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Stress: 50 Suggestions--page 2

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
"...although stress does not directly cause health problems typically, it does indirectly influence many, if not most, health conditions..."
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Some of the following suggestions are similar to the list of suggestions for happiness or depression. This is because some of the same techniques will work for different problems. However, this list is also specifically focused on the issue of stress.

SUGGESTION 2: LISTEN TO THE STRESS EDUCATION AUDIO

Although you hear about stress everyday, there is often much that people don't understand about stress. As a result, people who are experiencing stress reactions may not have a good understanding of what to do to manage the stress which further contributes to the stress cycle.

This Stress Education audio helps you to understand the stress reaction you are experiencing and to focus in a positive way on taking steps to cope with the stress. In cognitive therapy, we know that hearing the challenging thoughts repeatedly helps to change the thinking. This is especially true when people are stressed because the stress reaction itself makes it difficult to focus on information and retain it.

Therefore, this audio provides an easy method to help you learn about stress and challenge the irrational thoughts that interfere with managing the stress. All you have to do is listen to it. Even if you don't focus completely, the more you listen to it, the more you will retain. Listening to it over and over can help with improving your ability to cope with stress.

SUGGESTION 3: READ TOO STRESSED TO RELAX

People frequently misunderstand stress and may believe that a person feels stressed because they don't know how to cope. Or, they might believe there is nothing they can do to change the impact of stress. However, there are many things that can be done to manage stress and its effects. By learning about these methods you can choose to focus on using techniques that may be most effective for you.

Reading Too Stressed To Relax can help you understand stress better and to change the thinking that interferes with caring for yourself and managing the stress in your life.

SUGGESTION 4: HOW DO WE CHANGE IRRATIONAL THINKING?

You may be thinking "How does therapy help with stress? I just need to get rid of the stress and I'll be okay." The best way to understand this is to understand that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a very specific type of therapy and may not be the type that comes to mind for most people. CBT is about solutions. Although we may discuss past events at time, CBT is about how to overcome those influences and live your life to the best of your ability now, in the present.

CBT is about examining the obstacles to achieving your goals and learning the necessary skills to overcome these obstacles. With stress as with many physical illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes, certain types of thoughts can interfere with the necessary self-care. For instance, thoughts of hopelessness such as "It doesn't matter what I do, I won't feel better anyway" may prevent a person from trying to do things that can be helpful. So CBT helps by changing the underlying thoughts that can interfere with following through on a self-care plan. Read How Do We Change Irrational Thinking?

In addition, CBT helps by teaching stress management. Whenever you reduce your stress, you not only improve your ability to manage present problems but you also improve your outcome with a variety of physical and psychiatric illnesses.

However, CBT is not as simple as taking a pill. And it is not about sitting in a therapist's office once a week, although you may see a therapist to help you implement the methods. CBT involves daily effort. The more you use the stress management techniques on this site and the more you change the thinking that interferes with self-care, the more you are likely to reduce the impact of stress. READ MORE: page 3



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