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Don't Worry, Be Happy


You experience stress when your heart thumps faster, you sweat profusely or you have butterflies in your tummy. Stress happens when you face difficulty or crisis and your body releases chemicals to show fight, flight or freeze responses.

Stress can come from within or without your body. External sources of stress are from family, school, work, relationships, ill-health, losses of any kind or bereavement. Internal sources of stress are from your dissatisfactions, low self-esteem, personality and poor social skills.

There is good and bad stress. Good stress motivates us to overcome our difficulties. It is the impetus to work towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Bad stress is prolonged stress which weakens the body's immune system and gives bacteria and viruses victory over us. Prolonged bad stress gives rise to illnesses like peptic ulcer, hypertension, psychosis, heart disease, hypochondria, asthma and the list continues.

Fight stress. Don't mess with cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or food. There are flight or freeze responses which actually do you harm. Be your own stress manager and not be managed by your stress.

  • Adopt a problem solving approach to your stressful issues. Put your thoughts down on paper. This makes them less complicated than you actually think when you constantly replay your worries in your head.

  • Don't worry unnecessarily. Worrying wastes your time and you become unproductive which consequently gives you more stress. Take stock of your options and act decisively.

  • Be your own time keeper. Manage proper use of your time to increase productivity. Once your important areas of concern are taken care of, you'll be relieved of stress.

  • Prioritize your tasks. Work first, play later. Avoid stock piling your work and this in turn eliminates unnecessary stress.

  • Release steam by talking to your confidante. Another person may help you see things in a clearer light. A different perspective may also shed light on your problem. Your stress may be eradicated after all.

  • Take a break from the stressful situation and return refreshed. This is not a flight response but to recharge your batteries. It can be a short break, a rejuvenating sleep or a longer break like going away on vacation.

  • Be realistic. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Accept your limits. Be prepared to accept failure and try again as a wiser person. Know your aptitude and adopt the right attitude towards life.

  • Channel your stress to other outlets. Release your pent up emotions and energy by relaxation, listening to soothing music, meditation, praying or sports.

  • If all else fails, you may want to seek professional help. You can visit clinics for mental health, psychiatric clinics, psychological medicine clinics or counseling centers.

Break away from the chains of stress and find freedom!

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