Coping with stress Stress is not just a buzz word of the decade. There is substance behind the description. It can be both positive and negative but when negative, can have very serious effects on the emotional and physical lives of the individual. It is not surprising therefore that an increasing number of people are demanding to know what they can do to reduce the negative effects stress can have on their lives. Many want instant results. However, what most of them do not appreciate is that living and working in the '90s, takes resilience and tenacity.
There are times when it is necessary to reassess perspectives, move boundaries, challenge behavioural patterns, and develop self-confidence to help us face times of adversity. And these could well be the times when it will prove invaluable to have someone who will listen objectively, offer empathic support, and give us the opportunity to develop our own effective coping resources.
But this catalyst will not materialise out of thin air - it has to be sought.
Even those who have family, friends or caring colleagues around them invariably find they can receive more help from a totally objective, neutral person. There is less inhibition to open up to someone who is in no way involved in your life, and there is probably less embarrassment than talking to someone who knows us well.
It should be remembered that organisations such as The Samaritans, The British Association for Cancer United Patients, Cruse, Families Anonymous, London Lighthouse and Relate, to name a few, have offered tremendous support to those experiencing distress. Added to these organisations is the army of hardworking (many voluntary) independent counsellors who are committed and dedicated to their field of work. Carer groups have given invaluable support to those endeavouring to care...