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There may be key elements currently in your life which have created the natural and therefore normal reactions to such a situation which will often include key elements of a stress reaction. So, if you have started to read or listen to my work about how people deal with stress you are already taking control.

You are seeking to understand what is happening to you.

The bigger picture shows us that managing stress is about you taking control of your thoughts, emotions, the way your life is structured and the way in which you deal with issues in your life.

What are your current and past habits, attitudes and some of the excuses in your life

To explain stress away as temporary is dellusion for many -

"once I sort out the million and one things I have to do at the moment"......

Most people who say this can't remember the last time they took some quality time and I mean time of a couple of weeks not on holiday but at home with themselves.

Many people I talk to here in London, a busy metropolis of a city, define stress as an integral part of their life. Some even go further to tell me how it is even a part of their personality. So, until we create a conscious awareness in terms of the decisions we make and how we respond to maintaining our lives full of stress it appears as though managing stress if outside of our control.

One way we can start is to step back and take an objective view. How? What about a stress list so we can identify the regular stress elements in our life and then examine key stresses that are emerging at this point in our life journey.

In this daily log we will see both patterns and common themes emerging.

For example

1) What caused the stress you are currently feeling and it is OK to simply guess if you are unsure at this time.

2) How did this leave you feeling both emotionally as well as physically?

3) How did you respond at the time and,

4) What, if anything did you do to make yourself feel better?

As we work in this initial stage of managing stress, anger and anxiety we begin by examining coping methods that aren't providing emotional and physical health and instead swop these ways of responding with ones that deal with the stress, anger and anxiety. There are many ways to cope with stress but they all require change.

You either change the situation or you change your reaction to it.


1) avoid

2) alter

3) adapt or

4) accept

which is essentially

CHANGE THE SITUATION by either avoiding or altering the stressful event or situation or . . .

CHANGE YOUR REACTION by either adapting to or accepting the stressful event or situation.

Before we begin examining ways of positively managing stress take a look at this checklist and see if you have or are using any of these unhealthy and temporary ways of coping with stress.

Drinking too much.

Over or under eating.

Sitting for hours and hours in front of the television or your mobile phone and computer on social media.

Withdrawing from friends, family and structured (potentially demanding) activities.

Using tablets or drugs over a long period of time to relax and take you away from  the powerful stressful feelings.

Sleeping too much.

Always finding yourself procrastinating over the simplest task or decision.

Being a workaholic and filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing issues or problems.

and finally

Taking out your stress on others by lashing out, angry outbursts or in some cases physical violence.

Time to make some all important changes


Learn how to say 'NO' -

Essentially what I am focusing on here is your knowing your limits and then learning how to stick to them. If in your personal or your professional life taking on more than you can comfortably handle is one of the key elements of anxiety and the resulting stress as well as natural associated feelings of anger then you need to start taking back control.

Avoid people who are, as I term it 'psychic vampires', draining your energy and always creating energetic and mental imbalance - so, if someone consistently causes you stress and you can't turn the relationship round to one of a more balanced nature either limit the amount of time that you spend with them or end the relationship entirely.

Take control of YOUR world -

For example if the evening news makes you anxious or social media does the same turn off the TV or computer. If journeys in traffic make you tense take another route. If, at present, going shopping with people milling around you makes you feel overly anxious, do your shopping online.

Manage or regulate certain ideas and conversations -

For example if you get upset over religion or politics take them completely out of your conversation. If you are finding that you repeatedly argue about the same topics with the self same people time and time again excuse yourself from the discussion.

Realistic and unrealistic to do listing -

Analyse your schedule and responsibilities and daily tasks and once you see how much you have said yes to clear out the should's and only focus on the musts . Drop tasks that aren't necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.


OK lets live in the real world and recognise how there are certain stressful situations that we can't avoid. So if you can't avoid a situation then try to alter what happens in such a situation and this approach is often based on changing the way you communicate both with yourself as well as other people and operate in your day to day life.

Express your feelings instead of bottling them up

If something or someone is creating stress communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. Clearly if you don't voice your feelings then naturally resentment will build and the situation will remain the same.

Be willing to compromise

When you ask someone to change their behaviour, also be willing to change your behaviour as well. If you and the other person are willing to bend a little then there is a foundation for you both to find a middle ground.

Be more assertive

Deal with problems and issues head on by doing your best to anticipate and prevent them growing out of control. If you need to work on an important project and your friend is talking away oblivious to this fact tell them clearly that you only have five minutes to talk.

Manage your time better

Poor time management can be the basis of stress and resulting anxiety. When your mind is stretched too thin and your'e running behind on projects it is naturally hard to stay calm and focused. So if you plan ahead and make sure you create realistic goals you can directly alter the degree of stress.


Essentially what we are exploring here is that if it isn't possible to change the stressful event or situation then we focus on changing how we respond to it. Here you can adapt to a stressful situation and regain some sense of control by changing both your expectations and your attitude.

