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How to help someone with chronic stress

Usually, I dedicate this blog to self-help techniques so that you can break free from stress and return to the smiling human that you used to be.

This time, however, I’ve decided to help you to help others.

We are currently experiencing unprecedented high levels of stress across the nation and I need you to join the effort to address the issue.

You probably know someone who’s suffering from chronic stress.

If you don’t know how to determine whether it’s chronic stress, simply pay attention to whether they are expressing pessimistic views about three areas in particular:

  1. Themselves (“I can’t do anything about this”, “I don’t have what it takes”)
  2. The world (“everything sucks”, “there’s never any good news”)
  3. The future (“it’s never going to change”, “it won’t make any difference”)

When people express pessimism in these three areas, we’re dealing with the cognitive triad. The cognitive triad model was developed by Aaron Beck to help with the diagnosis and treatment of depression but it works just as well with chronic stress.

Now that you’re clear on the signs, I recommend that you help your friend/ family member/ colleague in the following ways:

  1. Get them to seek professional help. They’ll initially refuse as “it won’t make any difference” (see above) so stick with it. A visit to the GP for a medical check-up can be a powerful catalyst for change.
  2. Get them moving (physically and metaphorically). Explain that science proves that physical activity as well as doing fun activities have been evidenced to lower stress. It would be preferable if you join them in these activities. Everything is more enjoyable when you aren’t doing it alone.
  3. Think (and speak) like a coach or therapist. Offer acknowledgement and encouragement. You can use Socratic questioning (google it) to help them to get unstuck. Nobody likes to be told what to do so by gently questioning the validity of their assumptions, you will have more luck in getting them unstuck.

Does that sound like something that you can do?

Enjoy the video ❤️

(Duration 4:02 minutes. Hit CC for subtitles)

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