Five Positive Ways to Manage Stress

Five Positive Ways to Manage Stress

You can’t avoid stress in your daily life but you can manage it. Don’t ignore stress as stress can lead to major health problems and it affects your health mentally and physically. It can lead to mental health problems such as depression or anxiety and physical health problems such as acne, hair loss, fluctuations in weight and life-threatening heart attacks.

Create a list of positive ways to manage stress to keep your stress levels in check and low. Here we have listed 5 things that you can do.

1) Take Charge of Your Health

check-up

Image source: Stock Unlimited

Taking care of your health helps you both mentally and physically. Focus on healthy habits such as healthy diet, exercise 3-4 times a week and go for body check-up annually. The best way to reclaim control of your life is by taking charge of your health.

 

2) Make a Change

clean-desk

Image source: Iris

Start with a small positive change. It can be as simple as cleaning up your work desk or your bedroom, step away from your work desk for 5 minutes and take a walk or take 5 minutes to do simple exercises at your work desk or simply go for a short vacation. A small positive change can make a difference to the stressors in your life.

 

3) Laughter is the Best Medicine

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Image source: Shutterstock

Watch funny videos, movies or talk to a funny friend who keeps you happy. Do whatever it takes to give yourself time for laughter each and every day.

 

4) Join Meditation or Yoga Classes

meditate

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Meditation or yoga may be used to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and tension as both practices promote relaxation and calmness. It requires you to focus to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.

 

 

5) Help Others

help-others

Image source: Goodnet

Volunteer to help others take your mind off the stress in your life and you’ll cultivate an attitude of gratitude as you help others who are not able to get help for themselves. You’ll also feel happy and relieved to be able to help people or animals in need and you’re actually making a positive difference to their lives.

 

Reference: Beliefnet

 

If stress level is too overwhelming and you can’t cope with it, please reach out to one of our Psychologist below for advice.

 

 

 Dr. Khairi Rahman

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Psychologist

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Psychologist

Ms. Sarah Zehan

Ms. Sarah Zehan

Psychologist

Stress Management: Avoid, Alter, Adapt and Accept

Stress Management: Avoid, Alter, Adapt and Accept

Practice the 4 A’s of Stress Management

While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at expected situations such as meeting monthly work targets, driving during rush hours or taking a blood test. When facing such predictable situations which will cause stress, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When determining what to do in any given scenario, it’s useful and helpful to think of the four A’s: avoid, alter, adapt or accept.

1) Avoid unnecessary stress

image credit: Pexels

It’s unhealthy to avoid a stressful situation that needs to be resolved, but there are a number of unnecessary stressors in life that you can eliminate.

  • Learn how to say “no”. Know your limits be it your work or personal life, taking on more than you can manage will cause stress.
  • Take control of your environment. If you’re stucked in a jam in the morning when you travel to work and that causes stress to you, try to leave home earlier to avoid jam.
  • Plan on your to-do list. List down your schedule, responsibilities, daily tasks and deadlines. If you’ve got too much on your plate, prioritize your tasks based on how urgent the task is.

2) Alter the situation

image credit: Pixabay

Alter the situation if you can’t avoid a stressful situation. This often involves changing the way you communicate and carry out your daily life.

  • Express your feelings instead of keeping your emotions. If someone or something is bothering you, be assertive and communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If your colleagues are chatting and you can’t work, tell them off in a polite manner. If you don’t voice out how you feel, resentment will build and stress will increase.
  • Be willing to compromise. If you and your partner are constantly arguing, both you and your partner would have to compromise to change each other’s behaviour in order to find a happy middle ground.
  • Start a balanced schedule. All work and play is a recipe for burnout. Find a balance between work and personal time.

3) Adapt to the stressors

image credit: Geico

Adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.

  • Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a positive perspective. Rather than raging at traffic jam, switch on your favourite music and enjoy it.
  • Adjust your expectations and standards. Stop being a perfectionism and set too high expectations and standards. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others as long as it is good enough.
  • Practice gratitude. When you’re breaking down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in life such as people you love and your own positive qualities.

4) Accept the things you can’t change

In certain stressful situations which you can’t avoid, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things the way it is. There are situations which you can’t avoid such as death of a loved one, serious illness or recession. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. A lot of things in life is outside of our control especially the behaviour of people. Choose to change your reaction towards them instead of stressing out over them.
  • Positive view. When you’re faced with challenges in life, look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If you’ve done a mistake which has contributed to the stressful situation, reflect on it and learn from it.
  • Learn to forgive. No one is perfect and people make mistakes. Overcome your anger and resentment by forgiving and moving on.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted family member or friend about your stressful situation. You can also talk to a trusted therapist.

