Helping Patient’s Love Themselves: Part 4 – Stress Management

Learning to love ourselves and making sure our bodies and minds are healthy is not as easy as it seems. Teaching patients to do the same can be even more of a challenge. But, using health coaching techniques, such as Motivational Interviewing (MI), Active Listening & Goal Setting, it can be made easier.

Throughout this Valentine’s themed series, we have been focusing on ways to love yourself, or to get your patients to love themselves using healthy techniques. Today’s final blog will specifically focus on stress management.

To determine your patient’s level of stress, ask them questions or have a conversation to determine the following:

  • What the patient’s own beliefs are about his/her current stress level
  • What the patient’s typical day looks like
  • What medications the patient is using to cope and how often they are taken
  • Assess the following five factors:
    • Attitude
    • Diet
    • Physical Activity
    • Support Systems
    • Relaxation and Leisure

The effects of stress are physical, emotional, and behavioral and can be extremely damaging to the body, the mind, and the patient’s life. Here are some of the different types of reactions to stress:

  • Physical
    • Fatigue/Insomnia
    • Headache
    • Muscle Aches/Stiffness
    • Heart Palpitations
    • Flushing/Sweating
    • Abdominal Upset
  • Behavioral
    • Overeating
    • Pacing/Fidgeting
    • Drinking
    • Smoking
    • Angry outbursts
    • Nervous habits
  • Emotional
    • Anxiety
    • Nervousness
    • Worry/Fear/Frustration
    • Lack of Focus
    • Sadness/Depression
    • Short Temper

So, what can we do when we identify a high stress level in a patient? Here are some suggestions:

  • Get Moving! Physical activity can be a great stress reliever
  • Eat Right!
  • Get Some Sleep!
  • Reframe Stressful Thoughts!
  • Laugh Out Loud! Laughter is the best medicine, after all!
  • Write About It!
  • Enlist Problem Solving Skills!
  • Enlist Behavioral Health Support!

We hope this blog series will help you and your patient’s learn to love themselves more and we hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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