Stress - Coping strategies
Strategy 1 — Personal resource bank
- List your strengths and repeat something good to yourself when you feel low, e.g. "I've got a wonderful partner/job/opportunity".
- Identify your weaker points and set about improving these areas.
Strategy 2 — Surviving in the workplace
- Practice skills that put you in control of yourself (you can rarely control the behaviour of others): time management, assertiveness, clear communication, setting clear priorities.
- At the first hint of alarm tell yourself firmly to "STOP".
- Breathe slowly and calmly.
- Visualise yourself in a well-loved place.
- Gently cup your hands over your mouth and nose and re-inhale a few breaths to re-balance your blood chemicals with lost carbon dioxide.
- Do not run away as this increases the fear and makes it worse when you face similar situations.
Strategy 4 — Quick relaxation
- Let your shoulders droop and imagine you have just put down two very heavy bags. Feel the relief!
- Massage your own neck, shoulders and forehead using firm even strokes (or get someone else to oblige).
Strategy 5 — Chinese "inner" smile
- Relax your muscles as much as you are able.
- Think of something pleasant or humorous.
- Smile inwardly and "feel" the glow.
- Let the smile fill your body until it shines from your eyes.
- Concentrate on the area below your navel and tell yourself that it is the "seat of your constitutional essence".
- Continue with your tasks holding on to the inner light.
Strategy 6 — Support networks
- Who can help? Look to family, friends and colleagues for support. Each may fulfil a different role, e.g. listener, advocate, fun-maker, challenger, etc.
- Don't expect unlimited time or patience!
Page created on July 14th, 2003
Page updated on December 1st, 2009