Participate in a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group, where one is taught the four effective stress-reducing skills of distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. You will learn to cope better.
Vital Signs: It is all about me, actually (link)
By CLAIRE HUTCHINSON AND TIMOTHY CAMPBELL
Let’s face it: We all get stressed sometimes, but why does stress seem to affect some people more than others? Would you say that:
» Others know what they are doing and you feel like you don’t?
» Others don’t seem to be bothered by life’s little “zings?”
» Others are moving toward something positive or away from something negative and you are stuck?
» Others have unconditional faith and you just feel lost?
» Others been able to desensitize themselves to repeated stressors and you always seem to get knocked over by them?
But let’s pose another question: Do you practice getting a daily balance of rest and exercise, ensure good nutrition and take time to take care of yourself?
These sound like great clues as to how others seem to manage so effortlessly. How can we gain the same advantage that others have and add these benefits to our lives?Let’s look at some of the practices used by individuals who are able to manage their stress levels. Many of these skills can be learned on your own; others may need the help of a professional.
Set daily goals for yourself and make sure to prioritize. Be realistic and make sure these are reasonable goals you can accomplish without adding additional stress to your day.
Make good choices. Think about the pros and cons before you make a decision. Don’t act impulsively; you have to pay for it in the end.
Take time every day for relaxation, guided imagery or meditation. Take the time for “me” — the most important person in your life.
Practice mindfulness, which is the art of living in the present moment without any judgment towards yourself. Mindfulness assists us in teaching our minds to stay focused in the present and reduce the “what ifs” that so often dominate our thoughts. Sound easy? Practice for a few minutes and gradually increase the length of time you can manage this technique. You will be amazed at how quickly stress can be managed using this skill.
Other successful stress reducers include Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as “emotional acupuncture,” which is used to balance the mind-body energy system reducing fears, anxieties, phobias and other emotional issues. This technique engages the actual tapping of acupressure points while repeating an affirmative statement to oneself.
Participate in a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group, where one is taught the four effective stress-reducing skills of distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. You will learn to cope better. You will learn to recognize your feelings, but not become overwhelmed by them. You will discover effective ways to express yourself and have your feelings understood by others and how to set boundaries to ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed or taken advantage of by others.
Exercise on a daily basis to increase circulation and enhance mood. Being outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air is extremely beneficial to one’s well-being.
Spend quality time with friends and family.
Make sure to have a strong support system in place to assist you when times get rough. Develop a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) to let your support system know what you need.
Participate in acudetox, a practice that allows individuals to achieve a balance of energy while reducing cravings for addictive substances or withdrawal symptoms.
Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, Acudetox, WRAP, individual and group therapy, crisis stabilization and emergency services are all available at Region Ten Community Services Board. There are a variety of other groups and programs offered throughout the Charlottesville community that can assist you with stress reduction.
Make sure to take care of yourself first, for there is only one of you.
Claire Hutchinson is a registered nurse and Timothy Campbell is a specialist with Wellness Recovery Center for Region Ten Community Services Board.