Welcome to your first MCI Wellbeing content!
This month, we will be offering you tips and support on all things Stress Management.
So, what is stress?
"Stress is the psychological, physiological and behavioural response by an individual when they perceive a lack of equilibrium between the demands placed upon them and their ability to meet those demands, which, over a period of time, leads to ill-health” (Palmer, 1989).
What is stress management?
“Stress management is a set of techniques and programs intended to help people deal more effectively with stress in their lives by analysing the specific stressors and taking positive actions to minimise their effects” (Gale Encyclopaedia of Medicine, 2008).
Click below to watch the video:
As Nelson & Hurrell said, “Stress is inevitable, distress is not”.
Here is a helpful podcast to give you a little more support when dealing with stress:
For the same external misery, you are more likely to subjectively feel stress, more likely to activate a stress response, more likely to get a stress-related disease:
- If you feel like you have no control over what’s going on
- If you feel like you have no predictive information – when is it coming, how long is it going to last, how bad is it going to be
- If you are set up to interpret things as – getting worse
- If you lack outlets for the frustration
- If you lack somebody’s shoulder to cry on – or social support
SO how do we reframe the stress?
When reframing something from the negative to the positive, it’s a good idea to reframe in terms of, “What you will lose or miss out on”, instead of on, “What you will gain”.
This has been shown to help with motivation to change.
These exercises and techniques help you change the way you perceive the stressful situation.
- Social support techniques
- Self-regulation techniques
These exercises and techniques are used in situations where you don’t have a lot of control over the stressful situations. These are what we have called, the “forward-looking” approaches to building a protective shell.
- Healthy eating
- A realistic exercise regime
- A long-term plan to build all elements of resilience
- Technology restrictions
This skills development approach to stress management focusses on developing important skills to help manage the situation.
- Assertiveness skills
- Communication skills
- Time management skills
Conflict management skills
To summarise, below is an imagery activity you can do to help you regulate your stress better. Give it a go and let us know how you felt!
Find a quiet place where you know you will not be disturbed. Now either sit or lie down and take a few very long deep breaths. Inhale on the count of 3 and exhale on the count of 5. Repeat this about 5 times.
Now imagine that you are lying on a white sandy beach and the sun is just setting. There is a warm breeze. The sun’s setting rays fill you with a lightness of spirit and the entire beach is a beautiful orange. You can hear the waves in the background. You close your eyes and listen to the waves and the lapping of the waves. It is so soothing. There is no one else around just you and the beach. There are some sea gulls flying around and this makes you smile. You are feeling completely at peace with yourself. For this moment all is beautiful in your world. You feel a love for yourself and everything around you. You stay in this moment for a few minutes listening to the sea gulls, the waves, and the smell of the sea and the warmth of the sun on your skin.
Write a reflection on how you feel after completing the relaxation technique.
If you would like to talk to a MCI Wellbeing officer about this months topic of Stress Management, please click below OR email firstname.lastname@example.org.