Managing stress

Moderate amounts of stress are usually not harmful and can even be stimulating. Excessive stress, however, can be detrimental to your health and has been linked to immune depression.

A basic stress-management plan, based on notes by Pierre Brouard:

  • Know yourself. Find out what stresses you, learn to "read" your symptoms and develop your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
  • Prevent stress. Be alert to the warning signs and listen to your body.
  • Manage your life better. Organise your time, set yourself realistic goals and accept change.
  • Eat well, eat regular and eat nutritious meals. Don’t eat on the run.
  • Exercise moderately and choose something that is also fun to do. Remember that exercise is a natural anti-depressant.
  • Work on your relationships. Learn to be assertive not aggressive, and communicate effectively. Resolve conflict and solve problems constructively.
  • Understand the stress in your work system. Get to know what you can and cannot change and try to see the bigger picture. Accept that conflict is normal in groups.
  • Give yourself permission to be human. Be kind to yourself. Accept yourself. Make peace with what you can and cannot do.
  • Have time out. Do things that are fun. Take time to spoil yourself. Remember sometimes to do nothing.
  • Take care of your soul. Meditate and pray. Nurture your spirit. Stay connected to yourself and to others.

(Health24, updated January 2009)

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