Stress Management

Stress is our response to challenging or dangerous situations. Experiencing stress is a normal part of life, and a small amount can sometimes be quite helpful, with increased levels of energy, alertness and performance assisting us to meet a particular challenge. However, excessive amounts of stress can lead to physical and mental health issues, as well as causing problems in areas of our lives such as relationships and work.

Causes of Stress

  • External events or situations to which we are exposed in our daily life.

  • Our own thoughts, attitudes or expectations.

  • Significant negative life events such as the death of someone close or a relationship breakdown.

  • Positive life events such as getting married or the arrival of a new child.

  • The demands of everyday life involving work, financial and family responsibilities can be chronically stressful.

  • Traumatic events which expose people to dangerous and life threatening situations can trigger an acute stress reaction which usually settles over time. In a minority of cases this may lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Symptoms of Stress

  • Physical signs of stress include sleep disturbance; fatigue; stomach upset; headaches and muscle tension; high blood pressure; change in normal level of sex drive (libido);
    high blood pressure and lowered immunity.

  • Psychological symptoms of stress can include excessive worry; irritability and anger; depressed mood; crying; sense of loss of control; difficulty concentrating and
    loss of self confidence.

  • Behavioural changes associated with stress include angry outbursts; avoiding people; excessive use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; and relationship issues.

  • When high levels of stress are experienced on an ongoing basis there is an increased risk of developing anxiety, depression and substance abuse issues.

  • Identify what is making you feel stressed, and any “triggers” (e.g. situations, thought processes) for increased feelings of stress.

 
 

If you are unable to manage your stress alone or with support from family and friends, seek help from a counsellor or your doctor.

To make an appointment to discuss with a Positive Solutions counsellor phone 1800 064 039 

Managing Stress

  • Identify what is making you feel stressed, and any “triggers” (e.g. situations, thought processes) for increased feelings of stress.

  • Consider changing or modifying the stressor if it is within your control to do so. For example, with work stress it may be possible to modify or change work hours and duties.

  • Consider postponing major life decisions (e.g. moving house, changing careers etc.) unless this issue is the source of your stress.

  • Regular physical exercise can help to relax the body and mind.

  • Consider relaxation exercises involving deep breathing; muscle relaxation; yoga; meditation; mindfulness and music.

  • Talk with a supportive friend or family member.

  • Spend time with people who you find uplifting and maintain a sense of humour.

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle including quality sleep and a healthy diet. Limit consumption of alcohol and other drugs.

  • Do things you enjoy which may include activities or pastimes you have previously found rewarding. Spending time in nature, watching a comedy, playing with a pet, going for a walk or spending time with a friend.

Support

Contact us:

162 Macquarie Street Hobart
1800 064 039

8 Hobart Road Kings Meadows
1800 064 039

For more information about anxiety visit:

beyond blue (www.beyondblue.org.au )
Black Dog Institute (www.blackdoginstitute.org.au )
Sane Australia www.sane.org
Headspace (www.headspace.org.au)
Lifeline (www.lifeline.org.au)

Copyright 2017. Positive Solutions: Mediation and Counseling