Understanding the Relationship Between Stress, Distress and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviour. A Qualitative Study of Patients and General Practitioners. Suzanne H . Stress, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week , can be defined as the For some people, stressful life events can contribute to symptoms of is to realise when it is a problem for you and make a connection between the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be helpful in reducing stress by. The process of initiating and maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviours is complex, includes a number of distinct phases and is not static. Theoretical models of.
You may feel under pressure to do something and fear you may fail. The more important the outcome, the more stressed you feel.
You can feel stressed by external situations too much work, children misbehaving and by internal triggers the way you think about external situations. Stress is not always a bad thing. Some people thrive on stress and even need it to get things done.
Stress may also contribute to physical illness such as cardiovascular disease. When stress turns into a serious illness, it is important to get professional help as soon as possible. Untreated anxiety disorders can lead to serious depression. Effects of stress Stress affects us in many ways, including: Emotionally — anxiety, depression, tension, anger The way we think — poor concentration, forgetfulness, indecisiveness, apathy, hopelessness Behaviourally — increased drinking and smoking, insomnia, accident proneness, weight problems, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, nervousness, gambling.
Your response to stress Your attitude, personality and approach to life will influence how you respond to stress. Factors that play a part include: How you think about a problem How anxious you feel generally How severely the problem affects you Whether you have experienced anything like this before Whether you can control what is happening How long the event affects you How important the outcome is to you The different ways a person copes with difficult situations Your life experiences and life history Your self-esteem Whether you have people around who can provide support.
Stress as a health problem As a health problem, stress occurs when a person feels that the demands made on them exceed their ability to cope. Factors contributing to a person feeling stressed might include: Environment work, home, school Emotional and personal problems.
Stress and physical illness When we feel under stress, our body kicks into high gear to deal with the threat. Our heartbeat, breathing rate and blood pressure all go up.
The longer we feel stressed, the greater the demand on our body. The more often we are placed under stress, the more often we have to use energy to cope. Review your lifestyle Are you taking on too much? Are there things you are doing which could be handed over to someone else? Can you do things in a more leisurely way?
You may need to prioritise things you are trying to achieve and reorganise your life so that you are not trying to do everything at once. Build supportive relationships Finding close friends or family who can offer help and practical advice can support you in managing stress.
Joining a club, enrolling on a course, or volunteering can all be good ways of expanding your social networks and encourage you to do something different. Equally, activities like volunteering can change your perspective and helping others can have a beneficial impact on your mood.
Eat Healthily A healthy diet will reduce the risk of diet-related diseases. There is also a growing amount of evidence showing how food can affect our mood.
Stress | Mental Health Foundation
Feelings of wellbeing can be protected by ensuring our diet provides adequate amounts of nutrients including essential vitamins and minerals, as well as water. Be aware of your smoking and drinking If possible, try to cut right down on smoking and drinking. They may seem to reduce tension, but in fact they can make problems worse. Alcohol and caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety.
Stress - Better Health Channel
Exercise Physical exercise can be an excellent initial approach to managing the effects of stress. Even a little bit of physical activity can make a difference, for example, walking for minutes three times a week is a great start.
Take Time Out One of the ways you can reduce stress is by taking time to relax and practicing self-care, where you do positive things for yourself. Striking a balance between responsibility to others and responsibility to yourself is vital in reducing stress levels.
Be Mindful Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time. Research has suggested it can be helpful for managing and reducing the effect of stress, anxiety, and other related problems in some people Writing down your to do list for the next day can be useful in helping you prioritise but also put the plans aside before bed Don't be too hard on yourself Try to keep things in perspective and don't be too hard on yourself.
Look for things in your life that are positive and write down things that make you feel grateful. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, seeking professional help can support you in managing effectively. Do not be afraid to seek professional help if you feel that you are no longer able to manage things on your own. Many people feel reluctant to seek help as they feel that it is an admission of failure. This is not the case and it is important to get help as soon as possible so you can begin to feel better.
The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to advise about treatment and may refer you to another local professional.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT has been shown to be helpful in reducing stress by changing the ways we think about stressful situations26, this might include focusing on more positive aspects of a situation and reassessing what their likely impact might be. Other psychosocial interventions that can be helpful include brief interpersonal counselling, which can give people the opportunity to discuss what causes them to feel stress and develop coping strategies; and mindfulness-based approaches References  Centre for Studies on Human Stress.
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