Download Teleme App and consult a psychologist today on stress management

 

 Dr. Khairi Rahman

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Psychologist

 

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Psychologist

 

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Psychologist

 

Stress Management

Stress Management

Stress Management

It’s almost impossible to avoid stress in your daily life. You’re bound to meet your work targets, pay bills and fulfill family responsibilities. Your daily tasks and deadlines are never-ending and you can never have enough hours in a day to complete your tasks. Ultimately these demands build up and exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.

Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A small amount of stress can help you perform under pressure, help you to stay focus and motivate you to excel in your work. If you frequently find yourself feeling worn out and overwhelmed, do take control of your lifestyle, emotions, thoughts and actions. No matter how stressful your life is, there is always ways to overcome the pressure and regain control.

 

Importance of Stress Management

image credit: Stock Unlimited

If your stress level is too high and cause negative impacts to your well-being, you need to take control of your stress level in order to be mentally and psychically healthy. The ultimate goal in stress management is to have a balanced life. A balanced life consists of sufficient time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun –and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

How effective stress management is will depend on individuals on the method works best for them.

Identify the Sources of Stress in Your Daily Life

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Identify what causes stress from an external or internal perspective. In addition, stress may not necessarily cause by negative events such as divorce or failure to close business deal. Stress can also be contributed by positive events such as job promotion, getting married or going to college. These positive events place high demands or bigger responsibility on you. The events mentioned earlier are mainly external factors.

Internal factors may be due to your personal thoughts which are self-generated such as unrealistic expectations / perfectionism, low self-esteem or being pessimistic about life.

Certain stress factors are also caused by your own behaviour such as worrying too much on work deadlines which may be due to your own procrastination, rather than the actual job demands.

To identify your true sources of stress, you’ll need to understand your habits, attitudes and excuses.

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life or as a part of your personality?
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Create a stress journal and analyse the common problems of your stress. Note down on what do you feel, how do you react and what do you normally do to make yourself feel better if you face certain scenario. You can see a trend from here on the sources of stress.

Your stress level will be outside of your control until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it.

Change Your Unhealthy Stress Management Strategies to a Healthy One

Your stress journal can help you identify how you react to stress and how you cope with it. Many people have unhealthy habits to cope with stress and make them feel better in the short term. Coping stress with unhealthy habits will not only impact your mental condition but also your physical condition in the long term.

image credit: Stock Unlimited

Examples of unhealthy habits to cope with stress:

  • Smoking / Alcohol / Drugs
  • Unhealthy eating habits such as junk food
  • Procrastination
  • Sleeping too little or sleeping too much
  • Release stress on others
  • Avoid your family, friends, activities or events

 

image credit: Stock Unlimited

Examples of healthy routines/activities to manage stress:

  • Exercise / Sports / Gym
  • Yoga / Pilates / Meditation classes
  • Volunteering
  • Healthy meal plan
  • Connecting to family and friends
  • Make fun and relaxation time such as listening to music, massage therapy etc
  • Get enough rest / sleep

 

Coming up next on Teleme’s blog: Practice the 4 A’s of Stress Management.

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Download Teleme App and consult a psychologist on stress management

 

 Dr. Khairi Rahman

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Psychologist

 

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Psychologist

 

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Psychologist

 

3 Techniques to Relate Better

3 Techniques to Relate Better

As a counsellor, I find that usually in relationships, there are several assumptions that we have in mind. It can be relationships between family members, romantic partners, or even people at work and friends.

However, we also work with the idea that others have the same, or similar assumptions.

You may be asking yourself – why do I need to do this? How is this going to benefit me?

One of the areas which causes emotional friction for many people is Relating With Others. Unless we mindfully and consciously make note of addressing what is our style and how we can ease the friction with others, we may find that our stress-levels tend to elevate. And once we notice that our stress levels are elevated, we might also note that our decision-making process is affected, and we might even fall physically sick.

If you find that there are roadblocks in the way that you relate with others, try these 3 tips below to see if the quality of communication improves.

 

Tip # 1 – Think Outside the Box

source: etsy.com

Sure, everyone’s heard of this phrase – it approximately translates to ‘Let’s not do the usual; instead try to be creative’ – so ask yourself, how do you usually respond to a request or demand? Do you typically think you have to respond in terms of Yes or No?

Forwards or backwards? Up or down?

