Release Your Worries A Guide To Letting Go of Stress and Anxiety!
Your phone won't stop ringing, your inbox is overflowing and deadlines are piling up. You're an emotional wreck and you don't know how much longer you can keep it all together. Life is getting out of control. Sound familiar?
Stress and its bedfellow anxiety can have a dramatic effect on your job satisfaction, morale, physical and mental health, self-care, and relationships - both in and out of the workplace.
Do you wish to be happier, more calm, less prone to depression and all around a healthier person? Just buy this book. It is impossible that you won't find it helpful!
Release Your Worries will help you: overcome anxiety
control panic attacks
remain calm and keep things in perspective
change your thoughts in order to conquer your fears
stop your past from controlling your present
regain lost self-esteem
This quick, practical, easy to read handbook is a powerful tool for anyone whose quality of life has diminished as a result of anxiety or stress. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or anxious, just open the book and remind yourself that help is at hand.
Release Your Worries also includes tips and guidelines relating to good nutrition, physical exercise and relaxation.
Dr Cate Howell is a general practitioner specialising in mental health and counselling for the past sixteen years. Cate is a lecturer at the University of Adelaide, as well as the manager of the Adelaide North East Division of General Practice, and consultant to the Adelaide to Outback Training Program. She is a past president of the Australian College of Psychological Medicine.
Dr Michele Murphy is a clinical psychologist working in private practice. She also lectures for the University of Adelaide and is a consultant psychologist with the Adelaide North East Division of General Practice. Michele currently provides individual and group therapy while also training and supervising psychology students at Masters level.
Release Your Worries
Authors: Dr Cate Howell and Dr Michele Murphy
Interview with Dr Cate Howell and Dr Michele Murphy Question: Why did you decide to write Release Your Worries?
Dr Cate Howell: My background is as a doctor and I do therapy work. Michele is a clinical psychologist and we found within our practices that there is a great need for simple effective strategies to help people manage their stress levels.
Dr Michele Murphy: We decided to write Release Your Worries because we wanted to provide people with a down-to-earth, easy-to-read guide that would provide them with knowledge, strategies and skills to help manage their stress and anxiety.
Question: How does stress and anxiety affect our everyday life?
Dr Cate Howell: Stress is defined as a response to a demand we are experiencing. Our stress levels can vary from a low level to a high level depending on the number and type of demands we are dealing with. Some of the signs and signals of stress include: worrying a lot of the time, feeling panicky (maybe sweating or having palpitations), having trouble sleeping, feeling tired, having headaches or muscle aches, eating more or less, feeling overwhelmed, having difficulty relaxing, being irritable or snappy with others or withdrawing from social situations.
Dr Michele Murphy: Stress and anxiety can affect a persons' overall enjoyment of life, sometimes people become so overwhelmed they don't know how to even begin to lower their stress levels. It can also be difficult for family and friends to realize that a loved one is stressed and anxious, but they lack the knowledge and skills to help. Our book is written for family, friends and carers too.
Question: How does this book ensure we become a calmer and healthier person?
Dr Cate Howell: Michele and I in our practices have learnt to use a variety of different approaches; we work in what's called a 'multi-modal' way. We have realized over many years experience that "one size does not fit all" so we have provided strategies from many different psychological models that can be tailored to the readers' individual needs.
Dr Michele Murphy: The book provides many ideas to assist a person to become a calmer. Below we have provided a few quick tips out of the book to help people get started on their journey towards a less stressed and anxious life.
Question: What tips do you have for relieving stress?
Dr Michele Murphy: Together we have written an article recently titled '10 Tips to Beat Stress' and we made it very simple:
10 Tips to Beat Stress
Relaxation means different things to different people. Relaxation can include simple slow breathing techniques, meditation or active relaxation, like sport. It is important to think about what you find relaxing and build it into your day. For example, some people relax by reading, having a massage, engaging in hobbies, having a hot bath or getting in touch with nature by taking a walk in the country.
Do things you value
In today's world we live in complex times and lead busy and demanding lives. More and more we are realising that we can probably still have it all but not at the same time! Therefore we need to be able to have clear priorities as a way of choosing how we will allocate our precious time and energy when there are so many worthy commitments competing for our attention. Think about what have been the most rewarding parts of your life so far. Think about what has brought you joy, what has inspired you and what gives you meaning. The answers to these questions should lead you to understand what you value the most and if you prioritise these areas you may feel less stressed because you are no longer trying to spread yourself too thin.
Connect with family and friends
Good social support can act as a buffer against stress, so surround yourself with people who know how to relax and have fun.
Be in the moment
There is a new movement in psychology called mindfulness which emphasises the importance of being fully present at any given moment. By engaging in the present we are less likely to worry about the past or the future. We can also choose to take action in the present moment to decrease our stress levels, whereas we have less control over the past or the future.
Simple ways to destress using humour include: watching your favourite comedy show, listening to what little kids say and trying to see the funny side of a situation.
Aim for a healthy lifestyle
Eating healthy foods, getting adequate sleep and regular exercise all assist in helping people cope with daily stressors.
Challenge your negative thoughts
Most people have automatic thinking habits that can be unhelpful. Habits such as all-or-nothing thinking, for example "If I don't get full marks for the test I am a failure." It is important to learn to substitute these unhelpful thinking patterns with more helpful and realistic thoughts such as "I am an intelligent and valuable person regardless of my test mark."
Learn to say no
We often worry that people will not like or approve of us if we do not agree to do what they want. It is okay to say no and most people will appreciate your clear boundaries and honesty. It is especially important to decline invitations to do things for others at the expense of yourself.
It is important to remember that you will have trouble being of any use to anyone if you are stressed to the point that you burn out. Prioritising your own self-care will ensure you are able to take care of your loved ones.
Take comfort in the knowledge that everyone feels stressed at sometime and we are all in this together. When you find yourself lacking when you compare yourself to others remember that you are not necessarily privy to the whole picture. It is important to be kind and encouraging to yourself for all your efforts regardless of the outcome.
Interview by Brooke Hunter
Buy it now at Angus & Robertson