Borrowing excellent techniques from cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) can be really difficult to use (and “make fit”) totally on your own. (For me, I know this from working in Ontario child and family treatment centres, trained and experienced in CBT and other therapies. Moreover, I’m a VHL patient.) That’s why, as a self-help strategy, I like a practical acronym called N.U.T.S. I use it myself, so I hope others might find it helpful, too.
According to Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS)*, “Scientific research has shown that 4 characteristics are present in a situation leading to a high production of stress hormones.” These 4 things don’t necessarily have to be present in order to induce a stress response. These researchers have come up with this acronym in order to remember this recipe: “stress is NUTS!”
First, “deconstruct” a priority stressful situation.
Is it something new you have not experienced before?
Is it something you had no way of knowing it would occur?
THREAT TO THE EGO
Is your competence [and likeability] as a person called into question?
SENSE OF CONTROL
Do you feel you have little or no control over the situation?
*My personal VHL example and responses