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Tips for Coping with Stress

Follow our tips for coping with stress when life gets you down. Follow our tips for coping with stress when life gets you down.

In today’s tough economy, many of us are dealing with unprecedented levels of stress. Experts tell us a certain amount of “good” stress is acceptable and can actually be beneficial. But when stress becomes overwhelming and threatens to cartwheel out of control, it can affect our relationships, our jobs, and even our health. A few key tips for coping with stress will help you regain control and get your life back on track.

Recognize What Stresses You Out

Realizing what particular stressors affect you the most will help you learn the best ways to cope. Watch out for your body’s response to stress like tension in your neck and shoulders, headaches, or clenching of your fists. What brings those responses out in you? Identifying your individual sources of stress is the first step in stress management.

Start a “stress journal” to help identify your stressors. Write down the situations that caused your stress, how you felt, and what you did to make yourself feel better. This will also help you to see patterns of how you deal with stress. Many of us have coping strategies that are unhealthy or counterproductive, and may even make our problems (and in turn, our stress) that much worse. Smoking, overeating, drinking too much, withdrawing socially, or using pills to relax are all potentially damaging habits that really aren’t helping you at all. If you start to notice unhealthy methods of coping with stress, it’s time to make adjustments.

Accept the Things You Cannot Change

Trying to control the uncontrollable is like trying to change the weather – it simply can’t be done. If certain situations cannot be changed, you need to learn to roll with the punches. Adapting to different circumstances will help you regain your sense of control. Perhaps you can’t change a serious illness, but you do have control over your treatment plan and attitude. Learning to adjust to whatever curve balls life throws at you will alleviate a lot of your stress.

Improve Your Time Management Skills

One of the most common stress triggers is feeling like you have too much to do – and not enough time to do it. If you can’t change your workload, find ways to make better use of your time. Keep a calendar handy and write down important deadlines. Make a task list every day and prioritize each item by its importance. Keep yourself on schedule, limit distractions, and ignore unnecessary interruptions so you can better utilize your time.

Take a Break

If you feel anxiety and pressure starting to build, it’s time to take a break. Take yourself out of the stressful situation for an hour or so – or even just a few minutes if you’re really behind. Go for a walk, listen to your favorite music, get a massage, or call a good friend and vent.

Ideally, you should set aside regular time for fun and relaxation. Including rest and play into your schedule will recharge your batteries and keep stress levels low. Another key way to reduce and prevent the effects of stress is exercise. A good workout is a very effective way to release stress in the body, improve your mental disposition and general outlook on life.

Managing stress may not always be easy, but it is well worth your effort. These tips for coping with stress are just the beginning. If you feel your anxiety is more than you can handle, talk to a health care professional. They will have even more suggestions on how you can successfully cope with stress.

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Stress Relief Tips and Exercises
Last modified on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 11:14

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