Stress is your body’s reaction to fear or threat. Depending on the circumstances and our reactions, individual stressors can be perceived as positive or negative in our lives.

Without stress you’d never get anything done! No stress means no motivation, but too much stress can make you freeze up or avoid dealing with it.

Think about it as your body’s fight or flight response. When you’ve got a stressor – do you fight against it, run away from it or freeze; which will you choose?

Graph - stress

I’m stressed all the time! What do I do?

You can try changing the situation, or you can try changing your thoughts.

Try the 90/10 Rule!

10% of life is what happens to you, and 90% is how you react!

When signs of stress are taking their toll, take a step back and take control!

Signs of Stress

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and tension
  • Irritability
  • Change in sex drive
  • Fatique
  • Hypertension
  • Constant worrying
  • Low immune system
  • Procrastination
  • Change in appetite
  • Drug, alcohol and cigarette abuse
  • Inability to focus
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in sleeping

Don't let your stress run away with you!

Mindfulness techniques, deep breathing and other calming activities can bring you down to make a non-impulsive decision.

Some great coping activities include:

  • Counting backwards from 100 or by 3’s
  • Listening to music
  • Calling a friend
  • Deep breathing
  • An art project
  • Sports and exercise
  • Taking some time alone
  • Playing with your pet
  • Going shopping
  • Watching a funny movie or reading a book

Would you like to improve your response to stress, learn new techniques for coping, and make stress work FOR you? Try the above suggestions and/or come to the Arnprior & District Family Health Team’s free ‘Stress Management Group’.

To find out more:
Call us at: 613 622 – 5763
Or talk with your doctor to see if this group is for you!

What's Your Thinking Style

All or nothing thinking

Sometimes called ‘black and white thinking’.

“If I’m not perfect I have failed.”
“Either I do it right or not at all.”


Seeing a pattern based upon a single event, or being overly broad in the conclusions we draw.

“everything is always rubbish”
“nothing good ever happens”

Mental filter

Only paying attention to certain evidence.

Noticing our failures but not seeing our success.

Disqualifying the positive

Discounting the good things that have happened or that you have done for some reason or another.

“that doesn’t count”

Jumping to conclusions

There are two key types of jumping to conclusions:

  • Mind reading (imagining we know what others are thinking)
  • Fortune telling (predicting the future)

Magnification (catastrophising) & minimization

Blowing things out of proportion (catastrophizing) or inappropriately shrinking something to make it seem less important.

Emotional reasoning

Assuming that because we feel a certain way, what we think must be true.

“I feel embarassed so I must be an idiot.”


Using critical words like ‘should’, ‘must’, or ‘ought’ can make us feel guilty, or like we have already failed.

If we apply ‘shoulds’ to other people the result is often frustration.


Assigning labels to ourselves or other people.

“I’m a loser.”
“I’m completely useless.”
“They’re such an idiot.”


Blaming yourself or taking responsibility for something that wasn’t completely your fault.

Conversely, blaming other people for something that was your fault.

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