Fifteen minutes online per day and your stress disappears (Article in De Standaard)
Article in the Belgian Newspaper “De Standaard” on the 5th of October 2011
On the self-help website 15Minutes4Me.com you learn how to handle stress differently.
After one week, the participants of the online self-help program experience a stress reduction of 27 percent, after five weeks the participants lose an average of 75 percent of their initial stress. Meanwhile, life satisfaction increases. ‘The results are just as good as those of classic therapeutic treatment’, doctor and initiator Paul Koeck says.
About three years ago he had the idea to offer self-help via the internet. He integrated the most efficient techniques and methods from every type of therapy: from behavioral therapy to mindfulness, to name a few. And he mixed this all together in a software program.
The most important principle is that participants are urged to look for their on solutions. ‘It has not use to tell someone to do sports if they do not have the time for this nor want to do so. While ‘doing sports’ objectively is a good advice, solutions only work if they suit the person.’
The search is done with the help of texts, short lists of questions and videos which give information and show how to do exercises. For example, sleeping exercises or anti-worrying exercises. Because sleeping issues, too much worrying, and a large tendency toward perfection can lead to depressions, anxieties, or a burnout. ‘All those disorders are stress related’, Koeck says. ‘So if we reduce stress, we also reduce the chance that someone gets a burnout or a depression.’
The exercises themselves are simple. The anti-worrying exercise for example, Koeck says. ‘What happens inside your brain when you worry? Your thoughts start going around in circles, constantly thinking the same thing over and over again. With images, sounds, and other experiences for the senses, we can trick the brain and break out of the pattern. Your attention is then removed from the worrying zone, into other brain zones. After thirty days this is nearly automatic. Most people then say that they relax a lot by just playing with children or going for a walk.’ But this last thing is something they must discover themselves. ‘We do not force anything’.
A few hundred people have already tried the online self-help. Koeck: ‘We have participants who sign up at five past one at night. That is not a time at which you can go to a doctor. But we do advise all of those who follow the program to let their doctor know. Sometimes medication is needed, or maybe additional research is.’ The online self-help costs 55 euros.
Date: March 29, 2015, Author: Dr. Paul Koeck