Stress Management

special-report-stressOther than a pounding headache, stress can affect almost every part of your body, and with significant short and long term effects.

Stress as a condition, is the reaction of the mind and body to a stressor. Stress is any event, which is powerful enough to affect the way you normally function from a deadline at work to the death of a friend.

It is essential to follow a comprehensive stress management routine.

Stress disorders may be classified as shown below - if you recognise any of these syndromes in your own situation, you should discuss it with your doctor:

Acute Stress Disorders occur when a person is exposed to a severe stressor causing intense fear, helplessness or horror and experiences recurrent thoughts with symptoms of anxiety lasting for one month after the traumatic event.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is diagnosed when such exposure to a severe stressor is associated with distressing recollections of the event and severe anxiety, lasting for more then one month.

Intermittent Stress is when a person regularly experiences stressors, leading to episodes of anxiety, and begins to feel that their life is "spinning out of control."

Chronic Stress develops when ongoing exposure to anxiety-causing stressors over a sustained period of time leads to feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, and even thoughts of suicide.

Stress Management Techniques
Exercise makes the body better able to cope with the physiological effects of stress. It improves circulation, loosens up muscles stiffened by tension and has a profound impact on your mental health - there is strong evidence that exercise helps fight off one of the most unpleasant mental effects of stress - depression.

Good Nutrition: your body and mind can't cope with stress if you are not getting the nutrients they need to operate. Try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. You need to get a mix of vegetables to get the best nutrition, - dark green vegetables, orange coloured vegetables and cruciform vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli.

Reduce Stress at Work. Take a long hard look at how you operate at work, and change it if necessary. Effective time management is essential. Organise and prioritise! Learn to delegate. Resolve to say "no" if you feel you are being overburdened. Communication is vital.

Relaxation Techniques: As mentioned, stress management embraces a wide range of strategies and actions which address every aspect of our lives and it can be very useful to incorporate one or more of the following techniques into your regular activities:

· Deep Breathing
· Muscle relaxation
· Meditation
· Massage therapy


Mens Clinic International has clinics around South Africa, and offers a helpline on 0860 362867 or +27 11 523 5100.