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)