your other sleep strategies. They also appear to be helpful in ‘slowing down’ people with an overactive brain at bedtime, helping them to switch off at the end of the day.? They have been beneficial too for those trying to get back to sleep after waking in the middle of the night.

Meditation, relaxation techniques, regular massages, yoga, Tai Chi etc. have been found helpful when used during the day to stop stress levels from escalating.

Refer Help at Work, The Next Day.

TIPS FOR WORK:

  • Don’t let stress escalate during the day. Take lunch, have a walk outside, take morning and afternoon tea breaks if things are getting stressed. Some of the worst mistakes happen when we are stressed. Some of the best decisions and ideas come when we are relaxed.
  • Leave work at a reasonable hour. If you can’t do your work in a ‘reasonable day’s work’ then maybe you or your company are expecting too much – or you are in the wrong job.? Figure out different ways to do your tasks, ask your superiors to look at your schedules and techniques to see how you can improve your time management.? Do a time management and/or stress reduction course.
  • Look at the culture within your organization and industry. Is it a healthy one?? Certainly not all organizations have a healthy culture.? Why are you putting up with a bad one?? There are great places to work, is yours one of them?? What can you do about it?
  • Other issues that can be involved with stress include assertiveness, ethics, life’s purpose, spiritual satisfaction, meaningfulness, personal relationships, etc.? Unless you do something about the factors that produce stress, it will remain a problem.

COURSE AT SYDNEY UNIVERSITY?

Changing Your Thinking.? A short part-time, evening course.
Dr Sarah Edelman, a registered psychologist, author and trainer.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is based on the idea that feelings such as anxiety, depression, anger and frustration are largely caused by our own thoughts and beliefs, and that changing the way we think enables us to change the way we feel.? Learn to identify the patterns of thinking that contribute to upsetting emotions, and learn strategies to help you challenge and change unhelpful thoughts and beliefs.? Dr Sarah Edelman produced the Sleep Soundly audio CD, and Letting Go of Anxiety audio CD.

For more information call the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney, (02) 9036 4789 or www.cce.usyd.edu.au.? You can ask to be placed on their mailing list.? Some course streams started January 2006.

There are many other courses available on stress management.
Hard to Fall Asleep
Help at Work, The Next Day
Restless, Light and Broken Sleep