Stress seems just a part of modern life, almost worn as a badge of honour by some in our excessively busy lives. It’s a pervasive part of our home and work environment. Yet excess and prolonged stress are linked with a host of illnesses including obesity, mental health problems (anxiety, depression, PTSD), cardiovascular disease and cancer, to name a few. Stress affects many aspects of our inner environment including our immune function and inflammation, and inflammation underpins most chronic diseases. As practitioners, we need to be able to not only recognise the impact of stress as part of the environment we live in but importantly we need to help educate our patients on this, and point them towards various therapies that may be able to help them better manage the stress in their lives. To do so, we need to understand such therapies ourselves.
Learning outcomes for this module:
- Explain to a patient how stress adversely impacts on the mind-body including how it may be contributing to their health problems.
- Develop evidence-based sleep hygiene guidelines suitable for use in a clinic.
- Explain to a patient and a professional peer the key principles of mindfulness, including its health benefits.
- Argue the evidence base with professional peers of a range of therapies that may help a person manage stress in their life.
- Recognise clinical red flags that a person may not be coping with stress and be able to refer them to the right services.