6 Helpful Ways to Deal with Any Stressful Situation in Your Life
Take control of your life by learning the tips on how to handle stressful situations in your life. Read the most effective ways to deal with stress here.
How do you handle stress? Does it explode out of you like you’re the Hulk? Maybe you bottle it up and ignore it until you start feeling the physical signs of stress in your body.
Stress is inevitable, but learning how to handle stressful situations not only changes your approach to stress, but it can even change the outcomes.
You may not choose to be in stressful situations, but your stress management options are your choice.
Here are six ways to stay cool, calm, and collected.
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1. Understand that You’re in Control
We often understand stress as something that happens “to” us. In some ways, that is true.
What we don’t or won’t see is that stress is what happens when you believe that what’s asked of you exceeds your ability to deal with it.
There are so many things you can’t control. The health of your family, your partner’s happiness, or your teacher or boss’s behaviors are just a few of those things.
What you are in control of, however, is how you react to and approach it.
Remember, no one can make you feel anything. Others can only take you on a roller coaster ride if you give them the keys.
Understanding what and when you are in control already helps lower your stress levels and allows you to find healthier coping mechanisms.
2. Identify Helpful Coping Mechanisms
How do you cope with your stress? Do your coping mechanisms actually cause you more grief than the stressor itself?
Finding healthy and helpful coping mechanisms will get you through even the most stressful situations you can encounter.
One of those is to take a break.
It’s common to want to dive even deeper into our stress, but doing so only makes matters worse. Take time away from it instead, and permit yourself to set it aside.
Taking time away isn’t the same as avoiding your stress. You acknowledge to return to it, but when do you, you’ll be refocused and reinvigorated.
3. Take Care of Yourself
One of life’s most difficult lessons is understanding that you have to put on your oxygen mask before you can put on others. If you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not in the best position to help out other people.
Caring for yourself looks different for everyone. To understand what it means for you, you must first check in with yourself to know what you want and need.
Often, self-care means finding something that you enjoy – something only for you – and doing it. For those of us new to self-care, that may mean physically scheduling time for yourself.
A common misconception is that you need lots of extra time and money to practice self-care. In reality, it could cost you nothing and only require five to ten minutes of your day.
Self-care is as much about expensive spa treatments and yoga retreats as it is taking a break once every two hours to stretch your body and close your eyes or taking a short walk before starting your day.
If you struggle to find ways to care for yourself, look to professionals to help. Massage therapy or chiropractic care for stress are two ways to care for your mental and physical wellbeing and reduce your stress levels. These therapies allow you to lay your burden on the table without additional work from you – all you need to do is book the appointment.
4. Consider Talking to Someone
Who do you tell about your stress, if anyone?
Social support helps relieve stress by merely sharing your feelings with someone you trust and who understands you, i.e., someone who won’t contribute further to your stress.
For example, if both work and your parents are two fo your most significant stressors, you may not find it helpful to discuss work with your parents.
If stress is a severe issue for you, consider talking to a professional.
People who struggle with past traumas or with disorders like anxiety or depression may experience stress more acutely than others. Finding a therapist may help you not only relieve that stress but work out the underlying issues that cause stress to become an overwhelming presence in your life.
5. Learn About Emotion- and Solution-Focused Coping
Don’t let your stress run away with you. Instead, look for solutions to eliminate stress (where you can).
Emotion-focused coping teaches you to react less emotionally to stress or change your perception or experience so that stress impacts you differently. In addition to stress relief, it teaches you how to accept where you are and cut down on chronic stress to help your body recover.
Solution-focused coping teaches you to find the solution to your stress to eliminate not only the feelings but the stressor itself.
Learning both is important because solution-focused coping won’t work in every situation. You’ll struggle to provide a solution to a demanding boss or overwhelming student loan payments. You can, however, adapt your attitude towards them.
6. Make Lists
A list is a tricky thing. It can be a stress buster, but it can also be a source of stress if you’re not careful.
The benefits of lists generally outweigh the negatives, especially if you use other stress coping mechanisms. They produce a positive psychological process that promotes creative and solutions. They also provide a tool for prioritization and determining what steps are needed.
Lists also destroy any avoidance tendencies that stem from and contribute to stress.
Learn How to Handle Stressful Situations with Help
Stressful situations beset every human being. But the vital thing to know about stress that how you handle it can change everything.
Learning how to handle stressful situations before, during, and after you encounter a stressor protects your mind and body throughout your life.
How do you handle stress? Share your thoughts in the comments.