Stress Management Workshops, Seminars and Courses
- Affordable services are offered by Catherine Madigan, a Melbourne Clinical Psychologist.
- Catherine offers both stress management workshops and individual therapy.
- Workshops can be conducted on site at your location and tailored to the needs of your organisation.
- Training seminars may be held for periods of one or two hours, half a day, or even a day or two, depending upon the needs of the client.
- Catherine has provided stress management workshops to schools such as Beveridge Primary School, Camberwell High and Carey Grammar, employers such as Precedence Health Care, Instrat Group and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and community groups such as Autism Angels and tertiary institutions such as William Angliss.
- A typical stress management training course may cover topics such as those outlined below
Causes of Pressure
Stress begins with our appraisal of a situation or event. People have generally evaluated an event as being negative in some way (e.g. painful, dangerous,difficult) and may have decided that they lack the resources to cope with the situation they are confronted with. Effective stress management may involve the sufferer learning to identify and challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs they have about the event and replacing unhelpful thoughts with more adaptive ones.
- There are environmental stressors such as climatic conditions, pollution, traffic and noise.
- There are social pressures such as: bereavement, deadlines, financial difficulties, job interviews, presentations, and excessive demands on your time.
- There are physiological stressors such as: lack of exercise, poor nutrition and lack of sleep.
- Another source of pressure is your perception of events, your thoughts. You brain interprets what is going on in your environment and body and determines when it activates the fight or flight response.
Challenging life events
People experience many changes in life, both big and small. Some potentially challenging life events include:
CHRONIC PRESSURE TAKES A TOLL ON HEALTH
When people are exposed to prolonged periods of pressure their physical and mental health can be adversely affected. Chronic stress can play a role in the development of psychological disorders and depression, as well as increase the risk of heart disease, digestive problems,and obesity. Chronic pressure can also aggravate skin conditions such as eczema and lead to insomnia and memory impairment. Stress can affect the reproductive system and cause women to stop menstruating and ovulating and to experience loss of libido. Men who are under pressure may also find they are experiencing impotency and loss of libido.
Chronic pressure can negatively impact upon:
the immune and inflammatory systems
asthma and bronchitis
Some of the Symptoms of Being Under Too Much Pressure
A relaxed lifestyle involves:
- regular exercise
- appropriate, healthy diet
- relaxation techniques
- adequate sleep
- engaging in relaxing hobbies
- cognitive restructuring (Stress is caused by how our minds perceive stressful events, not the event itself).
Stress management may also involve doing courses to redress percieved skill deficits. For example people who find job interviews and/or public speaking challenging would be advised to take steps to overcome their fear.
Exercise is a simple, and effective means of relieving tension. When people are under pressure one of the first things they often neglect to do is exercise. People are advised to exercise regularly and to find some form of physical activity which they find enjoyable so they are more motivated to carry it out. 1/2 an hour of exercise 5 times a week has been found to be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety.
People are advised to:
- reduce fats
- reduce their sugar intake
- limit their salt intake
- eat a variety of foods
- eat complex carbohydrates
- limit caffeine
- limit alcohol
- eat frequent meals
Sometimes people are unable to exercise due to physical injury and/or time constraints . However, these people may find that they can integrate relaxation techniques into their lifestyle. For example, busy executives doing a lot of business travel could listen to a meditation track or a guided visualisation on their ipod whilst on a flight. People travelling to work on public transport could practice diaphragmatic breathing whilst commuting back and forth.
Relaxation techniques include
- guided imagery
- tai chi
- self hypnosis
- diaphragmatic breathing
- progressive muscle relaxation
Some relaxation techniques may be more beneficial than others depending upon the symptoms you are experiencing. For example, people who are experiencing :muscle tension, neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain etc may find progressive muscle relaxation beneficial for symptom relief. People who are worrying excessively may find meditation particularly helpful.
When people are under pressure they often have difficulty falling and/or staying sleep. Some individuals report that they have no difficulty falling asleep and that they are obtaining their usual number of hours of sleep but they do not feel refreshed when they wake up. Implementing relaxation techniques and regular exercise should help with sleep disturbance but if problems persist you may wish to consult a psychologist for further assistance.
Time out is an important aspect of relaxation. Absorbing hobbies such as arts and crafts can be a good distraction from one’s worries
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
A psychologist can help people to identify their negative thoughts and beliefs about their challenging life events. Once these negative thoughts and beliefs have been identified , the psychologist can help the client to dispute their unhelpful thoughts and to develop more helpful, adaptive thoughts about their situation. If people can change the way they think about a situation they can change the way they feel.
A stress workshop can help reduce the overall stress you feel in life. Our psychologists are experts at helping others reduce stress, reach us at 03 9819 3671 and help balance your life.