Thinking in this binary form can feel a little tough; however, consider the fact that there may be an option number 3 – think of pausing. Communicate the fact that you’re not saying yes or no just yet, you need a pause to consider how to respond.

So for example – ‘I have received your request – however, in order to decide, I need a little time. Once I’ve decided, I’ll get back to you’.  Responding in this manner might buy you more time to think things through.

 

Tip # 2 – Understand Your Reactions

source: 12news.com

Do you find that when there’s an event and later on when people involved in the event recount it, there are so many different perspectives of a single event? That’s because usually when events occur, the meaning of the event differs from person to person.

Ask yourself – whenever there’s an unexpected event, what are you aware of first? Feelings? Or thoughts? Do you become aware of your elevated pulse, feel tense and anxious; or do you think of ‘What’s happening? What’s the rationale behind this?’

Once you figure out which reaction impacts you first – thinking or feeling – you may find responding to said unexpected events might be easier; including communicating with others what your response is.

 

Tip # 3 – Take a Break – But Come Back!

source: istockphoto.com

Usually we hear of ‘go for a walk’ or ‘take a break’ whenever we feel overwhelmed, or whenever there’s an argument. However, there also needs to be an emphasis on returning to the subject matter once you feel less overwhelmed. The mistake many of us make is conveniently ‘forgetting’ to return to the subject matter – the risk in ‘forgetting’ is that it might rear its’ ugly head in the future because there was no resolution the first time.

source: Daily Toast

For example, if you find yourself in an argument with your spouse or family member about forgetting to buy bread, and it escalates into how ‘this ALWAYS happens’ and old grudges are brought up, take a break! Say ‘I need to take a break – I’ll come back and we’ll discuss this’.

Taking a physical pause such as a walk, or even taking sips of cold water, can help cool you down and go have the conversation again, and this time be focused on only talking about the ‘bread’.

Try these 3 tips, and give it several tries – don’t give up after the first attempt! The idea of learning how to relate better is to give new techniques a try; and allowing the other person to also get used to this new way. So try it a few times.

Written by,

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

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Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Ms. Usha is a counsellor, deputy manager and supervisor currently at HELP University with over 9 years of experience. Ms. Usha focuses on helping couples and families relate better with each other, especially with regard to areas in self-esteem and maintaining healthy emotions in a relationship (married, separated, divorced). Ms. Usha also consults on sexual identity.

Practitioner In The Spotlight: Mr. Ko Teik Yen

Practitioner In The Spotlight: Mr. Ko Teik Yen

Mental Health disorders are real, but we don’t talk about it enough in Malaysia. Many struggle from it, but are either afraid or unsure of where and how to seek help. Today, I speak to Mr. Ko Teik Yen, a certified Hypnotherapist and Mindfulness Therapist & Teacher who helps individuals battle with the disorder.

1) Tell me about yourself

My name is Mr. Ko Teik Yen and I’m a clinical Hypnotherapist and Mindfulness Therapist & Teacher based at Pantai Therapy Centre. I specialise in trauma healing & PTSD, chronic/persistent pain & somatic complaints, phobia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, burnout, stress and other anxiety related disorders.

2) Where did you study at?

My background is in Lifescience and I was in the medical pharmaceutical line for 26 years. I decided to transition into the therapy industry and took up a Clinical Hypnotherapy course at London College of Clinical Hypnosis 10 years ago – from Certificate to Diploma and Advance Diploma level. Since then, I have traveled to many countries to further my understanding of human behaviour and Psychotherapy, which includes the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre; Centre of Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School and many others. About two years ago, a few of us started a practice at Pantai Kuala Lumpur.

3) Can you tell me a little bit about Mental Health issues and what are some of the causes?

I do not view mental illness as purely a sickness or disease. Human beings are constantly in search for purpose and are constantly pressured to achieve results. We are complex beings and as we search for new purpose, we may get stuck. How we used to approach certain things may sometimes not work anymore, prodding us to learn to deal with things differently. Mental disorder is like an awakening, to point us towards the direction of where and what has gone wrong.

4) Why did you choose to pursue Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy?

The pharmaceutical industry focuses a lot on medicine, but I noticed it was only a small part of healthcare. You don’t get to explore the psychology and social aspects of the complex human body. However, within Psychology, you are able to touch on the conscious and subconscious mind, as well as the emotional aspects. There is a much greater interest within me to understand the bio-psycho-social aspects – to manage illnesses and diseases, which are not restricted to just antibiotics and medication.

5) Can you explain what is Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy?

