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Mental First Aid

nsad_logo2010Tomorrow is National Stress Awareness Day, so let’s take a look at a valuable idea from The Stress Pocketbook.

The Stress Cycle

Early in the Stress Pocketbook, author Mary Richards introduces a cycle of our natural response to stress, in the form of a threat or a challenge.

Response to threat

The problem is that, in a stressful work environment, we don’t get the time for our body to return to its normal state, before the next threat or challenge arrives.  So, instead, we get this result.

Stress cycle

Break the Cycle

One of the tools that Mary offers to break the cycle is what she calls ‘Mental First Aid’.  This involves turning your mind to something else, for example:

  • Daydreaming for a few moments
  • Self-talk to direct your mind to a productive approach
  • Thinking about how the situation is not so bad after all
  • Checking your attitude is positive

Physical First Aid too

You can get a far greater positive effect when you combine your mental first aid with physical first aid:

  • Control your breathing by taking slow, deep breaths
  • Release tension in your muscles
  • Sit up or stand up straight
  • Smile

More on Managing your Stress Levels

The Stress Pocketbook

The Stress Pocketbook is filled with tips and tricks and an essential guide. You might also like:

The Energy & Wellbeing Pocketbook

The Positive Mental Attitude Pocketbook

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