- Keep it simple – people under stress are not in a position to absorb complex methods – choose a straightforward method of stress reduction.
- Muscle relaxation is important but it is not enough – learn about ‘choosing what to think’ as a method for managing stress.
- Think of others – taking your mind off yourself helps reduce stress.
- Get some background knowledge – ‘fight or flight’ theory combined with the Cognitive Behavioural Approach explain how stress operates. (The book for parents helping their youngsters at home takes you up to here. The book for teachers giving stress management lessons to pupils in school develops a wider range of ideas.)
- Stress role models – call to mind someone who is good at handling stress – this can help you to manage your own stress.
- What rules do you live by? Do you believe in cultivating a passion for something in life – belonging to something bigger than you? When life is more meaningful stress seems less.
- Develop resilience – learn how to feel stronger inside and less prone to stress.
The theme of keeping things simple is held throughout. I have tried to simplify a wide range of psychology literature in order to bring you sound ideas, simply expressed. The design of these stress management programmes comes from psychologists and others who are well known in their field. None of the ideas in my stress management writings are originally mine. Your life is too important to be listening to my ideas.