Stress management is...
Decreasing life’s worries to make it more it more fun and worthwhile.
Stress can be negative (anxiety and depression), or positive and challenging (which should be called
pressure to save confusion).
How to beat stress
1. Friends and family
Make time for people, particularly those you love most.
The importance of relationships can be seen from the top stress creators (according to research at the
University of Washington).
Their relative importance is indicated by the index number:
| Death of spouse
| Marital separation
| Detention in jail or other institution
| Death of a close family member
| Major personal injury or illness
| Losing your job
| Marital reconciliation
| Retirement from work
2. Enjoy your job
Stress increases, if you don’t like your job and/or the people you work with (particularly your boss).
Research by King’s College, London, shows that the most stressful jobs include teachers and top managers and the
least stressful are postmen and librarians.
- regular exercise and creativity.
- the 4 h's - holidays, humour, hobbies and hot baths!
- enough sleep, and a good cry.
- relaxation exercises (breathe in and out deeply, counting to ten slowly each time).
Exercise regularly and eat healthily.
Nicotine and caffeine make stress worse by speeding up your heartbeat.
Moderate drinking relaxes you but in large quantities alcohol is a depressant and addictive.
5. Seek help
Talk through your problems with family and friends.
If things get really bad, your doctor can help.
The doctor might get you in touch with a psychotherapist, but don’t treat drugs as a long-term solution.
6. Make life easy
don’t over-work (increase the quality of your work by using your time well).
- spend less (so you don’t have to earn so much).
- be philosophic (accept past failures, guilt and disappointment and don’t have
unrealistic expectations from life).
7. Take control of your life
- do your best (but don’t be a perfectionist)
- be positive and assertive (defend your rights),
- admit problems can’t always be solved immediately.
- be yourself (do what you want not what others tell you)
- live for today (remind yourself that the best of times is now, but don’t forget to
plan for the future).
8. Purpose and principles
- do something worthwhile (giving you self-respect).
- live by your principles (giving you a clear conscience).
- forgive (to avoid bitterness).
- overcome pain and problems with courage and compassion.
Be aware of all the good things around you in
people, nature and knowledge.
Think about the positive, not the
Key quotes explained
“God grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the
Niebuhr , American theologian (pictured
This is known as the Serenity Prayer and said at the end of each Alcoholics’ Anonymous
Don’t blame yourself for past mistakes, accept them and concentrate on making your life better now and in the
Shakespeare in Henry IV Part
1 also warned about the dangers of anxiety (or care) about things you can do nothing about: “Care is no
cure, but rather corrosive, for things that are not to be remedied”.
“If you want to be free learn to live simply”
- Lao Tzu , Chinese
philosopher (pictured right)
Cut out unnecessary spending (and the credit cards!), so you don’t have the pressure of earning more.
The Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, summed this up very well: “Our whole life is taken up with anxiety for
personal security, with preparation for living, so that we never really live at all”.
“Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of
- Ralph Waldo
Emerson, American philosopher
Your principles give you something to cling on to when life gets difficult.
Particularly helpful are
a) a useful, active life
Emerson also said: “As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey”
(which “drives out all fear”, St. John said in the Bible).
“There is more to life than increasing its speed”
Gandhi (Indian philosopher and
politician, pictured right)
Slow down, think about your life and make the right choices (based on morals, not money).
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another”, William James, the American psychologist, said.
“Men shut their doors against a setting sun”
- Apementus (in Timon of Athens by Shakespeare, pictured right)
Face up to your problems (your setting sun) and don’t be afraid of life.
“Man’s loneliness is but his fear of life”, the American Eugene
O’Neill (pictured right)wrote in one of his plays.
Selye (pictured right)
, Stress Without Distress (1975)
An enjoyable, stress free life has purpose and principles (particularly “earn thy neighbour’s
love” i.e. love others so they will love you).
Fernando Bartolomé (pictured right) and Paul Evans
(pictured right below), Must Success Cost So Much?
Their research in America showed that balance between work and leisure is essential for a happy and successful
Very long hours reduce your performance.
Paul Tillich (pictured
right), The Courage To Be (1952)
To overcome anxiety you must have the courage to do something useful and stand up for what you believe in.