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    Stress Management

    Due to the prevalence of stress in the modern working world, there are myriad techniques developped to deal with the root issue and mitigate physical and psychological symptoms. Some of the most popular center around the following points.

    • life-style improvement

    Sometimes relieving stress is as simple as adding exercise to your routine for a little endorphin boost, or changing your diet. The link between physical and mental health goes both ways.

    • stress inoculation/desensitization

    This involves talking to a therapist about stressors and developping skills to deal with stress when it arises. Especially useful for those suffering from panic attacks. By rehearsing how to deal with stressors in a controlled environment, they do not appear so insurmountable in the real world.

    • coping interventions

    As with drugs or alcohol, some people do not realise they have a problem. Interventions are when a friend or family member steps in in an organised way to make a person aware that they are over-stressed and that it is changing their personality and health. Good interventions should be accompanied by referals to professional help. 

    • cognitive restructuring

    This approach to dealing with stress centers more around the origins of the stress. It seeks to correct unhelpful thought patterns like self-blame and poor self-esteem that bring on stress by treating that stress more as a problem to be tackled and solved than an inescapable state of being.

    • organisational skills

    Stress can often make it seem like the world is simply moving too fast for you to catch up. In these cases, a life coach or similar can offer meaningful help via goal-setting exercises or by planning out your days and making room for relaxating, calming activities every day.


    The above cognitive and lifestyle treatments come together in the relatively recent stress-battling technique knows as mindfulness-based stress reduction. Developped at the University of Massechusettes' Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn1, this program involves a mixture of cognitive and behavioural therapy, body scanning, yoga and meditation to relieve stress and improve quality of life.



    1. MBSR (). About MBSR. [ONLINE] Available at: http://mbsrottawa.com/about-mbsr/. [Last Accessed 6/5/2014].

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