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  • Writer's picturepaulaholahan

Using resources to reduce stress and anxiety

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for - Oprah Winfrey

I would like to share one of the goals I set myself in 2019. I chose to be grateful for small pleasures. So I wrote in a gratitude journal everyday for the year (I still do it now) about the things I was grateful for. Some people do numerous entries, I concentrated on one or two at first and then as time went on it grew and grew. Gratitude is part of positive psychology and it is important because it helps us to stay in the present, especially when we go through challenging times and keeps us grounded by remembering the good things and that 'bad things don't always happen'. In coaching, the word 'always' is important because it checks our reality that things are not always bad (or always good for that matter)!


Reflecting on 2019 I found there was a common theme and it was that I was very grateful for my friends and family as it came up time and time again.

Research tells us that using the support around us considerably reduces stress and anxiety (Palmer S & Cooper G, 2013). Physiologically, social support releases oxytocin (also known as the love hormone), which reduces cortisol in our bodies (cortisol increase can be good for energy levels but too much can lead to heart problems, diabetes and other stress related illnesses).


Who do you go to?

On a scale of 1-5 (1 - little support; 5 great deal of support), can you rate the following:

If you are experiencing personal or work problems, to what extent do you use the following for help / support (Cooper et al, 1988: 75-5)?

Husband / Wife, Partner






Other relative

Close friend

Casual friend

Work colleague

Doctor / clergy / therapist / coach

If you scored 10 and higher, you are reaching out to at least 3 people for help and support. However, if you scored 10 and lower, challenge yourself today to reach out to someone and see what happens.

Take care, Paula


Cooper et al, 1988, Living with Stress, Penguin: Hardmondsworth

Oprah Winfrey

Palmer S & Cooper G, 2013, How to Deal with Stress, Creating Success, Kogan Page Ltd: London

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