Everybody has their own coping mechanisms for stress and while some of these mechanisms are healthy, some can be quite damaging. For example, a person that reaches for alcohol or drugs during stressful times is using a coping technique that will ultimately make the problem even worse. We are going to focus on 5 of the healthiest ways to cope when things get tough.
1. Find out what the problem really is
When you have a lot of stress to deal with it can be extremely overwhelming. Things pile one onto the other until you don’t even realize what the initial stress trigger was that caused all this ruckus. Make a list of all of the things that are causing you stress right now and then make a timeline of them until you find the first thing that sparked everything.
If you were having a problem with your boss, for instance, and then your child got into a fight at school, your husband lost his job and you needed to find the funds to take your dog to the vet, it can all turn into one muddled mess. The best way to attack this pile of stress is to look back and see that the problem with your boss happened first. Try to focus on this issue and see how it can get resolved. Then, work your way onto your next problem and so on and so on. It’s difficult to handle a big confusion but much easier to tackle one problem at a time.
2. Learn how to vent in a healthy way
If you’re the type of person that needs to vent when things go wrong, you may end up doing more harm than good by venting in the wrong direction. Don’t take things out on your friends and family members too much. A little venting to them can be tolerated but when it gets to be too much, you may end up harming the relationships that are the most important to you.
When venting is a necessity to help you deal with stress, start up a journal for yourself. This is one of the best coping strategies for stress and one that you can rely on at all times. Whenever you feel like you can’t take things any more you can always turn to your special stress journal. You’ll be able to vent as much as you want and then can put the pen down when you’re feeling better. Just make sure that you can lock up your journal in a special place so that no family members have the opportunity to look through it. These are your private thoughts that may be made in anger and you should feel free to write everything and anything that you want to.
3. Eliminate extra stress factors in your life
When things are extremely stressful, don’t take on any extra activities that could just add to the problem. Say “no” to things when you need to in both your professional and personal life. You should also avoid close contact with other people that you find annoying or at least put limits on the time spent with them.
Take more control of your life during the stressful times by eliminating extra factors in your life that are sure to bring you down. These can come in a variety of fashions during everyday life. You may have a neighbor that bothers you, for example. In this case, while you are handling major stress in your life, you may want to take steps to avoid running into the neighbor on a temporary basis. It’s not time to get into anything heavy with the person that lives next door and you may find yourself saying something you don’t really mean during a conversation. Take some time off from the unnecessary stressors in your life and get back to them later when things have calmed down.
4. Turn things upside down to make them positive
Take a look at your problems in a brand-new light. No matter how bad things may seem to you now, it’s a guarantee that there’s somebody else in the world that is going through something worse. It can be easy to lose perspective of all the positive things that are happening around us when there’s a lot of stress in the environment.
Take a look at the bigger picture and put your life into perspective. Take a step back and really take an honest look at what you’re dealing with. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the forest because of the trees and all of the positive aspects of your life may have become clouded. Take a look at the things that you appreciate, the things that make you feel special, the good things around you and the amusing aspects of the issue that you’re dealing with. You may just end up with a brand new perspective on life.
5. Take care of yourself
Things can only seem worse when you’re run down. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and eating properly. Stress can also affect your body’s metabolism and even your brainpower. Make sure that you take a multivitamin that contains a lot of the B vitamins when you’re feeling stressed. They can help a lot and may help get things better focused.
Take some time for yourself and relax a bit. Enjoy a good movie out with friends or simply take a few walks through the neighborhood. When you take good care of yourself physically, it’s a lot easier to handle the emotional problems that can and will come up.