STRESS AND THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING
The once prominent line between body and mind has become blurred; it is now widely acknowledged amongst clinicians and laymen worldwide that the body affects mental processes, and that the mind has a large influence on the body. You will recognise the truth in this statement if you have ever been extremely tired physically and realised that your mind had stopped working, or if you have gone through a highly emotional experience like a break-up and found that your eating or sleeping habits have suddenly changed. The two work in tandem; together they constitute and colour our perceptions of the world and our experiences. Stress exhibits this intricately entwined nature of mind and body through its vicious cycle wherein triggers from the outside world – work pressure, relationship trouble, illness, loss or just about any other concern – become internalised in the form of worry, higher cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and over-activation of the stress response system, among other things.
Stress Control Online is an online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) program offered by Silver Oak Health, and is based on the work of internationally recognised expert in CBT and stress management, Dr Jim White. Dr White’s original program ‘Stress Control’ has over the past thirty years helped innumerable individuals to cope with stress, anxiety and depression.
Stress Control Online is an evidence-based and scientifically validated method. Being an online form of therapy, the client (in CBT, there are no ‘patients’ – only ‘clients’) can access it discreetly from any place and time of his/her choosing, at a highly affordable cost.
The program’s impact comes from the combination of its online sessions with a human touch – the therapist, whose primary objective is to lend an empathetic ear and to personalise the program to the client’s specific needs. The therapist and client communicate via phone or video chat.
Here’s what Lata*, a Stress Control Online user had to say about her experience:
“Stress Control Online is an interesting concept. It has helped me a great deal in the last few weeks. I was going through a lot of anxiety and stress with my health. I also had just lost my mom in a rather painful manner. I am glad, I signed up for this program. After going through a really tough time dealing with the sudden absence of my mother in my life to dealing with repeated bouts of chemotherapy and related treatment, I was feeling really low and depressed. I remember repeatedly being stressed about every little thing, spending sleepless nights and feeling really hopeless at times. This program has helped me to deal better with my stress and has calmed me to a great extent. I feel more mentally relaxed, more positive and really know that I don’t have to sweat the small stuff. After six weeks, I am totally convinced about the program and am looking forward to future sessions. The content is very easy to understand and comprehend and suggestions very practical. I had the freedom to take my sessions online anywhere, and at the time of my choice. My personal coach has been amazing, always lending a patient ear, and has motivated me consistently with every single call. I recommend this program to anyone who is going through stress either in their professional or personal life.”
– 39 years old, Homemaker, Bangalore
Even Caregivers Need Care
Besides the individual who’s directly experiencing stress, a frequently unacknowledged victim of the same stressor is the caregiver of that person. It can be difficult for caregivers to always know how to say or do the right thing. This often results either in their saying or doing things that inadvertently make their loved ones feel worse, or in their being overcautious around them, so as to avoid ruffling any feathers. They may start to suppress any negative emotions they’re dealing with, such as fear, anger, irritation, exasperation and so on, for fear of making the problem worse. Wanting to provide support, but not knowing how to could snowball into stress of its own. The truth is, even caregivers need care.
This is what Arjun*, Lata’s husband had to say:
“From the painful loss of a loved one, coming to terms with it and constantly searching for coping mechanisms to deal with the sudden vacuum in her life – my wife suddenly was a pale shadow of the bubbly, energetic personality I used to know. She has always been an extremely strong and positive person. Even whilst dealing with this – she was suddenly diagnosed with cancer – further worsening her mental and emotional state. Things couldn’t have got any worse. Her morale was low; she was emotionally drained and physically extremely fragile from all of the drugs and treatment she was suddenly living with. Not to mention the anxiety, mood swings, sense of hopelessness and feeling low almost all of the time. In our search for help and looking for answers to deal with this led us to finding ‘Stress Control Online’ – recommended by a friend. I was pretty skeptical at first as to the efficacy of something like this, vis-à-vis meeting a therapist face-to-face. But we decided to give it a go anyways. 6 weeks into the program, Stress Control Online has turned out to be the best choice we’ve made. My wife has shown steady improvement in her emotional state and is a lot more positive today compared to a couple of months ago. Her energy levels have magically increased, shows a more positive approach – which is getting better every day and is showing a lot more will in dealing with everyday situations including her health and treatment. Stress Control Online is an extremely well designed program, made even easier to choose – given that it could be taken online from the comfort of home or wherever we were, whilst also allowing privacy. My wife looks forward to every new session with a lot of enthusiasm and am extremely happy with the results I can see. The personal coach adds a personal touch week after week with one to one counseling and personalised communication ensuring positive progress. Would highly recommend this program to anybody across age groups. Stress Control Online is a unique offering that will help many folks deal with many of their fears and anxieties.”
– 37 years old, Professional, Bangalore
You could be suffering from stress right now and not know it. You could be stressed at work and know it, but are justifying as proof that you are a dedicated, hardworking employee. You could even be considered out of place if you aren’t a victim of stress. Perhaps it’s finally time to stop holding back from a fulfilling life and become aware of what stress really does to us.
*Names changed to maintain confidentiality.