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How To Cope With Stress: Practical Self-Help to Reduce Symptoms of Depression & Anxiety
Mental health treatment may vary significantly depending on a whole variety of different factors including the following: where a person lives, waiting lists, whether one has comprehensive health insurance, if one has the means to pay for private treatment (if NHS care is not an option) and so it may often be very difficult for sufferers to access the necessary treatment which would help them make a good recovery.
As a result of the common difficulties associated with accessing suitable treatment, self-help skills and techniques may be a valuable alternative. For example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy skills specifically adapted for treating certain mental health conditions such as bulimia, depression and anxiety disorder are found in a number of self-help workbooks or guides.
Simple yet effective examples of strategies used to manage stress include:
- Regular exercise to reduce stress
- Remembering the serenity prayer to reduce stress
- Avoiding caffeine to reduce stress
- Avoiding perfectionism to reduce stress
Regular Exercise to Reduce Stress
One of the most effective means of reducing stress levels is through exercise as this increases levels of endorphins which make one feel better. Exercise for the depressed individual may begin by just walking to the shops to buy a paper and gradually increase over time to perhaps going for a swim or getting involved in a team sport.
Another important benefit of engaging in regular exercise is it provides a wonderful distraction from anxiety in addition to getting one out the house and having increased social contact with others.
Remembering The Serenity Prayer To Reduce Stress
The serenity prayer has long been regarded as an effective means of coping with stress and is regularly used within addiction treatment centre and 12-Step fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
This prayer helps the individual learn to let go of issues and worries that cannot be dealt with and to focus the mind on identifying which problems need to be tackled.
Avoiding Caffeine To Reduce Stress
As caffeine is a stimulant it is a good idea, particularly when one is suffering sleep problems as a result of anxiety or depression, to reduce intake of coffee and tea especially in the evening. Also, many other popular carbonated drinks contain vast amounts of caffeine so opting for the caffeine-free brands may help.
Perhaps think about trying an alternative drink in the evening such as chamomile tea, warm milk or horlicks for example.
Avoiding Perfectionism To Reduce Stress
As perfection is something that can never be achieved the perfectionist will always end up feeling as if they are never good enough or have failed in some way or another. Relenting, unrealistic, high expectations of others and oneself will likely result in both anxiety and depression as a result of increased stress and frustration.
Remember that perfection will always remain out of reach as it is merely an illusion – setting more achievable goals and meeting them is a far greater use of one’s time and energy.
There are many different approaches to stress management and using the above suggestions may help one begin to make important changes which will in turn likely help one better cope with mental health conditions associated with excessive stress such as anxiety and depression.
Check out this playlist from Detox of South Florida for more tips and ways to live a healthier life.