Learning to manage daily stress

Managing Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the first part of a Health and Wellness Series Talk by Fr Philip Chua (pic), Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Archdiocese Mental Health Ministry, was timely in this time of lockdowns, social distancing, restrictions and bereavement.

Sep 18, 2021


By Jaclyn Sharmalee

Managing Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the first part of a Health and Wellness Series Talk by Fr Philip Chua (pic), Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Archdiocese Mental Health Ministry, was timely in this time of lockdowns, social distancing, restrictions and bereavement.

The talk, organised by the parishes in the KL South District, included some techniques and breathing exercises which encouraged listeners to put into practice some steps that can help them manage and alleviate stress daily.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mental health is a state of wellbeing which enables people to cope with the normal stresses in life and be productive, fruitful and be able to contribute towards the community. Fr Chua explained that mental health influences the way we think, feel, act and our ability to cope with changes, transitions and life events.

He shared that mental health has garnered a negative perception in our society and when the topic comes up, people often only think of a person who is not of sound mind. However, it in fact refers to both the positive and negative aspects of an individual’s mental state.

A 2009 survey showed that more than 51.7 per cent of Malaysians viewed people with mental health issues as dangerous and violent. About 62.3 per cent don’t want people to know if they have a mental health problem, and 60 per cent said that people with mental health problems are to be blamed for their condition.

Fr Chua then shared real-life case scenarios and effective breathing exercises to handle everyday stress without burning out.

Some of the ways to manage stress on a daily basis are organising your day, having a good rest, focusing on positive things, accepting mistakes, learning to say ‘No’, creating a dedicated workspace, connecting with friends, and rewarding yourself occasionally.

The breathing exercise required participants to sit or stand still with elbows back, take a deep breath, hold the breath and exhale. Some participants said that the relaxation techniques really did help to relax and calm them down. Fr Chua encouraged everyone to do this exercise daily for 10 – 15 minutes.

‘Stress is not always harmful, and we need to know how to differentiate between eustress and distress’ he said. Eustress is stress which encourages productivity.

The suicide statistics in Malaysia revealed that there were four suicides a day during the first three months of 2021 and a jump from 609 cases in 2019 to 631 cases in 2021.

Host Jonathan Phun then asked: How do you determine if professional help is needed? Fr Chua answered that it is when daily life activities become too overwhelming and you’re unable to cope, you should immediately seek professional help.

Fr Chua ended by saying, “Our ability to handle stress is at our fingertips — we just need to remember to put into practise these simple steps daily and we will have good mental health.”

Total Comments:0

Name
Email
Comments