What can we do about it – Stress | Australian Psychological Society
Many stressors can, if not be removed, be managed to minimise their impact, alleviating physical and psychological symptoms. The Australian Psychological Association has a number of suggestions:
▪ Notice the physical symptoms (grinding teeth, tensing shoulders, holding the breath) and become aware of what triggers stress in you. This can help you to prepare, practice staying calm or avoid the trigger.
▪ “Having predictable rhythms and routines in your day, or over a week, can be very calming and reassuring, and can help you to manage your stress,” the say, suggesting regular times for exercise, eating, going to bed, relaxation and jobs.
▪ “Spending time with people you care about, and who care about you, is an important part of managing ongoing stress in your life.”
▪ Look after your health by eating fresh wholefoods, exercising, pursuing activities that provide joy or a sense of calm and avoiding drugs or alcohol as crutches.
▪ Notice negative self-talk. Instead practice soothing, calming self-talk (“I’m coping well given what’s on my plate”, or “calm down”, or “breathe easy”) and put things in perspective (“in the scheme of things this doesn’t matter so much”).
▪ Practice relaxation to settle the nervous system. This might include yoga, meditation, gardening, reading a book, listening to music or some soothing activity that gives you a sense of pleasure.
▪ Seek help from a psychologist if high levels of stress continue over a long period of time.