Reframe problems

Shift you perspective and view the situation to a more positive viewpoint. For example rather than sit in the car and become more and more stressed in regard to the traffic jam ahead look at this as a period of time to pause and reflect, listen to a favourite radio programme or enjoy some down time on your own in the car.

See and explore the bigger picture

Take a different perspective on the situation and ask yourself how important the key elements being reflected back at this moment in time relate to you in the long run. Will it matter in a month - a year and so is it really worth getting this upset over the situation? If the answer is no, then focus both your time and energy elsewhere.

Shift and adjust your standards and view on life and living it

Perfectionism is a major source of stress and something that we all, to varying degrees, need to explore. Essentially what I am saying is for you to stop setting yourself up for failure upon failure by demanding perfection. Set some reasonable standards for yourself, others and situations you encounter and learn to repeat saying that you are OK with 'good enough'.

Consciously focus on positive elements

Take a moment or two to reflect on all the things which you currently appreciate in your life including your own unique qualities. This simple but effective strategy can help regulate and keep things in perspective.


As you are aware the way in which we think on a day to day basis can often have a profound effect on both our emotional and physical well being. Our negative thoughts have a powerful effect on our physical body creating a reaction which mimics the fight or flight response.

If you find key parts of your life where you feel good about yourself you are more able to challenge and eliminate such words which we are constantly bombarded with in Western Society such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." which are the keys to self defeating thoughts.


Yes some sources of stress and resulting anxiety reaction in our lives are unavoidable. In fact from my extensive clinical experience natural and therefore healthy responses where we go through a recovery process include the death of a loved one or response to either serious or chronic illness.

Don't try to control the uncontrollable

Many things in our life are beyond our control - particularly when it comes to the behaviour of other people. So focus on the things that you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

See the benefit from an experience

When facing major challenges, see the opportunities within them for personal growth. Also if you hold on to old and outdated ways of approaching issues which don't work any longer reflect and learn new ways of thinking and responding.

Share your feelings

Talk to a trusted friend face to face or make an appointment so we can discuss. The simple act of expressing what you are going though can be cathartic, even if there is nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation. Opening up and exploring your thinking and feeling world is not a sign of weakness as many people judge it to be. In fact, most friends will be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them and it strengthens the bond between the two of you.

Learn to forgive

Like many of us accept that we live in an imperfect world and that people we know make mistakes. Work through and then let go even if it is in your mind of anger and resentments and by freeing yourself from such negative energy you can forgive and then rapidly move on.


Besides taking charge of areas of our life and creating and sustaining a more positive, balanced attitude we need to nurture ourselves.


go for a walk which is a time for reflection and in such isolation we can hear our own voice far more clearly.

spend time in nature which is a great way of putting day to day life into a broader and thereby more expansive way of viewing our life

call a good friend and be honest about what it is that you wish to talk to them about. Listen to what they have to say and reflect back to you at this all important time in your life.

sweat out the tension at a physical level with a good workout

write in a journal (links to some of my journals)

take a long bath and set aside time to relax both physically as well as mentally.

light scented candles and once again use this time to block out some of the intrusive thoughts and allow your inner self to have its own voice which you hear more clearly.

get a massage for the impact of stress is powerfully stored up in our body and it is not always clear until such physical tension is released the degree of impact that it has been in creating a cyle of tension.

curl up with a good book so that you can distract yourself on your own terms from the intrusive thinking which results from prolonged stress.

listen to music as a similar way of distracting yourself as much as reading.

watch comedy where many years of scientific research has shown the powerful impact of reframing our thoughts and physical stress reaction through laughter.

This simple ideas are designed so you don't get caught up with the external world too much that you forget to take care of your own needs realise that nurturing yourself is in no way a luxury at all it is a biological and mental necessity.

Set aside relaxation time by planning to include rest and relaxation as a part of your daily schedule

Connect with others. In today's modern society for many there is a growing sense of isolation so find and spend time with positive people given how such a strong support system overcomes the negative effects of day to day stress.

Plan to do at least one thing per day that you enjoy. Make time for leisure time and include an activity which brings you joy. This can be as simple an act as looking at the stars or peacefully cooking food.

Keep your sense of humour and this includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.


Physical health is open to everyone and at whatever age.

Exercise and any form of physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the physical side effects of mental stress by releasing pent up stress and tension in the body.

Be aware of what and how much you are eating.

Keep a watchful on the amounts of alcohol you are drinking on a regular basis or the number of binge drinking sessions for whilst it can provide an escape from stress the relief is only temporary. Such behaviour simply holds you in a circle because you are only either avoiding or masking the issues. So deal with these issues with a clear head.

Finally sleep is a reparatative process and also a time when you connect with important pre conscious thoughts and insights. So at both a physical as well as mental level the correct levels and duration of sleep are crucial. However, during times of increased stress arousal sleep can be a major problem.

Follow this LINK for MORE INFORMATION ON returning to a regular SLEEP pattern

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