Stress and Resilience
Why does stress happen and how can we manage it?
Stress occurs when our body responses to environmental demands and pressures. Stress can come from many sources, which are known as "stressors" – the stimuli or triggers that provoke stress response in us.
Delivering the topic of stress and resilience to audience at Church of St Alphonsus and Republic Polytechnic on 5 and 10 July 2019 respectively, Fred Cordeiro, Executive Director of Clarity Singapore, underlined the connections between stress and mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“We all experience stress in our lives. Stress is our body’s response to changes in our lives and there is no avoiding stress,” Fred said. “However, stress can be effectively managed and coping strategies can be developed. If stress is not managed well, it will become mental health issues,” he added.
Fred further described that it is important to understand how stress affects our body and learn effective stress management techniques to make stress work for us rather than against us.
In the second session of the talk at Church of St Alphonsus, Glenice Lee, Program Executive of Clarity Singapore, led a reflection exercise where attendees were asked to imagine experiencing both calm and challenging situations in life as they were riding a boat in the river. This reflection exercise aims for us to realize that we cannot control what life throws us. As she quoted William Shedd, “A boat is safe in the harbour, but that is not what boats are for." She attested thereafter that even though we cannot control what life presents to us, we can learn how to better cope with these tough situations. And this is where resilience comes in.
The YES (Your Empowered Self) Better & Happier programme - @theYESinitiative is a series of programmes for youths in their journey towards their own mental wellness.
Its second of the eight sessions, held on 13 June 2019, engaged participants in activities such as choosing a vegetable to be carefully observed through sight and touch. The participants spent some time to imagine how the vegetable’s characteristics can help the vegetable during times of stress such as during stormy weather.
A cucumber, for example, having been observed and imagined, was identified as being rigid and hard, that it will not break so easily under pressure. Through this activity, youths may be inspired to emulate such characteristics in the way they behave or think during times of stress.
One of the programme highlights was the opportunity to talk about how the participants feel, behave or think during times of stress and areas where they can start improving on, such as cultivating healthy sleeping habits to reduce stress and improve concentration.
Not only did the participants get to enjoy the various activities but they also learned more about the myths surrounding stress as well as some strategies they can use whenever they feel overwhelmed – namely, the ten steps in reducing stress, STOPP (Stop, Take a breath, Observe, Pull back, Practice what works) as well as the box breathing exercise.
“Overwhelmed by Anxiety? Take Control!” workshop, organized by Clarity Singapore, is an introductory workshop, one of a series of “Take Control!” programs, designed to cultivate knowledge around anxiety and management to cope with it better.
With two sessions held on two Saturdays, 25 May and 1 June 2019 at Agape Village, the workshop was opened with an icebreaking session where participants working in groups played a game of passing five beans from the first person to the last person using chopsticks. During this game, the participants seemed to relish the learning process on how to identify their thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behavioral responses.
Keen to learn further about anxiety, the participants were engaged in an activity where they matched descriptions of situations with experiences. Through this activity, they learned about common anxiety disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Furthermore, they also learned about signs and symptoms of anxiety, how to cope with it through relaxation techniques such as mindful eating, self-soothing or zentangle – a meditative drawing method. The benefits of #care2own, a self-care challenge launched by Clarity a month previously was also introduced then.
The next workshop will further look at how anxiety affects our lives and explore ways to cope within a small group setting. A Guide to Understanding Anxiety workshop will be held at the same venue over three Saturdays, 15, 22 and 29 June 2019 from 10am to 1pm.
Find out more about our interactive workshops in our Event Calendar.
We are excited to introduce Singapore’s first online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based programme called Mindhealth@claritysg!
This programme offers individualised therapeutic learning with professional therapist feedbacks. Through MindHealth, we hope to provide the community with an alternative self-help avenue for people struggling with mood disorders and also increase the availability of therapeutic mental health resources.
To find out more, click here >
You can also get in touch with us at T: 6757 7990 or E: email@example.com
Clarity Singapore helps beneficiaries suffering from mental health issues and needs donations for therapy programmes, counselling, public talks as well as psycho-education training workshops for our caregivers. All donations are greatly appreciated and will help us to reach out to more mentally distressed people in Singapore.
You can help us in several ways by volunteering your time, talents and network. You have to be at least 15 years old and have a positive attitude towards helping the marginalized and a good learning attitude.