Stress Management & Mental Health

On Thursday 23rd April, 2020 Mr. Brian Lariche (CEO, Make It Right Movement) conducted a webinar titled Stress Management & Mental Health for students and staff under the BAC Education Group.

Mr. Brian began the session stating, “With the right amount of stress you will have the right amount of motivation”. He explained that stress occurs when the demand on a person is overwhelming and when he or she does not have the time nor the ability to do what needs to be done.

Stress levels have different effects on people – too little stress and a person can become bored. The best is stretch zones that pushes people out of their comfort zone. High stress can cause people to set unrealistic goals. He also warned how long periods of stress can cause people to burnout causing them to become mentally and physically exhausted.

Mr Brian then went on to explain the 2 types of stress:

  1. Acute stress- short term stress which happens to people occasionally. e.g. the Movement Control Order (MCO).
  2. Chronic stress- long term stress (physical stress) which actually causes the body to deteriorate thus causing serious health damage like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Mr. Brian also explained how various factors can cause stress, such as:

  1. Study load- last minute studying and panic over deadlines.
  2. Lack of autonomy – lack of control over people’s lives.
  3. Study debt- when people borrow money e.g. PTPTN and bank loans.
  4. Social/Family pressure – to get a well-paying job to support family.
  5. Social groups- pressure to fit the norm, i.e. behave in a certain way.
  6. Relationship issues- Having boyfriend or girlfriend trouble.
  7. Bullying- Putting others down, shaming or insulting others.

How Do We Fight Stress?

“Stress affects your body just as much as your mind”. That is why it is important to eat right, exercise and get enough sleep.

The Checklist Method is a simple and effective way to control stress:

  1. Mindfulness: Use a mobile app you are comfortable with for your Mindfulness, to discover who you are. Why are you on this earth, who do you fight for, what do you stand for. Have a purpose in life.
  2. Exercise: Yoga, Cardio.
  3. Social contact: You need to interact with people e.g. family, friends, webinars etc.
  4. Eating right: Be aware of what food you eat. Avoid certain types of food may depress you. We all have different body chemical compositions which cause a certain reaction to certain types of food.

Mr.Brian concluded the webinar with the following advice:

  • When it gets too much. Just stop, breathe and count to 10. It’s simple but it works.
  • Remember to exercise 15 to 20 minutes a day. Apart from cardio and strength training you can also do yoga or dancing.
  • When you are getting angry, irritated or frustrated, calm down by breathing slowly and deeply.
  • Take the time to do things that relax you, like reading, watching tv or a movie or play your favourite game online or on your phone.