These days you can get pills and medication for just about anything and it's no surprise that there are medications available for a range of stress-related conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
But is taking pills for stress management a good idea?
Recent research on the use of vitamin supplements would suggest that it might be a very bad idea, because the 'licensing effects' caused by taking tablets encourage unhealthy behaviours.
Licensing effects are a phenomenon widely observed in psychological research where we feel something, in this case, vitamin pills, gives us 'license' (otherwise known as an excuse!) to behave in negative ways.
There's another psychological problem with taking pills for stress problems. Medication can certainly help at the time but the benefits are often temporary and the likelihood of relapse is much higher. Although it is time consuming and difficult, making changes to our behaviour increases our feelings of control and self-efficacy and dramatically decreases the chance of relapse.
Pills for stress - they might catch on, but they definitely won't work long term. We need to change our behaviour.
Business Psychologist, Alan Bradshaw, is a specialist in the fields of stress management and the management of wellbeing at work.