Essentially, Psychology is the study of human behavior and Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy sits under its umbrella. They are two of the many different ways used to helping people with their thoughts and emotions.

  • Psychotherapy
    The use many types of psychological techniques, such as communicating with a Psychologist, Psychiatrist or a Counsellor.
  • Hypnotherapy
    Deals directly with an individual’s subconscious mind by inducing him/her to enter a state of relaxation and calm, with their permission. With that, they are able to go back to the past and address underlying issues. When the mind is more open, flexible and a little distant from the problems at hand, they are able to look at it differently.

A combination of Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness intervention is probably the most efficient way to address symptoms of depression and anxiety because it deals with the subconscious thought processes, which is usually the cause of many people’s problems. One session can last for 60 to 90 minutes.

 

6) Describe your experience thus far as a Hypnotherapist

I have to say, it has been a very satisfying and fulfilling journey, being able to help others become better versions of themselves.

 

7) Describe one or more memorable patient you’ve attended to, and how you’ve managed to help him/her?

I’ve handled a case of a 46-year old depressed patient on medication. Her battle with the disorder began when she was 19, and from time to time, she would relapse and get out of control. She was referred to me by a Psychiatrist, and I’m very happy to say that she is now learning how to handle her emotions better. Instead of relying on just medication and adjusting the dosages, she is now finally able to deal with her emotions more effectively. In fact, she’s started to look for a job, after so many years!

There is this other 21-year old patient whom is a very talented musician. Classified as perfect pitch at the tender age of 4, she was offered a scholarship by a university to pursue music. However, she unfortunately succumbed to depression last April which led to a hiatus from school and music. She received treatment from me and by November, she started playing the piano again. I’m so glad to see her rebuild her life and not let her talent go to waste.

8) Do you treat only a specific age group?

As long as the individual is not too young. Patients from 10 and above are fine.

 

 

 

9) What is the one thing that makes you want to get up in the morning to go to work?

Doing what I’m passionate about! I’m driven to help individuals live fulfilling lives. One of my career goals is to help a patient, but in more ways than just getting rid and dealing with symptoms. I want to help my patients deal with the underlying issues – what is driving the anger, anxiety and depression.

10) Once someone has been diagnosed with a mental illness, can he/she get better again?

Yes, it’s definitely possible with the right management and approach – from medication, to managing the psychological and social aspects.

 

11) How does one even begin to tell if he/she is suffering from depression/anxiety etc?

With anxiety, you can almost always identify the symptoms. You’re constantly –

  • Constantly anxious
  • Heart keeps pounding
  • Perpetually tense and restless
  • Insomnia
  • Phobias develop
  • Repetitive panic attacks
  • Anger is triggered by almost anything

As for depression, you’ll notice –

  • Lost of interest towards things and activities you used to love
  • Apathetic towards life
  • Zero drive and energy
  • Constantly feel that there’s no purpose in life

There is also this thing called mask depression whereby depressed/anxious patients are extremely high-functioning. Some of them are very good at suppressing and controlling their emotions. However, they manifest it in other forms like binge drinking alcohol, smoking or even cardiovascular related diseases.

12) Do you treat sleeping problems?

Yes. Insomnia is a symptom of anxiety, depression or both. It can be a result of trauma. I will teach techniques to relax that will help the patient sleep better. Sleeping pills are not a long term solution.

13) When should someone who is feeling depressed decide to seek help?

At the point the disorder affects your function. Otherwise, if they can reach out to their support system (friends and family) and try to find some kind of way to balance their life in terms of recreation to relax, before the condition escalates.

14) What treatment options are available?

If the condition is mild and moderate, then I’d recommend going for the non-medication approach first – which includes various forms of Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy, as well as learning how to regulate our emotions, our thoughts and stabilise our focus of attention.

However, if the case is serious, these individuals would usually need medication to help them stabilise their condition – therefore a Psychiatrist would be the perfect go-to person.

15) What is the difference between various mental health professions?

  • HypnotherapistDeals directly with an individual’s subconscious mind. Induce him/her to enter a state of relaxation and calm, with their permission. No medication prescription.
  • Psychotherapist – Focus extensively on Psychotherapy. Treat emotional and mental suffering in patients behavioral intervention. No medication prescription.
  • Psychiatrist – Spend much of their time with patients on medication management as a course of treatment.
  • CounsellorFocus on patient’s concerns and difficulties. Teach how to assist individuals develop an understanding about themselves to make changes in their lives. No medication prescription.

 

To talk to him online now!

 

Mr. Ko Teik Yen

Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy

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