29 Slices
Medium 9781855755017

WHAT IS STRESS?

McMahon, Gladeana Karnac Books ePub

Biologically, our bodies produce a range of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, that encourage changes in your physical and mental state, helping you either to escape from the situation or face it head-on. This is called the ‘stress response’, and you may have heard it called ‘fight or flight’. The three key players that come into play when it comes to the stress hormones are adrenalin (associated with flight), noradrenalin (associated with fight), and cortisol (a kind of on/off switch).

When you experience this type of reaction, you often feel muscle tension and an increase in heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. You may sweat, and experience changes in your digestive system such as ‘butterflies’ in the stomach. Your thinking can become more focused on the task ahead, and you may be able to do things that you would not normally be able to. You may have heard stories of people who have undertaken superhuman feats to save a loved one. For example, a colleague is trapped in a fire under a cabinet that has fallen on him and a friend is able to lift cabinet to free him – something that under normal circumstances would seem impossible as it would be far too heavy to lift.

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Medium 9781855753815

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Gladeana McMahon Karnac Books ePub

You will have heard the expression that he or she “died of fright”. Although this statement is used to illustrate a point graphically it is not, thankfully, true. No one can die from anxiety or fright. Anxiety is a really uncomfortable feeling with physical side effects, but that is all.

Anxiety does not cause problems like nervous breakdowns. Many people who suffer from mental illness may feel anxious but anxiety itself does not cause mental illness.

Anxiety is a tiring emotion to experience. Your body is working hard producing and coping with a range of stress hormones and their effects. It is hard to cope with life when you are anxious. Once you are able to manage your anxiety you have more energy.

You might feel that resting is better for you and it is true that you need to use your energy wisely. However, anxious people often avoid situations and then find reasons to justify their avoidance behaviour. In fact, avoidance only makes anxiety worse, while learning to deal with it diminishes and then eliminates the problem.

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Medium 9781855755017

STRESS-FREE EMOTIONS

McMahon, Gladeana Karnac Books ePub

Emotional intelligence is about learning to be emotionally smart. It is not always the person with the highest IQ who does best. Emotionally smart people get the most from managing their own and other people’s emotions. If you can learn the skills of emotional smartness, it will help you to overcome your stress. When you are stressed you may find that people behave differently towards you. They may decide not to consult you because they do not want to add to your burdens, or because when they do you do not listen to what they have to say or just say no because you don’t want another thing to deal with. They may talk about you behind your back, and you may get a reputation as someone who is best to be avoided. The skills fall into five key areas.

Emotionally smart people are able to identify their own emotions. This means learning to tell other people how you feel. It means taking responsibility for your own emotions by starting sentences with ‘I feel …’.

Emotions can be difficult, and emotionally smart people know when to take care of themselves. For example, when you find things difficult what are the things you do to take care of yourself? Do you have a long hot bath and relax? Do you talk to a friend? Do you get a DVD or video and watch that? There are times when you need to take care of other people’s emotions and there are times when you need to motivate yourself and others.

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Medium 9781855754300

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Gladeana McMahon Karnac Books ePub

There are a number of studies that have shown that angry people can harm themselves. A recent study found that being angry could, in the long term, harm lung function, and other studies have shown a link between anger and coronary heart disease. There certainly do seem to be a number of physical problems associated with being angry and that is not surprising when you consider that muscle tension and an increase in heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure are all present when a person becomes angry.

In addition, if anger turns to physical violence, then an individual is also more likely to become injured.

Anger does not cause problems like nervous breakdowns. Many people who suffer from mental illness may feel angry, but anger itself does not cause mental illness; it is more of a by-product of the illness. For example, if someone is experiencing bouts of anger due to suffering post traumatic stress disorder, then it is possible that the individual may need psychiatric or psychological care of some description, but his or her anger is attributable to the condition and is not something that is the cause of it.

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Medium 9781855754300

HOW WILL THIS BOOK HELP ME?

Gladeana McMahon Karnac Books ePub

This book takes the skills and techniques of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Coaching and offers you the opportunity of taking control of your anger. The book aims to help you understand what is happening to you and teach you how you can overcome your anger. If you use the skills outlined in this book you will learn how to become your own anger management coach.

Some of you may find it helpful to read the book through once before returning to do the exercises. Others may find it more helpful to tackle each of the exercises as they come up. It is up to you to decide which method suits you best. What is important is that you work through the book at your own pace and in your own way making sure that whatever way you choose ensures that you understand each and every chapter and exercise. Change will only come about if you practise the skills in your everyday life. Don't expect your behaviour to change overnight, because it took you time to be the person you are and it will take time to change yourself. Be realistic and praise yourself for every change, however small you think it is. Remember that you are doing something positive to coach yourself, and even if you think you may never manage to change, you have taken the first step in doing so.

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