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Reduce stress with good communication

Reduce stress with good communication

At work and at home, the ability to communicate effectively can improve your relationships and resolve conflicts that cause stress.

Good communication is crucial for reducing your stress levels.  When we are misunderstood or criticised, we feel isolated and defensive.  When conflict arises at home or at work and we cannot discuss it in a constructive way, we often feel stressed and angry.

In any situation, let the other person know you are listening by nodding and making eye contact.  Respond regularly by saying “yes” or “uhuh” and don’t be afraid to ask for an explanation if you don’t understand.

Dealing with Conflict:

Remember that constructive criticism is the best way to deal with any conflict.  Always refer to the person’s actions and behaviour, not to the person, for example “I disagree with the way you handle our child”, not “you’re a bad parent”.  Equally, if someone is criticising you, try to listen without becoming defensive.

Express your feelings:

It’s not always possible to avoid stress, but you can learn to cope with it better.  Expressing your feelings can dramatically reduce stress levels and enhance your own sense of well-being.

Explore your feelings:

Get in touch with your feelings.  Being aware of how you feel – whether it’s anxious, depressed or angry – is the first step to dealing with a stressful problem.  This means taking time out from work and family to be alone.  Keep a journal, take a walk on the beach or go and see a counsellor or therapist. Be honest with yourself.

Confide in a friend:

At times of stress, we all need support from our friends and family.  If you feel overwhelmed by events, it is good to get a new perspective on the problem.  Share your feelings with the people who you trust, so you don’t end up feeling exposed and even more stressed.  But remember, friends may have their own problems so be prepared to listen as well as talk.

 

Time is right:

Choose a time when the other person can listen – not when they are rushing out the door.  If your friend is too busy, let them know you have a problem and ask if they set aside some time in the near future for you to talk.

Say what you mean:

Never be afraid to say what you think, feel or believe.  If you disagree with someone, try to say so.  This can be hard if you are afraid they will be upset or angry, but in the long run communicating clearly will lead to better relationships and lower stress levels.

Keep to the facts:

Under stress it is easy to distort problems, exaggerate the significance of an event or make sweeping generalizations.  When explaining a problem to problem to someone, always be as specific and objective as you can.

It’s okay to cry:

Cry when you feel hurt or grief.  These feelings are the natural result of change and loss and a good cry and get them off your chest.  Make time to honour and express your feelings.  Perform a simple ritual like lighting a candle.  Not giving yourself time to grieve can cause long-term stress and damage your health.

Saying sorry:

Take responsibility for your mistakes and feelings of remorse or guilt.  Making amends will relieve your stress and improve your relationships.  Write a card if you can’t say it in person.  Once you have righted any wrongs, you’ll be able to move on and leave your feelings of guilt behind.

Be kind to yourself:

Give yourself time to feel happy!  Stressed people often don’t take time to laugh and feel pleasure and pride in their own achievements.  Tell a friend why you’re proud of yourself.  Go out and celebrate. or buy yourself something nice, or book a treatment and we will look after you.

8 steps to well expressed anger

  1. Never shout or hit another person when you are angry

  2. Be direct and assertive.  Don’t express anger in passive ways such as the ‘silent treatment’

  3. Discharge aggression by hitting pillows or screaming into pillows, or do some strenuous exercise.

  4. Put your anger into words.  Before you approach the person, write down “I am angry because…”.

  5. Tell the person why you are angry in as calm and reasonable a tone as possible.

  6. If you become furious again, ask if you can leave the conversation and come back when you feel calmer and express your thoughts more clearly.

  7. Give the other person time to respond.  Remember that many people find anger frightening.

  8. Be brave – expressing anger doesn’t have to mean being out of control.

 

5 Small Steps for Improving Your Self Esteem

Five Small Steps For Improving Your Self Esteem

 

Your self-esteem is a delicate creature. It can be damaged by many things – a break up of a relationship, a change in life or work circumstances – any dent in your sense of identity can leave you feeling less yourself and cause you to suffer a loss of self confidence.

Some people are naturally more self-confident than others, and for some, like myself, it doesn’t take much at all to leave you questioning yourself and your life choices.

When your confidence is at an all time low, it can be difficult to think of practical steps to make you feel better. The natural reaction to pain is for you to withdraw to protect yourself, and so you may begin to pull away from socialising or situations that put you at risk from feeling even worse. When you’re feeling at your lowest and most delicate, it’s all about taking small steps to make an overall big difference.

The WORST thing you can do is to push yourself too hard, and try to make big changes all at once. When you’re delicate, any knock is going to be felt even more acutely, sending you flying back in the opposite direction.

Start small by trying some of the following things.

1. Try Something New

It may seem like the opposite of what you want to do when you’re not feeling good about yourself, but gaining knowledge or learning a new skill can actually make us feel a lot better about ourselves. Learning new things has been found to be a core need for psychological wellbeing. This doesn’t necessarily mean throwing yourself in the deep end and learning something like kite surfing or mountaineering – even something like an online course, or local exercise class can make you feel better about yourself, and introduce you to new people you wouldn’t have met otherwise.

  1. Positive Self-Talk

We are generally not very good at talking ourselves up. We feel embarrassed to admit that we’re any good at anything, and yet we know that we are our own worst enemy.

So, just for a minute, leave the modesty at the gate, and try this psychiatry endorsed “brainwashing” technique to see if it makes a difference. Making a list of 5 things that you love about yourself and reviewing this list daily for one month, has been proven to have a positive effect on self image and self esteem.

 

  1. Take Care of Yourself

When you’re thinking negatively about yourself, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of self- neglect. Taking care of your physical self is the first step to repairing your mental wellbeing. Try simple things such as making yourself healthy, delicious dinners, or making sure that you go out for a long walk every day. Exercise has also been consistently found to improve mood, and your overall self- confidence.  Make taking care of yourself a priority rather than an afterthought

  1. Be Kind to Yourself – Spend time doing things you enjoy.

Think about what you would do for a friend if they were feeling down. Would you force them to start on their to-do list, or tell them they need to ‘pull themselves together and sort themselves out!’. No – of course you wouldn’t! You’d spend some time with them, listening and doing something that they wanted to do, like go for a coffee, or a walk, or to the cinema. Treat yourself like you would treat a friend. Allowing ourselves time to do the things we enjoy is another important act of self-love, it signals that we respect ourselves enough to allow ourselves happiness. Once our mind is clearer, we can concentrate on the more ‘pressing issues’ of the day.

  1. Help Others

The Dali Lama was certainly on the right track when he said “Our prime purpose in life is to help others”.

Sometimes when we are thinking negatively about ourselves, it can help to focus our attention outward by helping other people. Not only does this distract us from the negative self-talk in our heads, but as a result of helping others, our own self-esteem increases. Psychologists have discovered a direct link between volunteering and levels of self esteem. I’m not talking about saving the world, but a few hours spent a week volunteering for a charity, or even popping round to see an elderly neighbour can have huge mutually beneficial benefits!

We have some amazing talk therapists in house if you feel like you need someone to talk to.

Dr. Zuleika Daly

Tomas West

Grainne Jordan

 

 

 

Source: Huffington Post UK

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