Dublin, Ireland (PressExposure) October 14, 2010 -- We are being bombarded by bad news, constantly! If it's not about the world economy, we're reminded of issues such as the poor housing market, rising unemployment and companies going under. To make matters even worse, we're told that things are likely to get worse before they get better! Feeling powerless over what is going on in our own lives, let alone the world intensifies our feelings of stress.
And now for the good news!!!
There are things we can do to minimize the impact of these difficult times on our emotional well being. It is important to practice these five basic stress management techniques on an ongoing basis.
1. Only control what you can control! Many things in life, including the recession, are simply beyond our control. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control, such as the way you choose to react to it. For example, while you may want to keep informed, there is no need to saturate yourself with the news channels repeatedly throughout the day, or to talk about the recession incessantly.
2. Focus on the positive. When feeling stressed, take a moment to reflect on all the things for which you can be grateful, e.g your health, your friends or family. This helps to keep things in perspective.
3. Reframe the problem. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than being depressed or upset about the recession, look at it as a challenge, an opportunity to pause and regroup. Could this be the time to train for the job you are really passionate about?
4. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress. Start your day right with breakfast. Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary highs caffeine and sugar provide will end with a crash in mood and energy. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week.
5. Avoid self-medicating with alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Doing this may provide an "easy" escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary, masks the problem and won't solve the root cause. Eventually, you will have to deal with issues head on and with a clear mind.
Carmel Farnan, is a Registered and Accredited Psychotherapist, Counsellor & Stress Management Consultant based in Seaholm Medical Centre, 10 Holmpatrick, Skerries, North County Dublin, Ireland.