Methods for Coping with Stress
April 8th, 2013; Posted in Emotional Health
Methods for Coping with Stress
Life gets stressful. As much as we try, it’s practically impossible to reduce stress from our lives. The key to dealing with stress is to practice methods for coping with stress on a regular basis.
Negative Methods for Coping with Stress:
Ignoring the problem, withdrawal, procrastination, alcohol/drug use, smoking, overeating, inactivity, being over-committed, buying things you don’t need.
Positive Methods for Coping with Stress:
Become aware of your reactions, maintain a healthy balanced diet, exercise regularly, balance work and play, practice relaxation techniques, meditate, develop a support system, pace yourself, simplify your life.
Add some of these methods for coping with stress to your daily routine and take a few minutes throughout the day to rejuvenate and reduce the effects of stress.
1. Deep slow diaphragmatic breathing – Before reacting to the next stressful occurrence, take three deep breaths and release them slowly. For each breath, inhale deeply, feeling your stomach expand. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then slowly exhale, visualizing tension leaving your body.
2. Meditation – close your eyes and mentally follow your breathing. When you notice yourself distracted in thinking, without judgement refocus yourself again on your breath. As you exhale, repeat a simple or soothing word with each breath. Include this to your methods for coping with stress for at least five minutes.
3. Self-talk – Replace negative mental responses to stress such as “I can’t handle this,” with positive ones such as “Everything is going to work out,” or “I know I can do it.”
4. Laugh – laugh out loud, or do something that will make you laugh, such as watching a comedy.
5. Stretch – Sit in a chair with your upper body resting forward on your lap. Slowly roll up, starting at the base of your spine, until your back is straight. Stretch neck muscles by tilting your head to the right and slowly rolling your head down and to the left. Repeat a few times in both directions.
6. Self-massage – Sit with your shoulders relaxed. Use your right hand to massage your left shoulder and neck, working your way up to the scalp. Repeat using the left hand for the right shoulder.
7. Speak slowly – Whenever you feel overwhelmed by stress, practice speaking more slowly than usual. Speaking slowly is one of the methods for coping with stress which leads you to think more clearly and react more reasonably to stressful situations. Stressed people tend to speak fast and breathlessly; by slowing down your speech you’ll also appear less anxious and more in control of any situation.
8. Tackle your nagging tasks – Choose one simple thing you have been putting off (i.e., returning a phone call, making a doctor’s appointment) and do it immediately. Just taking care of one nagging responsibility is one of the energizing methods for coping with stress and can improve your attitude.
9. Get outdoors for a brief break. Our grandparents were right about the healing power of fresh air. Don’t be deterred by foul weather or a full schedule. Even five minutes on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating.
10. Drink plenty of water and eat small, nutritious snacks. Hunger and dehydration, even before you’re aware of them, can provoke aggressiveness and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.
11. Do a quick posture check. Hold your head and shoulders upright and avoid stooping or slumping. Bad posture can lead to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress. If you’re stuck at a desk most of the day, this method of coping with stress encourages you to avoid repetitive strain injuries and sore muscles by making your workstation more ergonomic.
12. Reward yourself with quiet time. Plan something rewarding for the end of your stressful day, even if only a relaxing bath or half an hour with a good book. Put aside work, housekeeping, or family concerns for a brief period before bedtime and allow yourself to fully relax. Don’t spend this time planning tomorrow’s schedule or doing chores you didn’t get around to doing during the day. Remember that you need time to recharge and energize yourself – you’ll be much better prepared to face another stressful day.
If you are experiencing chronic stress, work stress, or just need help coping with stress in your life, consider our Stress Counseling Services Call us today at 832-209-2222 and one of our counselors can help you get your life back. Or complete our online form
Each chapter features a different method for relaxation and stress reduction, explains why the method works, and provides on-the-spot exercises you can do to apply that method when you feel stressed.
Revised and comprehensive, this invaluable guide helps you identify the specific areas of stress in your life–familial, work-related, social, emotional–and offers proven techniques for dealing with every one of them.
Everything from breathing techniques and mindful awareness to cognitive control and self-talk are included-all guaranteed to evict your anxious thoughts.
Picture yourself trapped in a traffic jam feeling utterly calm. Imagine being unflappable and relaxed when your supervisor loses her temper. What if you were peaceful instead of anxious? What if your life were filled with nurturing relationships and a warm sense of belonging? This is what it feels like when you’ve achieved emotional freedom.