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  • Rachel Brislane

3 Ways To Manage Your Stress

Updated: Apr 22

Stress is an everyday part of life.  It may be the result of major life changes such as separation, loss of a job, illness, or loss of a loved one, for example. Or it may be the cumulative effect of life’s daily hassles.  It may be helpful in certain instances, motivating you to complete a work project or give a presentation.  Yet when stress becomes long term, persistent or chronic it can begin to negatively impact your health, work, relationships, and day-to-day life.



A Stressed Woman

It is not possible to avoid or eliminate stress, however it is possible to change how you respond to stressful events which will change the impact that stress has on your life.  By increasing your self-awareness so you can identify your stress triggers and notice your early warning signs of stress (your automatic thoughts and behavioural reactions to a stressful event) you can begin to gain a sense of control over your response in the moment.  This will enable you to consciously respond in a more helpful way, as opposed to automatically reacting in a way you may later regret.


"Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose." - Maureen Killoran

Here's 3 ways to manage your stress before it takes over.


  1. Get to know how stress impacts your body, mood, and behaviour.  The following are some of the common effects of stress which you may experience.

Common effects on your body

  • Heart palpitations

  • Shaking

  • Dry mouth

  • Headaches

  • Muscle tension

  • Chest pain

  • Fatigue

  • Change in sex drive

  • Stomach upset

  • Sleep problems

Common effects on your mood

Common effects on your behaviour

  • Emotional outbursts

  • Social withdrawal

  • Neglect self-care

  • Exercise less often or stop altogether

  • Overeat or undereat

  • Drink more or use substances


2. Record stressful events and stress ‘triggers’ in a journal.  Record what happened, what you were thinking in the moment, how you acted and how that made you feel?  This will help you identify

any patterns in your automatic habitual reactions to stressful events (automatic thoughts or behaviours), which may be unhelpful by maintaining your stress or even exacerbating it.  With this increased awareness you can notice any unhelpful automatic reactions, take a pause, and then consciously choose a different more helpful response in the moment.


3. Review your stressful events or stress ‘triggers’ and consider what control you have over the stressor.  Is it within your control or outside of your control?  If it's within your control, what changes could you make to reduce or perhaps even eliminate the stressor?  If it's outside your control and you cannot change it, then can you accept it as it is?


Carrying out a mindful body scan at regular intervals is a good way to increase your awareness of how you are feeling from moment to moment. This increased awareness will help you to recognise how stress impacts your body, mood, and behaviour enabling you to spot the early warning signs of stress so you can take early action to prevent it from escalating.


And if you're looking for some ways to help you cope in the moment when feeling stressed or overwhelmed you may find my blog post "3 Ways To Ground Yourself When Overwhelmed" helpful. (you can find that here - https://www.rachelbrislanetherapy.co.uk/post/3-ways-to-ground-yourself-in-times-of-overwhelm)


Rachel : )

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