Stress and Resilience

1. What is stress & is it really bad for you?

We feel stressed when we perceive that we have more demands than we are able to cope with. There is 'Good' stress and 'bad' stress. We need a bit of stress to achieve things in life but it becomes bad when the demands feel too much and we feel powerless and out of control.

Its important to recognise that, so we can do something helpful, often people ignore the warning signals, like, irritability, crying, loss of concentration, sleep disturbances, worry ( 70% of what we worry about never happens).

The good news is that it takes very little to get us back into feeling in control again. We often underestimate how capable we really are. We don't realise how capable we really are. Irish people are generally optimistic ( 82% in a recent study) and happy ( 42% very and 47 fairly)

2. How can we cope with stress?

Regulate the demands, say no to some things, avoid over scheduling. Saying yes to requests on our time may make us feel good in the short term but may lead to negative consequences in the long term e.g. working extra hours, feeling overwhelmed etc. We can change this by saying no to some requests or at least 'not now' to some.

Here's some examples:'I would love to help out but I have already made a commitment on that day'

That's not by area of expertise but I would be happy to put you in touch with someone who can help.

I appreciate you thinking of me,, but unfortunately, I don't have the time to give this my best at the moment.

How we perceive a situation can matter more than the situation itself. We often think that others will think badly of us if something doesn't get done. Perhaps we should ask ourselves Is this really the case?

Recognise what's changeable and unchangeable. What practical and emotional resources are available to you to deal with the situation? Family, friends , colleagues

STOP technique ( Stop, take a few deep breaths, observe what's happening & proceed with something helpful) Responsibility - or "response-ability" - is the ability to choose your response to any situation

Mindfulness, (learn simple techniques to self sooth, breathing in 4/2/6- so simple yet so effective)

Back to basics when overwhelmed: sleep, rest, food and exercise all help. We are like mobile phones and need to be recharged often(Avoid the comfort foods as they create more problems with weight gain and low energy, exercise is one of the best things we can do to combat stress, releases endorphins)

3. What is resilience?

Resilience is within all of us it is not limited to extraordinary people. Its a skill anyone can master. Resilience is the ability to deal with the constant demands of life and to flourish under pressure. Most importantly resilient people recognise emotions especially when they are stretched versus strained and are able to respond( they know their own limits).

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