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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What activities can help someone cope with stress?

    Some of my female friends take weekly yoga classes and have suggested this to me. What are other activities that can help me reduce stress?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Emma Webster

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a warm, supportive and compassionate therapist, committed to assisting my clients to connect to their inner wisdom and strength, to develop mindful awareness … View Profile

    There are different ways to cope with the demands life places on us and manage our stress more effectively. Firstly it can be helpful to relieve the physical symtpoms of stress through activity such as breathing and relaxation exercises such as Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Engaging in pleasurable activity and exercise can be helpful such as yoga, walking, swimming etc. It is a also good to make room for balance in your life including time with supportive friends and family, and other hobbies.

    In my experience mindfulness practice can be very helpful by assisting you to slow down, be present and focus on one thing at a time. It also helps you to engage in the present and let go of worry and rumination, which can create additional stress, to free you up to act more effectively. Mindfulness practice can be structured (e.g., mindful breathing) or unstructured (e.g., mindfully walking or engaging in a conversation). Finally, structured problem solving techniques help to identify the problems that are impacting on your life, find suitable solutions and proactively move toward solving them.  

  • 1

    Thanks

    Caroline Hardie

    HealthShare Member

    Make a list of the things that bring you pleasure and happiness. These things allow you to release your energy, and allow you to think calmly. These are the tools that are already at your disposal for managing your stress and that you are already using, even if you have never thought of it in this way before.
    Now - can you add to your repetoire of coping strategies? Think of physical activities which you could incorporate into your daily life. Yoga, pilates, Tai Chi, going for a walk, mowing, swimming, drumming,  boxing … whatever works for you. Now think of ways of relaxing which you could add to your repetoire - listening to music, massage, meditation, reading, drawing, breathing exercises to slow you down, journal writing. This could be the time to learn a new skill. Have you ever wanted to learn painting, do a writing course, study your family tree, learn a new language? Social interaction is another important way of lowering stress levels, so being with other people or with your pet, phoning or visiting family or friends, getting involved with volunteering or coaching are all good ways of destressing. And the way you think will also impact on how you deal with stress, so a couple of sessions with a professional who can help you to understand the value of positive self-talk, doing reality checks on your concerns, and controlling your relaxation with cues will be well worthwhile.

  • I am a Melbourne Relationship Counsellor and Family Lawyer who is skilful in helping people get out of the pain of relationship distress and create … View Profile

    i agree with the above answers and the many excellent suggestions they offer. In a nutshell I would say develop an outlet: follow your bliss. In other words find what it is that you can lose yourself in, that really brings you joy or that engages you so that you forget the time. There is a book on this called “The Element” which talks about all the research that shows that following your passion is the best way to feel fulfilled and to live a meaningful life. All the best!

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