There are various books on the market which teach on the topic of stress. There are also courses and DVDs which seek to do the same. This course integrates different proven approaches to stress management in a range of areas. It uses lesson notes, questionnaires, references to books, information on websites and online resources, self test exercises and written assignments.
As you work through this course, ask yourself the following:
1. How does this material apply to me?
2. How does it apply to the clients that I counsel, who are experiencing stress in their daily lives?
INTRODUCTION TO STRESS
Stress is insidious; it creeps up on us with padded feet and suddenly thrusts a knife in our vulnerable spot. Knowing what stress is, is one way of avoiding it. However, being able to recognise stress in ourselves is often more difficult than being able to identify it in another individual. By the end of Lesson 1, you should have begun to formulate an opinion on what stress is, and be better able to discern it in yourself and in the clients you counsel as well.
We are told frequently about the potential dangers of stress. For example, we know it is linked to numerous illnesses, some of them serious or life-threatening. Also, stress has been studied in different occupations , life situations , cultures and so on. It is, therefore, important to recognise stress and do what we can to combat it – where it is destructive and negative.
Of course, no individual can escape life’s pressures and most of us learn successful coping mechanisms. But we all have a threshold – which differs for each person – and when this is reached we begin to lose control. So, occasionally life’s pressures overflow as stress. This is manifested in various stress-related symptoms.
The goal of stress management is helping ourselves and clients to create healthy outlets to release the mounting pressure (this can be internal or external pressure). This process is essential, as it helps prevent life’s stresses accumulating to the point where they are detrimental and could damage our physical and mental health.
Note: Stress can have a positive side too. It can help us to gather our various resources to successfully meet life’s challenges. In this context, stress can be described as being a motivating life force which is healthy, dynamic and stimulating.
The course contains a questionnaire on health indicators of stress which provides you with a useful measure of your personal health status. However, it should be borne in mind that no questionnaire is completely accurate and reliable. It simply functions as a tool and a guide and provides information, alerting us to what is going on in our lives. It may also highlight an unhealthy trend that needs to be reversed.
Stress Management - Level 3
Basic English Skills